How to Make Money in Government Auctions

Federal government surplus auctions are conducted online.
Federal government surplus auctions are conducted online. (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Making money with government auctions is a process of purchasing government surplus or seized goods at very low prices, then reselling those items for a profit. The United States Federal Government and most local state or city governments hold regular public auctions to sell merchandise of all kinds. Federal government sales may offer office and computer surplus equipment from closed facilities for example, and local state or city governments may sell vehicles and household goods that were seized from criminals.

Visit the General Services Administration (GSA) auction website, or the Government Sales website.

Browse the categories and auction items you are interested in purchasing.

Register to bid on the auctions as required by the specific websites offering the items for sale. Since multiple government agencies offer products for sale on auction, you may need to register with multiple websites. Each website may have slightly different auction registration requirements, but generally you must submit a valid credit card and in some cases a copy of a valid photo ID.

Place your bid on each item you're interested in purchasing, and monitor the auction regularly in case higher bids come in that you want to place counter bids for.

Follow all instructions given for taking delivery of items you won at auction.

Place the items for sale through local newspapers, classified websites or online auction centers to resell them and make a profit.

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