Methods of Sales

Members of the general public can purchase used government personal property through online and offline sales methods.

Online Sales

Online sales allow users to browse/view, bid and pay for awarded items online.

GSA AuctionsSM: Bid electronically on a wide array of personal property. The auctions are completely web-enabled, allowing all registered participants to bid on single or multiple items (lots) within specified timeframes.

Offline Sales Methods

The methods described below are conducted offline, even if available items are displayed online. Users cannot bid or pay for items online.

Live Auctions

GSA conducts an auction when there are a large number of items for sale in one location. In these cases, GSA uses traditional auction methods. Prospective bidders receive a catalog of descriptions, bidding instructions, and an opportunity to inspect the merchandise prior to the sale or on the day of sale.

To view Surplus Personal Property Sales, select the desired geographic location for a listing of schedule sales at GSA's Surplus Personal Property Sales System. Online auctions are also available.

Drop-By Sale

This sale method offers inspections and bidding on the same day and time. Bidders must be present to participate. The bidder inspects the property, fills out the bid card and drops it in the secured bid box. After the sale, GSA opens the box, evaluates the bid cards and makes the award to the highest bidder. GSA notifies successful bidders either by mail or by phone.

Fixed-Price Sale

At fixed-price sales (also called "Retail" sales), GSA posts the selling prices on the property and sells the items on a first-come, first-served basis.

Negotiated Sale

Citizens can negotiate the purchase price of surplus property (usually specialized equipment or unique items of limited interest) through a negotiation process, with a Sales Contracting Officer, allowing bidders to raise their bids.

Sealed Bid Sale

Find items online or by mail, then mail in a bid. Bids cannot be submitted electronically. GSA sells by sealed bid when the sale items are in scattered locations. The Invitation for Bid (IFB) contains the item descriptions, sale terms and conditions, item locations, inspection times, and bid form.

Interested customers complete the bid form and mail it to the address shown in the IFB. GSA must receive bids by the opening date and time indicated on the IFB. Late bids are not accepted under any circumstances. GSA opens all bids publicly.

Spot Bid Sale

A spot bid sale is a "silent auction" with bids written down rather than voiced. GSA offers property item by item and awards it to the highest bidders on the same day. Bidders may bid only once per item, unless the item is re-offered.

Other Sites for Learning About Sales

GSA Surplus Personal Property Sales Systems: Announce and track sales of property sold through offline bidding, such as public auction and view a listing of surplus property available for sale and organized by geographic location.

GSA Fleet Vehicle Sales: View vehicles for sale in an auction environment. Government Auctions and Sales: Search for surplus property and connect to seller's websites to bid on or buy items.

Note: A GSA employee, or a spouse or minor child of a GSA employee, or their agents, may not bid on federal personal property. An employee of another agency may bid if they are not prohibited from doing so by the employing agency's rules or regulations.

Last Reviewed: 2020-10-06