Consumer Protection Fact Sheet - Government Surplus Sales

​​​​GOVERNMENT SEIZED CARS - From $200!

GOVERNMENT FORECLOSED HOMES Must Be Sold!  No Money Down!  Buy for Pennies on the Dollar!


While these slogans catch your attention, most items in a surplus auction do not sell for these unbelievably low prices and terms. According to the General Services Administration (GSA) there are no giveaways. Government auction services sell goods at or below cost, or fair market value.

Government agencies may have extra equipment, seized goods or foreclosures on a piece of property. The goods are either transferred to another government agency or sold to the public. These items are sold “as is” by auction or negotiated sale, either online, in-person or both. Online auctions work much the same way as other auction sites. You visit an agency’s auction site, register your name and place your bid.

Many businesses contact consumers through the mail or classified ads claiming they can provide information on purchasing government surplus goods. When contacted they charge a fee for their information. Government agencies provide this information at no cost. Do not pay for information that is available free-of-charge.

USA.gov

USA.gov is the official web portal of the U.S. Government​. At www.usa.gov/auctions-and-sales you can find information on how to buy many types or items including new, seized and surplus merchandise and real estate from the government through auction or direct sales. Here you can also send an email question or chat online with someone who will direct you to where to go if they do not know the answer to your questions. Or you can call USA.gov at (844) 872-4681.

GovSales.gov

Each year the federal government sells billions of dollars of surplus, seized, forfeited and exchange or sale assets. GovSales, managed by the General Services Administration (GSA)​, is a centralized, citizen-centered website that was created to make it easy for people and businesses to locate government assess for sale.

Here you can browse and search for property that is being offered by many different Federal Agency Sales Centers. Each Sales Center is like an individual store and you will need to register separately at each Sales Center website to bid on an item or make a purchase. For more information, consult the FAQs found at the top of the GovSales.gov website.

Usmarshals.gov/assets

The U.S. Marshals Service​ plays a critical role by managing and selling assets seized and forfeited by federal law enforcement agencies nationwide. The Marshals Service manages various types of assets, including real estate, vehicles, commercial businesses, cash, financial instruments, jewelry, art, antiques, collectibles, vessels and aircraft. In 2014 the U.S. Marshals managed $2.2 billion in assets.

For more information contact 
the U.S. Marshals at:

Toll-free: (888) 878-3256

Treasury.gov/auctions

Each year approximately 300 public auctions are conducted throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico to sell property forfeited as a result of violations of federal law enforced by the U.S. Department of Treasury or nonpayment of Internal Revenue Service taxes. A wide variety of merchandise is available, including automobiles, aircraft, boats, real estate, jewelry, electronics, wearing apparel, industrial equipment, and miscellaneous goods. Property includes both new and used goods.

For more information about the
US Treasury contact:

US Department of the Treasury
1500 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20220
Phone: (202) 622-2000
Fax: (202) 622-6415

WisconsinSurplus.com

WisconsinSurplus.com​ is an on-line auction service based in Madison, WI. It is dedicated to selling, via an on-line Internet bidding process, certain assets surplus to the present needs of the State of Wisconsin as well as other Wisconsin cities, counties and municipalities. WisconsinSurplus.com is a contracted vendor for the State of Wisconsin, Departmen​​t of Administration, to provide the state with their required on-line auction needs. All items listed for bids and/or for sale on this site are items considered surplus and/or excess to the on-going daily needs of the various State of Wisconsin departments and agencies.

For more information about the auction, contact Wisconsin Surplus at (608) 437-2001​.