Auctioneers share best practices for earning government contracts

Conducting government surplus auctions can be a hassle.

An Auctioneer must adhere to complex procedures, and there are plenty of hoops to jump through.

But still, with so many government entities looking to raise cash these days, now might be a good time to think about venturing into the field.

“Every county in the nation, every city in the nation has surplus to sell,” says Billy Burke of The Auctionarium Inc., Rancho Mirage, Calif.

“The government sells billions in surplus items every year, and over 3 million parcels of real estate are sold at tax sale auctions each and every year.”

The federal government sells tons of materials, but it tends to “bundle” those items into big lots, so opportunities for the typical Auctioneer might be limited, Burke says.

“The best odds of landing a government contract for the (NAA Auctioneer) is to bid on local government opportunities that are similar to the size and scope of auctions they are currently conducting,” he says.

Start by scouring websites to find out what is available at the state, county and municipality level and learn how to register as a vendor, Burke advises.

On state websites, look under “secretary of state” or “procurement” for information about auctions, and contact the purchasing division at state, county and city levels.

There are services that will monitor the Web for you, but they’re probably not worth the $30 to $300 monthly cost, Burke says.

Check out tips on getting government business in the June/July issue of Auctioneer.

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Filed under Auction Industry, Auction marketing, Auctioneer magazine, NAA Members

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