How To Acquire Surplus Federal Personal Property
Eligible state and local government agencies and nonprofit organizations can obtain personal property that the federal government no longer needs through the Federal Surplus Personal Property Donation Program.
Surplus personal property includes all types of property except:
- Land or other real property
- Certain naval vessels and
- Records of the federal government.
There are special procedures and forms for:
What Are Government Surplus Auctions
Property or assets that are not needed by the government or military are referred to as surplus property. And when it comes to the trouble of asset liquidation, GovPlanets technology, proactive engagement, and solutions will accelerate your time to market, improve operational and administrative economies, and boost your ROI for your asset liquidation.
GovPlanet is a unique seller marketplace of Ritchie Bros. as its dedicated to not only government surplus but also military surplus vehicles and equipment. We are proud to partner with the Defense Logistics Agency and Marine Corps to offer you trusted and dependable military equipment for sale. Our weekly auctions of rolling stock and non-rolling stock of military surplus and government surplus with new items added daily to our inventory.
How To Buy A Military Surplus Vehicle
If you want to know how to buy a military surplus vehicle, the first thing you will need to do is to find the reputable sellers who are actually doing business in this area and avoid sources that may charge hidden fees, use gotcha tactics to up the final cost of the purchase, etc.
If you are new to buying a government surplus or military surplus vehicle, thats a challenge that can seem quite dauntingat first. With a little information you can bid and buy military surplus trucks, cars, and other vehicles with confidence.
Equip Your Small Business By Buying Government Surplus
As most entrepreneurs soon find out, the cost of starting or expanding your small business can quickly escalate as you seek to equip your workforce, office, or other place of business with the tools needed to operate and grow.
While you may seek to roll these costs into a business loan and/or recover them at tax time through depreciation, neither of these actually reduces the upfront cost of procuring business assets or equipment in the first place.
An alternative, frequently used by non-profits but often overlooked by for-profit small business owners, is to buy surplus goods directly from the government.What is Government Surplus?
Purchasing government surplus which includes everything from computer equipment to medical tools, vehicles and parts, land and property, international real estate, and more is an easy and affordable way to equip your new and expanding business.
Heres how it works: When a federal or state agency has extra equipment, seized goods, or forecloses on a piece of property, it is either transferred to another government agency or sold to the public. Each year the federal government then sells billions of dollars of surplus, seized, forfeited and exchange/sale assets at or below cost or fair market value.
While each state government has its own individual online auction Web site , there is no comprehensive single online auction web site in the federal government.
How do Government Auctions Work?
A Final Thought: Lining Up For Government Cheese
In the early 1980s, the media discovered that the federal government was storing millions of pounds of surplus cheese at a time when many people were experiencing food insecurity. As a result, Ronald Reagan, who had recently cut the budget of the federal food stamp program, ordered the release of 560 million pounds of cheese. It was distributed not only to the needy and to food banks, but also to families on social security. My grandparents were receiving social security benefits at the time, so they qualified.
So on a January morning in 1982, at age 19, I found myself standing in a long line with my grandfather at the Phenix Municipal Stadium in Phenix City, Alabama to get a few pounds of cheese.
It was freezing, I was underdressed, and we were standing on cold concrete which has the unique ability to suck the heat right out of a human body. Wed been waiting an hour when I finally said, Cokey, why dont we just go to the grocery store and buy some cheese? We dont need to get it from the government.
My grandfather, who had spent much of the Great Depression literally riding the rails, turned to me and said, You dont understand, boy. Thats not the governments cheese. Its my cheese. I paid for it with my tax dollars and Im not leaving until I get my damn cheese.
Know Who The Vendors Are
If youre reading this article, chances are good you dont know who sells and who has a reputation for being reliable. The good news is that you can find some crucial information with some basic research. The key is knowing where to start looking.
The Department of Defense has an entire office dedicated to surplus property of all kinds .
The Defense Logistics Agency is the home of a branch called Disposition Services which basically oversees the transfer of gear, cars, computers, office equipment, and more from the end-user at U.S. military bases all over the world to either a surplus sale, salvage, or other final destination.
DLA isnt the only agency to do so another government operation called GovSales is administered by the U.S. General Services Administration. GovSales is the clearinghouse for all approved federal government sales centers.
This website operated for some time at its own destination, but as of September 2020, it now functions as a part of the federal website USA.gov which is described by the government as the front door to government information and services for the public. Those visiting USA.gov to buy surplus can locate and purchase surplus via online sales centers there.
If you know these two websites, you can definitely get started finding and purchasing a government surplus vehicle.
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What Will The Us Government Do With 14 Billion Pounds Of Cheese
The United States dairy surplus has reached a record high, rounding out at 1.4 billion pounds of cheese. Reports attempting to quantify this astonishing amount have deferred to metrics like enough to wrap around the U.S. Capitol. Suffice to say, nobodys suggesting we could consume it all.
The nation eating this much cheese is not only mind-boggling: Its growing less and less likely. According to U.S. Department of Agriculture data, Americans have cut their milk consumption down from 35 pounds to an average of 15 per person annually. The excess is turned into cheese for storage and longevity . At the same time, government subsidies have continued to support dairy production, buying up surplus to keep prices steady. That leaves us with more cheese than anyone, even the experts, knows what to do with.
What has changedand changed fairly noticeably and fairly recentlyis people are turning away from processed cheese, Cornell University agriculture economist Andrew Novakovic said in an interview with NPR. Its the same as it is for everything else: If youve got too much of something, the price has to go down until consumption rises.
In the past, the U.S. government has supported dairy farmers through various programs and agencies, accumulating a staggering surplus with policies unique to this industry. What its done with that surplus has changed the American welfare state and diet forever.
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Getting The Best Deals At Surplus & Liquidation Auctions
If youre just learning about flipping surplus & liquidated items Im afraid youre a bit late to the party.
Thats not to say that there isnt money to be made but youll be up against people with years of experience.
Unlike at thrift stores where there is plenty of stuff for everyone to flip, auctions are a direct competition the person who is willing to make the least profit usually wins.
However, there are a few things you can do even as a beginner that will help tip the odds in your favor:
Put In The Due Diligence
Most online auctions allow you to view the item by appointment before bidding. Almost no one does. If you are willing to go see an item youll be far ahead of everyone else. Youll know what surplus to stay away from, what to bid like crazy on, etc. If I was willing to look over every item in person before I bought it I would have saved thousands of dollars on junk auctions.
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My Best Liquidation Buy & Flip
I check PublicSurplus every day for new auctions and look at every single one within 200 miles of me.
Earlier this year I stumbled across this auction:
The title was simply Microphones and the description had nothing but the microphone model number. Oh and this picture
While I wasnt sure what all was included or if they worked, I was willing to take a risk and won the auction for $31.
It turns out that the microphones in question all worked and there were 28 of them instead of the 21 the auction claimed. Whats more, they retailed for almost $400 apiece.
I ended up listing them on eBay for $100 apiece but accepted an offer the same day for $2,200 for the lot. If I had been more patient Im sure I could have made more money but its pretty hard to be mad about a return like that!
Deals like that arent common but they can be had if youre smart and thorough.
Government Cheese Shows Up In The Punch Lines Of Jokes And Song Lyrics But To Those Who Have Actually Lived On It Its Both A Cornerstone Of Survival And An Object That Inspires Complicated Tinges Of Nostalgia
If you grew up poor in the 80s, like I did, you couldnt escape it. The telltale brick-shaped carton encasing a Dayglo orange matter that provided equal parts sustenance and humiliation: government cheese.
It was sometimes also known as surplus cheese, although many people dont know the story behind that term. In the early 1980s, the U.S. found itself with massive stockpiles of dairy products, thanks to a wide range of price-support programs and economic initiatives intended to benefit farmers and food producers of the time. Faced with literally tons of cheese to dispose of, the government decided to unload it on the poor. Congress passed the Agriculture and Food Act of 1981, which allowed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop programs to give a bunch of these dairy products to families struggling to get by. That year, President Reagan announced the Special Dairy Distribution Program, which would oversee the distribution of roughly 30 million pounds of cheese to people struggling to make ends meet.
Perhaps the intent was altruistic, but like most poor kids, I was way too cynical for my age. I assumed they were just trying to kill us all off with enough excessive fat and cholesterol to give us heart attacks before we hit high school.
The one thing you could count on was the five-pound block of shelf-stable orange cheese in the rectangular box with USDA stamps all over it.
This feature was supported by the nonprofit Changewire.
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The Government Surplus Vehicle Guide
At government surplus auctions, unwanted property is sold to save on storage and maintenance costs. These auctions are some of the best ways for individuals and businesses to get quality used vehicles at affordable prices.
You can typically buy government surplus or confiscated vehicles via sealed bid, live auction, or online auction. The purchasing process can vary depending on the rules used by each selling government agency.
To make the whole process of buying government surplus vehicles easier, read on to find everything you need to know before bidding in a government-sponsored auction.
Insuring A Restored Vehicle
When a vehicle is considered restored, this usually means it was previously labeled as salvage, but then was repaired or restored to full working condition. In many cases, its possible to get full coverage on a restored vehicle, but only with some car insurance companies. In most states, to get a restored title back on the road, the car owner must go through the process of a mandatory state inspection.
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Tips For Participating In Government Auctions
The general rule for auctions is that the highest bidder wins, and cancellation is not possible. Check with the auction site ahead of time to find out if you can cancel a bid.
Each auction website operates differently. In some cases, the government agency itself runs the auctions. In other cases, the agency operates the shopping site, but a third-party company handles the auction itself.
Find out what forms of payment auctions accept. There is no uniform payment policy across all the different auctions. Some auctions accept credit card payments or personal checks. Others, such as the Internal Revenue Service , don’t accept either of these. Most auctions accept cashier’s checks.
For real estate auctions, you may need to work with a broker or real estate agent to bid or make the purchase. Also, for real estate auctions, find out if financing is permitted. Many times it is not and the full purchase price is due when you win the bid.
The Government Cheese Phenomenon And The American Cheese Stockpile Today
The U.S. has too much cheese 1.4 billion pounds of it to be exact.
To get some of that cheese off the market, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has spent $47.1 million buying up roughly 22 million pounds of it since 2016, according to a USDA spokesperson.
But this isnt the first time the government has bought tons of American cheese. In the 1970s, the USDA stepped in to help control volatile milk prices, and it became very profitable to produce milk. So, farmers started producing way too much of it, which was then turned into way too much cheese.
In 1981, then-President Ronald Reagan declared 30 million pounds of American cheese would be distributed to food pantries, school lunch programs and other welfare programs. By 1984, the U.S. was storing about 5 pounds of cheese for every American.
People talk about food assistance programs as if they were created to help poor people out, said Andrew Novakovic, professor of agricultural economics at Cornell University. Yes thats true, but almost all of the major food assistance programs were ideas that came from agriculture because we had too much of something.
Suddenly a block of surplus dairy product became a neatly packaged symbol of economic status known as government cheese. Its been referenced in SNL sketches and songs by artists including DMX, Kendrick Lamar, The Roots and Jay Z.
Watch the video above to learn where government cheese came from, why it disappeared and if it could make a comeback.
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How To Purchase Surplus Property
Surplus Property is property the government does not need. Personal property includes assets ranging from office equipment and furniture to scientific equipment, heavy machinery, airplanes, vessels, and vehicles. If this property cannot be donated to a state or public agency, or nonprofit organization, the general public can buy it.
You can purchase surplus government property through GSA AuctionsSM. The site offers the general public the chance to bid electronically on federal assets. All registered participants can bid on a single item or multiple items within specified time frames.
When no federal agencies need real property, it is determined to be surplus and may be made available for other uses through public benefit conveyances, including homeless use, negotiated sales, or public sales, based on GSA’s determination of the propertys highest and best use.
You can review surplus personal property offline by using the “Other Sales” tab at the top of the page. Or you can visit the Personal Property Sales by Geographical Location, which offers scheduled sales by geographic location and sales method. For sales methods, non-Internet includes live auction, fixed price, drop-by, negotiated sealed bid, and spot bid.
Buying Federal Undeveloped Land
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