Think of it as a huge garage sale, for the government. Almost anything you would ever want, many times more than one example, are available. Put this together, and you have GovDeals.
"It's where we sell equipment we need to get rid of," said Headland Police Chief Mark Jones. "It's very reputable. It stops all that yah-yah stuff."
Officially, GovDeals, according to their website, govdeals.com, "provides services to various government agencies that allow them to sell surplus and confiscated items via the Internet. Each participating agency has its own auction rules and regulations and may be subject to government ordinances."
Jones said one can bid on an item, or items. If you are top bidder, you have five days to pay and 10 to pick the item up from the seller. "They send us a buyer's certificate. It's strictly business when you get on that website. It makes it a lot easier for us. You just have to be careful about what you bid on because of where it’s at."
There are 119 categories from A-Z. On April 7 at 8:57 a.m., central time, there were 5,253 items available for bidding. "And it's not just police stuff,” Jones said. “You can get just about anything, including the kitchen sink."
The ability of government departments to get rid of excess equipment, vehicles and other items can be a godsend these days, when funding is so, so tight. "It takes the pressure off individual departments," Jones said. "It’s open to any government office. It's free. You can bid from anywhere in the world. It's a good way to get rid of surplus and seized equipment. Any vehicle seized can be turned over. It's just unreal the stuff you can get."
Headland started submitting items about eight years ago. Since then, the city has recouped thousands of dollars from the sale of equipment, vehicles, and more. "It's all legitimate," he said. “They’re even selling real estate!”
The buyer has to pay a fee of five percent of the buyer’s premium to the site. “You don’t have to worry about getting ripped off or scammed,” said Jones. “It’s the ultimate government wish book.”