A Guide to Los Angeles Public Car Auctions

If you want to live or work in Los Angeles, it is essential that you have a car. Sure, there is public transportation, but unless you are going around downtown, it is just too slow and inconvenient for getting about the huge metropolis. Pretty much everybody in LA owns a car. That makes Los Angeles a great place to find public car auctions.

There are numerous public car auctions in Los Angeles, and it is fairly easy to find out about them. One of the best places to start is with the official police garages or OPGs. These are city garages that have official responsibility over the towing and holding of impounded cars in LA. Several hundred thousand vehicles are impounded by the LAPD every year. Of these, around two-thirds are redeemed by the owners, but the rest of the cars become city property and are divested through public car auctions. The OPGs hold these auctions, known officially as lien sale vehicle auctions, once a week. You may contact your nearest OPG to find out when the public auctions take place. The auctions help the city of Los Angeles to recoup unpaid fees while offering an opportunity to the public to bid on and purchase cars at low prices.

There are also a number of firms in Los Angeles and its outlying areas that hold public car auctions. A search for “auto auctions” on an online search engine turned up 26 firms around LA that hold regular auctions. A few of these firms specialize in certain types of vehicles. For example, Spectrum Auction Co. in North Hollywood and Palm Springs Exotic Car Auctions specialize in auctions of classic and luxury vehicles. Other firms hold auctions specifically for towed or repossessed cars.

Public car auctions are open to everyone, but it is important that you register beforehand. To register for a public auction, you need to provide proper personal identification. You may also need to pay some nominal registration fee. When you have registered, you will be assigned a bidding number, which must be presented to the auctioneer when you make a bid. Only people with bidding numbers are allowed to participate in the auction.

The cars at public auctions are sold “as is” and therefore a potential bidder must possess a “let the buyer beware” mindset. However, there is usually an inspection period prior to the auction, that make take place a day or two or even a few hours beforehand. You should take advantage of the inspection period to see what is being offered and get an idea of the vehicle’s quality.

Surplus Musical Instrument Auctions

The next time you decide to go shopping for a musical instrument you may wish to forget retail stores like Sam Ash and Guitar Center. Instead, you’d want to check out surplus musical instruments up for sale at a government auction! They’ve generally got the selection of instruments you want at prices you most of the time just can’t beat. Whether you’re shopping for yourself, your child, or someone you know; surplus instrument auctions are the perfect place to go to get the most bang for your musical buck.

You may be asking yourself, What exactly does “surplus” mean? Surplus items are basically goods that were once purchased by either the U.S. or state government or a government-affiliated agency that now no longer have a use for these items. Not only are instruments a hot commodity but depending on the auction you attend you can find everything from surplus cars and boats to jewelry and rare stamps.

From guitars to synthesizers, surplus musical instrument auctions have a vast selection of instruments that rival major retail stores. Why shell out over $2,000 for a custom American Fender Stratocaster guitar when you can attend an auction and pick one up for a mere fraction of the retail cost? Why so cheap? Because they’re surplus goods – and that’s synonymous with getting a great deal!

The surplus musical instruments that the auction houses receive typically come from a similar source. A trumpet up for auction, for example, might have originally been used by a university marching band that chose to replace their current set of trumpets. The excess trumpets that are no longer needed are then auctioned off to the general public. So you see, it’s a beneficial cycle where everybody wins; the government gets rid of an item they no longer need and we, the consumer, get a fantastic deal on a great instrument!

For information on finding one of the many auction houses that sell surplus musical instruments, I recommend you check out GovernmentAuctions.org. Not only will you more than likely find the perfect instrument for yourself, but the low prices will have you shopping there for generations to come! So bring your family of musicians to an auction today and find the perfect deal!

The Benefits and Risks of Real Estate Auctions

As many people have discovered, the traditional realtor firm isn’t the only way to sell a property. Real estate auctions are increasingly popular among people who buy and sell properties. As an alternative to the traditional marketplace, “[t]he benefits of selling via auction are particularly obvious during the bidder qualification period.” (Source: “Brokers See Benefit of Auction Process”, National Real Estate Investor) If you haven’t considered the auction route, you should keep the following benefits and risks associated with the auction process in mind. You may find that it suits your property-selling goals.

Benefits of Real Estate Auctions

One of the major reasons sellers seek the auction format is because it often allows them to dictate terms and conditions as well as a deadline. Selling for cash also allows sellers to move forward with their plans without delay once the sale is made. Since roughly 90% of auction sales close, there is every possibility that the deal transaction will close without a hitch–particularly with pre-approved buyers in attendance at the auction.

When it comes to complicated properties, many auction houses actually recommend the use of brokers. This provides sellers with the best of both worlds–the auction format coupled with the selling expertise of the realtors. Often sellers obtain great prices for properties they sell at auction–more than they expected. This is usually because buyers come prepared with a cap and may bid until they reach that cap.

Risks of Real Estate Auctions

While selling properties at auction often results in a great deal, it doesn’t always. There isn’t any guarantee that the price will be bid up by other interested parties. Also, sometimes bidders do not have the opportunity to have home inspections. Buying a home without an inspection is risky for the buyer, so the more inspection information you can present the better. Property sellers “have dozens of decisions and choices on both advisor sale terms and many auction formats.” (Source: “Commercial Real Estate Auctions in Soft Markets”, Heritage Global Partners) It’s important to weigh these considerations carefully. What is the minimum acceptable bid or can the property simply be let go to the highest bidder? These questions must be mulled over in advance.

Sellers who sell at auction have to rely on marketing. While a great auction firm often has regular clientele, some may not do all they can to market your auction. You may want to promote your upcoming sale online or at other venues in order to attract potential buyers to your sale.

Work with a Reputable Auction Firm

When you attend auctions hosted by reliable and respected auction houses, you’ll feel more comfortable about the process and may even find that some risks are mitigated. Many sellers find the auction route liberating. They can plan accordingly because they know what day they are selling their house. Working with a trusted auction firm with experience in real estate is essential for sellers who may be new to the action process.

These are a few of the pros and cons associated with selling a property at auction. Before you make your decision, talk to an auction house that can answer your specific questions and address all your needs.


“Brokers See Benefit of Auction Process”, National Real Estate Investor, http://nreionline.com/retail/brokers-see-benefit-auction-process