Arizona Seized Property Auction: Buying Seized Property at Auction by Deb Weidenhamer, President & CEO Summary An Arizona seized property auction offers many benefits for attendees. Buyers can find a wide range of items at auction, usually in excellent condition. And the items are priced well below market value, often for pennies on the dollar. You can find an eclectic assortment, including autos, recreational vehicles, electronics, jewelry, furniture, tools, antiques and other collectibles. Auctions offer something for every attendee. Some people attend auctions to save money on items they need or want. Others look to make money by reselling items they get at especially low prices. What’s Seized Property? Numerous government agencies seize property, including federal, state and local agencies and police departments. The property seized could be confiscated from people breaking the law or unclaimed after an investigation concludes. When a person is arrested, his or her personal property may be seized to use in the criminal case. Legally, law enforcement can seize any property used in connection with a crime. They can also seize property purchased with money gained illegally. If the person is found guilty, the agency auctions the seized property to the public and retains the proceeds. Each government agency is responsible for conducting its own Arizona seized property auction. Generally, these agencies contract an outside auction service to manage all the activities associated with an auction. You can visit the agency or auction house web sites for schedules and terms. Ensuring the Best Auction Experience Knowledgeable bidders often save 50 to 90% on seized items at auction. Because these auctions are public, anyone can attend and get these savings. You just need to know when and where to go…and bring along some knowledge! Although it’s a good idea, to know what you want from an Arizona seized property auction, it’s also important to remain somewhat flexible. You may see something you didn’t expect at a price you can’t pass up. So, have a plan, but remain flexible to new opportunities. Most auction houses provide an inspection period. Make sure to take advantage of these opportunities. You can check out the items you want to purchase before you bid. You may see something you not on your list that interests you. Ensuring the Best Auction Experience If you’re inspecting an item you have limited knowledge about, bring someone along who has more expertise. If you don’t have access to an expert, put the effort into some research so you know what to look for in terms of quality and price. Bring note paper to write down product information that you can research via the Internet when you get home, where you can easily find comparable prices. If you know the value of an item, you can bid confidently up to the price you’re willing to pay. Make sure you set a price ceiling and don’t let your emotions take over your rational thought processes regarding any item. You’ll always have another opportunity to pick up a good deal at an Arizona seized property auction. Ensuring the Best Auction Experience Finally, find the right balance between getting a good deal and making an investment in your purchase. To get the best deal, you have to be very knowledgeable about each particular item and the auction processes. This knowledge comes with research and experience. So, understand the time commitment involved in getting a good deal at auction. You need to research, inspect, register, attend and maybe come home empty-handed. All this time should be factored into the amount you’re willing to spend for an item. Remember, when you buy at auction, the items are non- refundable. Items are sold as-is, where-is, with no guarantees or warranties. Additional Tips You may want to get to know auction terms before bidding. In addition to collecting as much online information as possible, you may want to attend an auction or two just to get the feel of things. The more knowledge and experience you have, the better chance you have of getting the best deals. You’ll be competing with very experienced bidders, including investors, resellers and very smart buyers. Many of these bidders have been attending auctions for a long time and making money at it. Join the mailing lists for auction houses who conduct Arizona seized property auctions. You can learn the dates for upcoming auctions, as well as preview items that may be of interest. Then, you can be notified of the inspection times. About the Author Deb Weidenhamer is President of Auctions Systems Auctioneers & Appraisers, Inc., based in Phoenix, Arizona. They specialize in auctions and professional appraisals. Visit us at http://www.auctionANDappraise.com or call 800-801-8880 for more information about Arizona seized property auctions.
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