Government Military Surplus Auctions

January 29, 2011 by  Filed under: Sales 

Military assets can be of great use to many people. If not for personal gain, then resale value could surely be in mind. It is an ongoing situation where a military branch has an excess of certain items. With this overload of surplus items, the military distributes them to a government entity, and allows them to auction off these assets. These government military surplus auctions are open to anyone. This is a quick guide to getting the most out of your auction experience.

Your first notion should be-what am I trying to obtain at one of these military auctions? There are many items you can potentially own if you end up being the highest bidder. Here are a few of the more common items:

  • Military vehicles
  • Hats
  • Belts
  • Boots
  • First-aid equipment
  • Rain suits

Those items are what many people are specifically looking for when they venture out into the world of military surplus auctions. There are also numerous non-traditional items auctioned off as well.

  • Deployed parachutes
  • Scrap metal
  • Gas masks
  • Sleeping bags
  • Canteens

Make sure you know what your getting before heading out to a live auction. Know that every item that is auctioned off will be sold “as-is.” Meaning, you might get a chance to inspect the item, but never truly know what condition it was in before you purchased it.

Lets say for example, you are looking to bid on an army-issued Hummer. Though it might look clean on the outside, the interior workings of this vehicle might be out of whack.

Usually, the day of, or a day before an auction, there is a preview date. Here some generally tips to keep in mind when inspecting a military vehicle:

  • Before anything, you should know the exact make and model of the vehicle. Do your background research and you will find the market value for any vehicle.
  • Check out the exterior first. If you are not satisfied with the vehicle’s paint, windows, or tire condition, mark those down and calculate that into your highest bid amount.
  • Sit in the vehicle. Test the engine, brakes, and accelerator. Make a note if parts need to be adjusted or fixed.
  • Look for rusting. If there is rusting, you might want to stay away.
  • Bring a flashlight. There can be crevices that you can’t see without proper lighting.
  • Bring a friend who is knowledgeable in the automotive market.

Besides vehicles, the bulk items that are available at these government military surplus auctions could be very profitable if you know where and how to resell them. Take for example an auction for three crates of navy blue button-down shirts. These might be great for your own inventory, but could be a better source of income on the resale market. If you won that auction for the shirts, you could flip them on the market in the same condition and make a profit because you obtained them for a discounted price. If you broke up the crates and sold each item piece by piece, you would make a much larger profit. You could theoretically sell these items to a local army-navy shop, or even on eBay.

Now that you have done your background research, you should be ready to formulate your own game plan for auction day. Here are a few strategies:

  • Set a limit and never change it. This part is crucial if you want to get a great deal. Having a maximum dollar amount that you are willing to spend on each item is the only way to get discounted assets at a live auction.
  • Come to the event early, and bid on items that are in the beginning or towards the end. This is a great strategy due to the fact that many people come late or have exhausted all their money on the items they already wanted. The less competition there is, the higher the odds of getting a great deal.
  • Know the rules of the auction you are going to attend. You need to know how you’re going to bid on and remove the items you’ve won. Most items need to be removed from the premises by the end of the auction. If it is a large number of items, then you should have a prearranged area to store them.

Finding a proper outlet for the whereabouts of these auctions is simple. As a leading source for all military surplus auction needs, is the perfect spot to start your search. They have listings for items and auctions all throughout the country. Activate today, and learn about the exciting and lucrative world of government auctions.

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