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Government Surplus Auctions Are Helping to Circumvent Supply Chain Issues


Government Surplus Auctions Are Helping to Circumvent Supply Chain Issues

There’s no doubt that the current economy has been really struggling due to all of the supply chain issues that have stemmed from COVID-19. Inflation is everywhere, vehicles and groceries that consumers want and need are out of stock, and a lot of businesses are having a really tough time sourcing the materials they need to create their products. It’s been a very difficult situation for many, but there has been one saving grace amidst it all: government auctions.

A Municipality’s Unneeded Item Is Another Person’s Treasure

Cities, public schools, police and fire departments, schools, and other agencies are all currently auctioning off their surplus vehicles, heavy equipment, tech gadgets, and more directly to the public. They are using websites like the Municibid online government auction marketplace to ensure they get the full value (and more!) for their surplus items. These auctions are also helping members of the public get fantastic deals on products they are struggling to find at the moment due to all of the supply chain issues plaguing society.

Need a Car or Other Vehicle? Police & Fire Department Auctions are Key.

So many consumers and business owners are looking for used vehicles to purchase, but right now there is a limited supply available at dealerships. Government auctions are here to save the day! Police departments use government auctions to sell their forfeitures (or seized items), which include cars, SUVs, trucks, and the occasional luxury vehicle — a borough in New Jersey recently auctioned off a 2015 Maserati that was confiscated by their police department! Police and fire departments are also selling the used police cars and fire trucks that are taken out of service due to regular vehicle replacement.

Upcycled Buses & Ambulances = The Ultimate Road Trip Vehicles

For those struggling to find the perfect RV for road trips due to supply chain issues, why not create one by upcycling a used city bus or ambulance? That’s right — crafty travel enthusiasts are now buying used buses and ambulances in government auctions and refurbishing them into the travel vessels of their dreams. For example, one family purchased a used Gillig bus from the Central Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, which they converted into a Disney-themed RV! These upcycled buses are perfect for digital nomads who want to road-trip while working.

Gillig city bus before upcycling

Gillig city bus after upcycling

Many Businesses Are Benefiting from Government Auctions

Companies that are struggling to find the tech equipment they need for their operations because of supply chain issues can also turn to government auctions. Not only are public school districts auctioning off buses they no longer need, but also they are selling surplus items like used iPads, printers, computer monitors, and laptops. They are even auctioning off desks, which are perfect for office spaces! Public libraries are also auctioning off similar items. In addition to purchases for operational optimization, reselling businesses can also buy fantastic items in these auctions that they can later flip for a profit.

Construction Companies & More Can Find the Heavy Equipment They Need

Businesses can also bid on heavy equipment that is vital for their operations. From tractors to bulldozers, to snow plows, lawn mowers, pressure washers, and leaf vacuums, there are all kinds of equipment for construction businesses, landscaping companies, agricultural enterprises, and more. These auctions also offer fantastic tools for Etsy sellers and automotive companies, such as tire changing machines and welders.

The Advantages of Buying Items in Government Auctions

There are many benefits of buying used vehicles and equipment from government auctions rather than via online seller platforms like Craigslist. Here are just a few of these advantages.

Quality & Value

When you purchase a vehicle or other item in a government auction, you can expect quality and value. This is because municipalities and government departments tend to take very good care of their equipment and vehicles — oftentimes, governmental bodies have regularly scheduled maintenance for their items or rotate items out of service at regular intervals. Some governments even have routine replacement schedules, so the equipment has useful life remaining. Therefore, purchasing an item in a government auction will provide great value.

No Scammers!

Online seller platforms like Craigslist and OfferUp are rife with con artists looking to scam buyers out of their hard-earned money. Luckily, there is no need to worry about dealing with these conniving scammers when buying vehicles and other items in a government auction! Those who win these auctions will be purchasing items from municipalities with credibility, not an unknown individual with no accountability.

To Wrap It All Up

Yes, major supply chain issues are negatively impacting the economy at the moment, but government auctions have the inventory that so many consumers and businesses are looking for. These auctions are giving consumers and businesses alike the opportunity to purchase cars, buses for upcycling purposes, tech essentials like laptops, and other must-have products without having to worry about dealing with scammers. Government auctions will continue being a godsend during the current supply chain crisis.


Greg Berry is the CEO and founder of Municibid, the go-to online marketplace for government auctions. Municibid is the top platform for municipalities, public schools, fire departments, police departments, and other government agencies all over the US and Canada to sell their surplus vehicles, forfeitures, and more directly to the public, 24 hours a day.