13 Crazy Things You Could Buy on GovDeals, a Surplus Auction Site

By Rachel Christian, CEPF

When government agencies need to get rid of stuff, they put it up for auction. That’s what makes government auction sites, like, a great place to find truly unique finds at a steep discount.

GovDeals lets you search thousands of listings in just about every category, from heavy equipment and real estate to fine art and jewelry. (We’re not kidding. You can buy an ambulance or a massive ruby, all from GovDeals.)

What Is GovDeals?

Think of GovDeals like eBay but for governments. Once an item falls out of use, public organizations — from state colleges to law enforcement — auction it off to the public. Back in the day, many agencies placed ads in the local newspaper when they wanted to sell off old equipment or seized property.

GovDeals, along with a handful of other websites, lets governments list items for auction online instead, where they can reach a bigger audience. All of the money generated by the sale is returned to the agency.

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