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  1. #1

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    Default Military surplus auctions(anyone ever go ?)

    Where is a good link etc to direct a person to upcoming military surplus sales etc.
    Some point and time I would like to go to military surplus sale and look at the pick ups/trucks etc.

    Whats your experience with buying military surplus ? Any advice/tips etc.

    Thanks
    Old_Hickory

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: Military surplus auctions(anyone ever go ?)

    Government Liquidation dot com
    http://www.govliquidation.com/?tid=GLSPPR0008

    Takes a little while to wade through all of the data, but sales are listed by area and lot numbers. I've looked a lot but never bid on anything yet.
    I would suggest staying with a site close enough to look at the items before bidding.

  3. #3
    Super Member California's Avatar
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    Default Re: Military surplus auctions(anyone ever go ?)

    Before I retired from a Large Government Agency I was occasionally assigned to do routine independent reviews of surplus property disposal procedures. I never found any improper activities, but I personally came to an opinion that the deck was stacked against the bidders.

    * There was something in the culture that prevented disposal until the items became scrap. In many cases the property was not released for disposal until it had sat outdoors on a pallet for at least two winters, even including computer gear. It was clear that there was no economic analysis to determine optimum equipment retirement age, rather the criterion was to not release it until it was valueless. I think this was caused by an unspoken fear that anyone who flagged equipment for disposal could be open to allegation that he had slipped a valuable piece through the disposal process for his friends to bid on, so therefor nothing valuable made it through. (Auditors call this an Internal Control; ie structure the system so anyone who tries to use the process for personal advantage focuses a lot of attention on himself.) Often lots received no bids.

    * Other government agencies, then schools, had priority to divert equipment from the disposal process so only undesirable items went to auction.

    * For shop equipment and heavy equipment, the stuff a TBN'er might be interested in, the individual items were very well known by the employees who previously operated them. Anything that still had some life left in it was bid up by friends of the employee or others, perhaps the dealer who maintained it, who had better information on that piece's individual history than any outsider would. It would be pointless and impossible to swear all employees and dealer's mechanics to secrecy.

    Getting top dollar at a disposal auction is to the taxpayers' benefit by recovering as much of the original equipment cost as possible, but as a bidder, anyone who wants to outbid the locals should have a very clear idea how much to pay.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Military surplus auctions(anyone ever go ?)

    Many years ago, my Stepfather was the director of a charitable organization (a county Easter Seal facility in Western Pennsylvania that offered various types of therapy and a sheltered workshop). As such, we were eligible (along with the local governments and schools mentioned above) to go to the big military disposal center near Harrisburg. We looked for medical items (like treatment tables) and shop tools for the sheltered workshop.

    It was like being in a candy store where everything was a penny. A lot of it was junk, but there were many great items. The variety and quantity were staggering. However, I have no idea how a "civilian" (i.e., not part of one of the eligible agencies) could get in; at the time, I don't think it was possible. I don't know for sure, but I think once the qualified agencies had taken their pick, the rest went to large liquidators who would take large lots of items regardless of condition. I suspect there were few gems left at that point.

    This was around 1961-1962. I was 21 at the time and had a 1950 Chevy. I came home from the depot one time with a brand new, still in the crate, Jimmy (GMC) 6 cylinder truck engine. That Chevy ran sweet after that. I think my Stepfather got it for something like $10. I did various chores for the clinic in my free time, and that was my "pay".

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Military surplus auctions(anyone ever go ?)

    Old Hickory:

    I know you specified military auctions, but a lot of agencies have auctions. In ALL of them, it's let the buyer be ware. Many times the stuff is just shot or has sat for so long it takes a lot to get it bac up to speed.

    Also, on IRS type auctions, you are only buying the owner's equity in that item. Lets say it's a Lexus worth $35,000.00. The Non taxpayer had it seized because he had enough equity in it to let the Govt get some money out of it. He may owe $15,000.00 on it. Not knowing that, you might buy the car for $28,000 thinking you got a steal. What you got was a $35,000.00 car, which after you pay the lien off cost you $38,000.00.

    Also on Govt equipment, there is an old saying that "something that belongs to everyone belongs to no one". Govt Pool cars have often been run hard and put away wet. They get passed down to the rookies after they get run hard by senior agents.

    I did 27 years with the Treasury Dept and work my vehicles pretty hard. I've been in pursuit of people, and have hit dips so hard I've bent wheels and broke motor mounts going through unseen dips too fast. I was a stickler about keeping my vehicles up because I was the one that was going to die if it failed. Most others were not careful. When a pool car developed a problem, it was too much trouble to get someone else to fix it or take the time to have it fixed themselves, so they would just not drive that vehicle anymore. Poor alignment and unbalanced tires plus warped braked rotors and drums were not uncommon. I could never understand this cavalier attitude, because it didn't cost anything to fix it, just someone that cared enough.

    Can you get good deals on vehicles and equipment or other stuff, sometimes yes. I provided security for a jewelry sale one time in Los Angeles. The "40 thieves" attended the auction along with civilians. The 40 were jewelry dealers. They knew the value of stuff and had agreed amongst themselves which pieces they wanted before the auction. They wouldn't bid on stuff the other thieves wanted so as to not drive the prices up. Most of the stuff that went to civilians was either old fashioned cuts or not marketable, and in many cases was sold for more than it's apraised value.

    You've got to know what you're looking for and what stuff should go for and not get caught up in the auction frenzie.

    On th other hand, sometimes stuff is sold just to get
    "something" for it.

    I saw a real POS locksmith truck go for a cheap price, especially since there were thousand's of blank keys included plus two key cutting machines.

    Each Governmetnal agency can give you a phone number to call to find out about their next auctions.

    Don't know if that was worth your time to read it or not, It
    was a little off point on your question, but I hope it helps.

    Joe

  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Military surplus auctions(anyone ever go ?)

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( it's let the buyer be ware )</font>

    I agree. I remember when a small town bought a couple of our old police cars at auction. The guy called me later because the odometer reading was about 80k on them and the figured that must have been 180k. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] The 80k was right, but the condition was terrible. And I ran the auction for the police impound lot for several years (weekly auction, every Monday, average 135 vehicles), and I only saw 2 or 3 in all those years that sold for less than I would have paid for them.

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Military surplus auctions(anyone ever go ?)

    Thank you [img]/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]

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