Police Impound Listings
Motor vehicles and other personal property are regularly auctioned off by police and sheriff departments, along with state and federal agencies.
Personal property gets impounded when it is used in the commission of a crime. Periodically, it will get auctioned off. You can get great deals from police impound listings that go to auction because they are auctioned off at rock-bottom prices, often as low as $10 for an automobile.
One reason police listings are made public is to show the vehicles that have been sent to an impound lot due to the fact that the vehicle was said to be inoperable. Most communities give a couple of warnings to the owner with an expectation that the vehicle will be repaired, put into an enclosed area, or towed away by the owner. When vehicles remain out of compliance, they are eventually towed away. Inoperable cars that are unclaimed after a certain amount of time sometimes are sent to an auto wrecking service and destroyed rather than sold. Remember that it is “buyer beware” on the items auctioned from the police impound. If you are buying a car, bring your mechanic to check out the car, and do your research ahead of time, searching both “Kelley’s Bluebook” for the real value of the auto, and Carfax.com to get an indication of the history of the specific car. The Carfax search will be most easily done if you have the VIN number for the specific car you are interested in. Carfax will do a “lemon check,” a records check, a recall check and a problem car check. There is also a database for cars that have been damaged in floods and hurricanes.
Many of the police sites, or the auction houses they use for their regular impound sales, will have catalogs of items that are being auctioned online that you can check out before the sale. Some will allow you to come in at a time prior to the sale and take a look at the merchandise in order to do the research ahead on what you want to bid on, what your maximum bid should be, and what flaws the item may have, if any.
Armed with this information, you are in good shape to place a bid on items from police impound listings.