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How to Buy From Government and Police Motorcycle Auctions

Without a doubt motorcycle auctions are great to acquire bikes at bargain prices below market value.  Most auctions have diverse selection of inventory from used motorcycles to nearly brand new ones that have been repossessed.

In the powersports industry, there are auctions that are open to the public and others that are closed to the public and require a dealer license.  For motorcycle buyers without a dealer license government seized auctions tend to be the best option. Government auctions are widely available all over the country featuring government seized motorcycles, ATVs, scooters, and dirt bikes from owners involved in illegal activities.

Government motorcycle auctions are held frequently and since the United States government is not in the motorcycle storage business you can get some excellent deals.  Remember government officials seize these bikes for free so their main concern is to get rid of them to prevent from paying storage fees.

If you’re interested in attending government motorcycle auctions here are some tips to help get you going:

1. Get To The Auction Early

On auction day you will definitely need time to pick out the bikes you are interested in and fully inspect them.  Be sure to bring an official check list for inspecting the bikes.  Be sure to inspect for scratches and make sure the VIN matches with the auction pamphlet. 

2. Bring Your NADA Guide or Kelly Blue Book

At auctions you will have educated people and people who know absolutely nothing about what a bike is worth.  So some motorcycles will get bid up way above the market value.  You want to be 100% sure you do not pay too much for a bike.  As a result, your NADA guide or Kelly Blue Book will be your best friend when bidding.  Make sure you set a max bid price on each bike you are going to bid on.

3. Check The Mileage On The Bike

Mileage highly impacts the value of a motorcycle.  If you see a bike in perfect condition yet the mileage is high you should adjust your max bid price to account for the high mileage.

4. Account For Buyers Premiums

Most government motorcycle auctions have a buyer’s premium of about 5% of the winning bid price.  Make sure you account for buyer’s premium when setting your max bids.  Many first time attendees are completely unaware of the buyer’s premium.

5. Have Your Cash Ready

If you are the winning bidder, you will normally have to supply a cashier’s check, money order or allow the auction house to do a transfer of the funds from your bank account.  Therefore, if you need financing you should have it lined up before heading to the auctions house.  Since most personal loans do not require a lien against the bike, you may want to consider this as a way to finance an auction purchase. 

6. Before You Buy Learn The Government Auction Process

It is recommended you attend a couple auctions observing and learning the process before you buy from an auction.  Ask the personnel a lot of questions and take notes of items you may need to remember. This can significantly help you avoid a mistake!

7. Don’t Just Settle For One Auction House 

There are tons of government auctions all over the USA.  Don’t just attend auctions at the same auction house.  Check out several of the different auctions in your area as this will help you find the best deals.

Buying a motorcycle at auction is a very fun experience and can help you get an extraordinary deal on a bike.  The above tips should help make your experience rewarding and hassle-free.

Related Resources:
Motorcycle Auctions