Frequently Asked Questions

Registration

Auction Processes

Proxy Bidding

Payment and Removal

Navigating the Auction Site

Accessibility

Security

Tax

Copyrights

Condition of Property

Q: How do I register to bid at GSAAuctions.gov?

A: You can setup a user account to login and bid on items at GSAAuctions.gov by clicking on the "Register" link on our homepage. The registration form contains several required information fields which you must complete to become a registered user. Please remember to make note of your username, password and password hint for future reference. You can view the items for sale without registering by utilizing the "Browse GSA Auctions" link, but you will need to login to bid.

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Q: I deleted my Registration email, how do I validate my account at GSAAuctions.gov?

A: When you try to login with your username GSA Auctions throws an alert stating your email address is not validated .When you click "OK" it takes you to a screen where you can request for a new registration confirmation email.In this email you will be provided with a link which will help you in activating your account.

If you forgot your username please re-register at GSAAuctions.gov; with a new Username.

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Q: I registered for GSAAuctions.gov; and now I forgot my password. What do I do?

A: From the GSAAuctions.gov; homepage, click on the "Login Help" link. You will be prompted to enter your username. On the next screen, you will be prompted to enter some information that you originally provided as part of the user registration process. It is important to enter this information correctly. If you have forgotten the information you provided when registering for GSAAuctions.gov;, you will need to create a new username and repeat the user registration process by going back to the homepage and clicking on the Register as a new user link.

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Q: Are there any Hints for expediting the registration process on GSA Auctions?

A: In an effort to assist customers in expediting the registration process, we have added drop-down menus to many of our required data entry fields on the registration page. Drop-down menus provide information from a list of available options including data such as country of origin, state/territory, and credit card information. Drop-down lists can be distinguished by a bold arrow pointing down on the right side of the selected fields.

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Q: I have received a confirmation message from GSA Auctions that I have successfully registered at GSA Auctions; however I cannot log into GSA Auctions. Why?

A: Once you have completed the registration with GSA Auctions, you will receive a GSA Auctions registration confirmation email. You must confirm receipt of this email by clicking on the link provided within the email message in order to activate your account before logging into GSA Auctions. If the link provided in the email message does not work, copy and paste the link into your web browser's "address" window and then press "Enter."

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Q: Why was my credit card charged at registration?

A: Registration is FREE on GSA Auctions. Your credit card number will only be used for verification purposes. GSA Auctions utilizes Pay.Gov, an electronic payment service, to facilitate user registration and process payments. Users are required to confirm their identities during registration by providing a valid credit card. Your credit card account will be checked to make sure that it is valid and has sufficient funds available to authorize the $1 amount. After 24 hours, the authorization for $1 will expire. You will notice a change in your available balance by $1 but the amount is never actually charged to your credit card account.

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Q: Can I use a P.O. Box address at registration?

A: Yes, a P.O. Box address will be accepted but you must provide a street address too. The street address must be entered in Address Line 1 field and your P.O. Box number in Address Line 2 field on the registration page.

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Q: I am an international resident, am I allowed to register on GSA Auctions?

A: Yes, as long as you have a TIN (SSN/EIN). A TIN is defined as an individual's Social Security Number (SSN) or a business entity's Employer Identification Number (EIN). In addition, you also need a valid credit card.

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Q: Why do I need to provide my credit card information at the time of registration?

A: In our continued commitment to provide the safest environment possible, GSA Auctions requires credit card validation for registering bidders on our online community. Credit card validation assists in the prevention of fraudulent registration and ensures that bidders are serious and prepared to accept responsibility for their bidding activity.

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Q: Is my personal information protected?

A: We are aware that you may have concerns over disclosing information. Your privacy is very important to us. GSA Auctions is fully committed to protecting your right to privacy within our on-line auction community. GSA Auctions does not market, sell, rent or otherwise release registered user information to third parties.

For site security purposes, GSA Auctions website uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) 128-bit encryption for all web communications. This encryption is the highest level of security possible for network communication, and ensures users that their user information such as credit card information and passwords will not be vulnerable to hackers via the Internet or physically via internet breaches. This service remains available to all user. This government computer system employs software programs to monitor network traffic and identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Unauthorized attempts to upload information or change information on this service are strictly prohibited.

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Q: I am an individual who would like to sell/post my personal items on GSA Auctions. How do I get started?

A: GSA is a Federal Agency that offers only government personal property to the general public. If you are a Federal or State Agency you can sell items on GSA Auctions too. If you are a private citizen interested in a website to post your personal items for sale, our authority does not include contracting with private companies and or clientele to assist in the disposal of nongovernment property, with exception of government contractor inventory. Therefore, we are unable to assist you with your personal sales.

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Q: How do I update my profile?

A: You can change your personal information on your profile by following the steps below:

  • Login to GSA Auctions
  • Click the "Preference" tab located at the top of the screen
  • Click the appropriate section listed on the left side where you need to update information
  • The information page selected will be displayed
  • Update the necessary data
  • Scroll to the end of the page and Press "Update"
  • For e-mail changes, you will receive a message to go to your new e-mail address and click on a validation link to complete the change

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Q: Can I delete my GSA Auctions account or change my GSA Auctions account from being registered as a company to an individual or vice versa?

A: No, you may not delete, cancel or change your account from being registered as a company to an individual or from an individual to a company. You will need to register with a new user name to bid as a company or individual, whichever is needed.

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Q: Can I use the same email address when registering at GSA Auctions as a company and an individual for both accounts?

A: Yes, you can use the same email address for both a company and individual account.

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Q: The auction ended and I thought I was winning, but the current bid shows the text "Reserve Not Met." What does this mean?

A: GSA Auctions.gov; placed a reserve price on the item and is not willing to sell for less than that. Therefore, a trade was not completed for the auction. However, since the reserve price is not disclosed, the owning agency reserves the right to accept the highest bid rather than re-offering it for sale.

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Q: Why does the auction's close time change?

A: Certain auctions are designed to extend if there is bidding activity. See the bidding rules for details on the auction's close time.

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Q: What happens if I win an auction?

A: You will receive an e-mail message from GSAAuctions.gov; that will detail payment terms and pickup/delivery instructions.

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Q: Why are auctions terminated?

A: It may be necessary to withdraw items from bidding due to technical errors or uncontrollable circumstances. Auctions may be terminated because the property is no longer available due to federal agency or state needs. Additionally, property could become damaged, stolen, or improperly described on the site. In most cases, these items will be re-offered at a later date.

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Q: I paid the liquidated damages I owed; why does GSA Auctions still show that I am in default?

A: If you paid GSA using a credit card for liquidated damages you owed, it can take up to 4 business days to process this payment and clear your GSA Auctions account. Please be advised that liquidated damage payments paid by credit cards are processed by GSA's Finance office on Thursday of each week (excluding holidays). We understand that this is an inconvenience and would prefer that these restrictions did not exist; however, these processing time frames are not within our control, so we ask that you avoid if at all possible, incurring liquidated damages.

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Q: I have already provided credit card information to GSA Auctions when I registered; why do I need to give credit card information again when paying for an item?

A: The credit card information you provide at registration is used strictly for validation purposes. GSA Auctions does not automatically charge credit cards on file, and does not assume that the credit card you used for validation at registration is the one you will choose to use to pay for an item won by you in an auction. The forms of payment available to customers can be found at http://www.gsaauctions.gov, and must adhere to the Sale Terms and Conditions as set forth in the IFB. If you choose to use the same credit card to pay for your purchase that you used to register, you will be able to choose this option without reentering the credit card information. If you choose to use a different credit card, you will be required to enter the new credit card information during the payment process.
It is important to note that once a bid is accepted as the successful bid, the bidder is under contract to pay for and remove the item(s) from the facility within the time period specified in the Sale Terms and Conditions. Failure to pay for or remove all awarded items, or all items within a lot within the timeframe specified, could result in termination of your contract. You also may be subject to paying liquidated damages, an administrative fee for the processing and re-handling of the item for which you neglected to pay for and/or remove. If you fail to pay for or remove the property, GSA shall be entitled to retain (or collect) the following liquidated damages (see fee structure below):

Purchase Price
Fee Assessed
<$325.00
Fee will equal to the award amount
$325.00 - $100,000.00
Fee will be $325.00
>$100,000.00
Fee will be equal to 5% of the award amount

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Q: As a registered user of GSA Auctions, why am I blocked from bidding?

A: In the event a registered user of GSA Auctions provides false information or defaults for non-payment or non-removal, he/she will lose all rights to place bids for other items. A blocked bidder will only be allowed to "browse" items available at GSA Auctions. Once a bidder cures his/her default, he/she will be removed from blocked status and given access to begin bidding on available items.

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Q: Why does the auction close time change?

A: The auction close time could change due to either (a) Extensions due to inactivity logic or (b) Extensions due to technical difficulties. (a) Extensions due to inactivity logic: The auction close time can change due to the “inactivity period” which is displayed under “bidding details” and refers to the amount of time that must pass without bidding before the auction is over. The auction will close in one of two ways: Either at its actual scheduled close time, or after the inactivity period e.g. For a sale with scheduled close time of 5:00PM CT and inactivity time set up of 10 minutes, say a bid (flat or proxy) is put in at 4:59PM CT (1 minute before the scheduled close time) so the auction will be extended until 5:09PM CT. This can go on for hours, even days until the inactivity period has completed without bidding. Modifying your proxy bid during the inactivity period will also reset the time of the auction.(b) Extensions due to technical difficulties: Another reason an auction’s close time may change is when technical problems occur and interrupt the bidding process for an unspecified amount of time. These interruptions may affect some or all bidders. In the event of an interruption, an evaluation of the length of interruption time and the numbers of bidders affected may prompt GSA Auctions to extend the closing time for an auction. Extension may range from 1 hour to 24 hours based on the aforementioned criteria, to ensure fair and full competition.

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Q: How will I know if the auction is closed?

A: A. Sale information is visible on item description page. A sale is considered closed when close time is displayed followed by text “(closed)” e.g. Close Time: 11/22 11:58 AM CT (Closed). On the Item description page, we also display time remaining (countdown clock). Once the countdown clock goes down to 0 the system will automatically refresh the browser page once. Next to the “time remaining,” it will either (a) state the new remaining time after sale extension or (b) state nothing which could mean either (i) the sale is about to close, (ii) or there has been a bid placed by an opponent within mega-seconds before the auction had ended, and therefore the system has not acknowledged the opponent’s bid as fast as your browser is refreshing. The inactivity period is now in place and you can continue to bid.

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Q: What happens if I win an auction?

A: A. You will receive an e-mail message from GSAAuctions.gov; that will detail payment terms and pickup/delivery instructions. Please do not base your award status in the auction under “bidding history” because the auction could still be active but your browser has not been manually refreshed.

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Q: I think I was the winner of a GSA Auction item but I didn't receive an award email notice, who should I contact?

A: Before contacting the GSA Regional Office that sponsored the sale (noted below the item description, accessible under closed auctions), please ensure that you do not have email blockers or SPAM filters installed on your computer that would prevent an award email from reaching you. The firewalls of some servers may block or classify our emails as junk/trash and may prevent them from being delivered. If you are concerned that this may occur, you can add our e-mail address GSAAuctions.GSACentralOffice@gsa.gov to your list of sources from which you are able to receive mail.
Remember, that you have a binding contract with government and you are still responsible to fulfill your contractual obligation to which you agreed to in the Online Sales Terms and Conditions, which state:
Acceptance Period
By marking the required box at the end of the online sale terms and conditions during registration and submitting a bid, the bidder agrees to the Terms and Conditions of sale and to pay for and remove the property by the dates and times specified in the contract award email notification, if the bid is accepted.
You may be placed in default if you fail to comply with the terms of sale and a "failure to receive notice" will be an insufficient excuse for dismissing your default.
An award will be listed as a "winning bid" in the My Trades section of your GSA Auctions account. You might also consider signing up for interim notices regarding your bidding status that are sent out during the sale (also sent via email, so unblocking filters is a must).

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Q: I placed a bid within the final seconds of the auction and it was rejected, how could this be?

A: Due to browser delays and potential high volumes of bidding activity, it is not advised to wait until the final seconds to place a bid. Your bid might not be placed in time and could be rejected.

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Q: Can I change my proxy bid limit?

A: You may replace your proxy bid limit with a higher or lower proxy bid limit provided that the amount is greater than or equal to the minimum bid required by the system. The minimum bid is the current winning bid plus the amount of the bid increment.

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Q: Can I replace my proxy bid with a flat bid or my flat bid with a proxy bid?

A: If you have a proxy bid placed in the system and wish to place a flat bid, the flat bid will cancel your proxy bid limit. Additionally, your flat bid must be greater than or equal to the minimum bid required by the system. The minimum bid is the current winning bid plus the amount of the bid increment. You may replace your flat bid with a proxy bid. While your proxy bid limit must be greater than or equal to the minimum bid required by the system, your current winning bid will remain the same.

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Q: Why did I win the auction at my proxy bid limit when it appears the previous bid was significantly lower than my proxy bid limit?

A: This happens when an opposing bidder is also bidding by proxy. Although you do not see a bid placed at his/her limit, the opposing bidder's proxy bid limit was high enough to force your proxy bid to the limit.

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Q: I placed a proxy bid and at the end of the auction my bid jumped to a higher amount. Why?

A: This is a case where the current price of the auction was less than the reserve price but a proxy bid was higher than the reserve price at auction close. The item was therefore awarded at the reserve price to the individual who had a proxy bid higher than the reserve price. This is valid since a proxy bid implies that the bidder is willing to pay up to his/her maximum bid.

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Q: What is the difference between a proxy bid and a flat bid?

A: Proxy bidding is the ability to submit the maximum amount that a bidder is willing to pay for an item and to allow the system to incrementally bid on the bidders behalf up to the maximum amount entered. A flat bid is the lowest (minimum) bid that a bidder can place. Any increase or counteroffer of bidding using the flat bid method must be manually submitted by the bidder.

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Q: How do I cancel my bid?

A: You cannot cancel your bids. If an auction does not close for several days, it is likely that you will be outbid. If you placed a proxy bid, you can reduce your proxy bid to the current high bid plus bid increment so that you are less likely to be the high bidder by the end of the sale. In cases of extremely abnormal circumstances, you should contact the regional Sales Contracting Officer at the location listed at the bottom of the item description page to advise them of any circumstances that would warrant such a request.

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Q: How Are Tie Bids Resolved in GSA Auctions?

A: If a bidder places a bid with the same proxy bid amount as another bidder, the previous (first) bidder will have the winning bid since their bid was placed first. Both bids are recorded with the same amount, displaying the first bidder with the same amount as winning, until another bidder bids higher.

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Q: I modified my proxy bid during the inactivity period and the auction extension time reset. If a bid was not actually placed, why did the auction time reset?

A: A proxy bid is a bid. Modifying your proxy bid during the inactivity period is considered activity during the bidding process, and although it may not change the current bid, modifying the proxy bid to a higher or lower number indicates a new amount that you are willing to pay, and the system will bid on your behalf when/if an opposing bid is placed.

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Q: Can I pay online?

A: You can pay online via the “My Summary” option. Online payments are utilized by Pay.gov, which is a secure government-wide payment collection portal and transaction engine created and managed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Financial Management Service (FMS).

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Q: How do I pay online?

A: You will need to log into GSA Auctions with your login name and password. Once logged into GSA Auctions, you will click on the “My Summary” tab at the top of the screen. Then you will click on “Trades”. A listing of auctions awarded to you will be listed. Next to each auction to the left of the screen will be a “Pay Now” button. You will click on this button next to each item to process your credit card payment.

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Q: I have received a confirmation email message from GSA Auctions that I have been awarded an item, how and where do I make payment?

A: Payment is restricted to the following instruments: U.S. currency (no greater than $10,000); bank cashier's check; credit union cashier's check issued by a Federal or State chartered Credit Union; U.S. Postal Service or commercial money order; travelers' checks; official checks; properly endorsed United States Federal, State, or local government checks; Personal or company checks accompanied by a bank letter of guarantee; MasterCard, Visa, Discover/Novus, and American Express processed manually or online through the Department of Treasury's Pay.Gov™ or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or Wire Transfer (WT). Certified checks, bank drafts and debit cards with dollar limitations and/or requiring a PIN number, are NOT acceptable. All checks and money orders must be made payable to the General Services Administration.

If you are paying by personal or company check, the check will only be accepted when accompanied by a bank letter guaranteeing payment. This letter must be on bank letterhead and must state (1) that payment is guaranteed, (2) that the guarantee is valid for 30 days after the bid opening date, and (3) that the guarantee covers the purchase of U.S. Government personal property only. The letter must be dated, include the bidder's name, the amount the guarantee is for, date of sale and signed by a bank official authorized to guarantee payment.

Your payment, if not processed through the online payment option, MUST be processed through the Personal Property Sales Office responsible for the item awarded to you. This information is provided in the confirmation email message from GSA Auctions that you received when awarded the item. The email message will have an item link to view your winning item and the Personal Property Sales Office address, commercial phone number and fax number where your payment is required, as well as the email address for information. At this link, you can also obtain the custodian's name, address, commercial phone and fax number to make the arrangements to remove the item. If you receive errors when clicking on this link, please copy and paste the URL into your web browser or go directly to GSAAuctions.gov. Also, the Personal Property Sales office can be located on the long item description page at GSA Auctions for each item.

If paying via EFT/WT, go to the Payment Options tab located at the top right of the GSA Auctions home page. Select the EFT/WT form. As the bidder/customer, you must provide information in TAGS 1510 & 6000 and present the form to your financial institution. Upon presenting the form to your banking institution, they will do the rest and send the wire information to the address on this form. As the designated bidder/customer, you must request information on this form be sent along with your wire. Failure to provide the information in the prescribed format may cause a delay in the notification of funds transfer to the designated agency. Send wire information to:

Heartland Finance Center
Federal Reserve Bank of NY
33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045

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Q: What happens to my bid deposit if my bid is not the winning bid?

A: In the event you have submitted a bid deposit for an auction and was not awarded the item, the deposit will be returned to you via FedEx or Certified Mail within (2) business days after the sale closes by the GSA Regional Sales Office who offered the item.

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Can I use a debit card to pay for an item(s)?

A: Yes, if the card has a MasterCard, VISA, Discover, or American Express logo. We do NOT accept debit cards with dollar limitations and/or a PIN number.

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What forms of payment are accepted for bid deposits?

A: The form of payment is normally indicated within the Item Description located on the Item Description Page. For Personal Property, the Sales office will accept Cashier’s Checks, and in some instances personal checks and/or other government checks. For Real Property, acceptable forms of payment vary between the following: bank checks and cash. Each Sales office is different, so you should reference the Item Description page first to find out what form of payment is being accepted before sending in your bid deposit.

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Q: If I am paying for an item by check or money order, who should it be payable to?

A: All checks and money orders must be made payable to the General Services Administration.

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Q: What happens if I refuse to pay for or remove an item that I purchased on GSA Auctions?

A: Failure to pay for or remove all awarded items, or all items within a lot within the timeframe specified, could result in termination of your contract. You also may be subject to paying liquidated damages, an administrative fee for the processing and re-handling of the item for which you neglected to pay for and/or remove. If you fail to pay for or remove the property, GSA shall be entitled to retain (or collect) the following liquidated damages (see fee structure below):

Purchase Price
Fee Assessed
<$325.00
Fee will equal to the award amount
$325.00 - $100,000.00
Fee will be $325.00
>$100,000.00
Fee will be equal to 5% of the award amount

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Q: If I am the successful bidder for an auction, can someone else remove the property on my behalf after payment is received?

A: Yes. In order to have someone else remove the property you have purchased from GSA, you must provide a letter of authorization. The letter must state (1) the name of the person you are authorizing to pickup the property, (2) the sale and lot number of the item, and (3) must be signed by you, the purchaser. In addition to the letter of authorization, the person must present a photo id, and a signed Purchaser’s Receipt and Authority to Release Property to verify proof of purchase prior to removal; otherwise removal will not be permitted.

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Q: Can I get my SF97, The United States Government Certificate to Obtain Title to a Vehicle, issued in my business/company name if I am registered as an individual?

A: No. Bidders wanting the SF97 issued in their business/company name MUST register as a company. The way you register determines how your information is displayed on sales paperwork; either your name and address as an individual, or your name, company name and address as a business/company. Changes will not be permitted after award. If you wish to participate as an individual and a representative of a company, you must register separately for each and place bids accordingly.

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Q: I was awarded a boat/vessel (65 feet or longer) and wish to register it, who/where can I register my vessel?

A: For more information on Boat/Vessel documentation/registration, you can visit the web site at: http://www.uscg.mil/hq/cg5/nvdc or you may contact thet National Vessel Documentation Center at 702 T.J. Jackson Drive, Falling Water, WV 25419.

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Q: What browser can I use to access the GSA Auctions.gov; web site?

A: A matrix of supported Browsers and Operating Systems can be found on the Supported Browsers page. If you are using an old or unsupported browser, we recommend you upgrade to the latest version to fully enjoy GSA Auctions.gov; and other Internet sites.

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Q: How do I view the items for sale on GSA Auctions.gov;?

A: From the GSA Auctions.gov; homepage, click on the "Browse GSA Auctions" link to view the complete catalog of items currently for sale on our site. You can click on any of the categories to get a listing of the items available in that category, broken down by state. Please be aware that while browsing the auctions, you will not be able to bid. Registration and login are required to bid on items.

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Q: Why does a little red x appear where a picture normally should be at times when using Microsoft Internet Explorer?

A: Network connectivity problems cause images to disappear at times. To show the picture, right click on the image placeholder and click "Show Picture." This should make the image appear.

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Q: Why do I occasionally get a "Page has expired" page when using the back button?

A: Because GSA Auctions.gov; uses dynamically generated data on many pages, the system tells your browser to "expire" the page as soon as you browse to another page. Thus, utilizing your browser's back button results in an error notifying you that the page has expired. In general, the back button should not be used since it displays cached pages and may not show the most recent data. Instead, click on the button that looks like an up arrow.

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Q: What should I do if I get an "HTTP 500 - Internal Server Error" message in an orange box in my browser?

A: This is an internal server error. Detailing the page where the error occurred, what you clicked on before receiving the error, and the time and date that the error occurred will greatly assist us in determining the problem.

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Q: What should I do if I get a "Certificate of authority has expired" error?

A: If you are using a Netscape browser older than version 4.06, or Internet Explorer version 4.01 browser for the Macintosh, GSA Auctions.gov; recommends that you download a newer version of these browsers. This is because they contain Certificate Authority certificates that expired at the end of 1999 (these certificates are what enable you to access web services securely with your communication encrypted). Due to the expired certificate within your browser, any attempt to access a secure site will result in an online warning. Newer versions of the popular browsers resolve this issue. Additional information on the latest versions of the supported browser can be found on the Supported Browsers page.

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Q: Why do I receive a "Your session has timed out" error when I am attempting to log into the site?

A: GSA Auctions.gov; requires that the use of per-session cookies. These cookies are cached only while you are visiting GSA Auctions.gov; and are deleted from the cache when you log out from the site and exit your browser. Please see the Supported Browsers page for instructions on enabling per-session cookies.

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Q: How do I refresh a page to ensure that I am looking at the most up to date information?

A: Use the browser's Refresh function (F5 key) to get up to date information. By using the browser's Refresh function, the system will refresh the page you are viewing and retrieve the latest information.

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Q: I've brought up an item's details page and want to go back to the list of auctions but cannot without re-doing the search or re-navigating to the auctions. How do I go back to the list?

A: Use the up arrow that is next to the bid button to go back to the list of auctions. To return to the main categories page, click on the "Auctions" tab or the "Back to top" link and you will be sent to the main categories page.

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Q: What do I need if I encounter a gray application Error Message Screen?

A: Record the error message on the screen and email the error message and a brief account of how you encountered the application error and email it to gsaauctionshelp@gsa.gov. To resume activity on GSA Auctions, close your browser window, open a new browser window and go to www.gsaauctions.gov to login again.

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Q: What are Crashed Test Vehicles?

A: These are passenger cars, light trucks and school buses used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to conduct various compliance and experimental crash tests related to motor vehicle safety. After completion of testing, they are reported to GSA for sale. These vehicles are described as “destroyed in testing”, “not repairable for highway use”, and “salvage sale only”. Buyers of these vehicles will be required to sign a Disclaimer Statement.

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Q: How do you view closed auctions?

A: From any page on GSA Auctions, you can select Closed Auctions from the Browse Auctions drop-down menu at the top of the website. You are able to view auctions that have closed during the last 2 years. To find your item without scrolling, just type the item's Sale-Lot Number (A1FBPI07039701 for example) in the Search box and click the Search button. You may also search on the Item Name and Item Description to narrow your closed auctions results.

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Q: Why don't you display the reserve price?

A: GSA has made a conscious decision not to make our reserve price public in an effort to maximize the return on investment (Tax Payers dollars). The reserve price is the lowest price the agency is willing to accept for the item. If the reserve price is not met, we are not obligated to sell the item.

And while GSA is not obligated to sell an item if it does not meet the reserve price, we may elect to do so anyway. Remember, an agency may be attempting to recover its cost to replace the item, but to the general public the item may be of little or no usage. A reserve is ideally what we would like to have, but as you know, often the market dictates the true value of an item. Many times a high reserve price may deter bidders who might otherwise engage in bidding, and we definitely want to promote equitable and open competition.

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Q: Is GSAAuctions.gov accessible to people with disabilities?

Section 508 generally requires Federal agencies to ensure that their procurement of Electronic and Information Technology takes into account the needs of all end users – including people with disabilities. Any assistive technology, must be designed so that an end user can operate the product, without having to modify it

GSAAuctions.gov is committed to providing access to all individuals—with or without disabilities—seeking information on GSAAuctions.gov. To provide this information, GSAAuctions.gov has been built to comply with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (as amended). Section 508 requires that all individuals with disabilities (whether federal employees or members of the general public) have access to and use of information and data, comparable to that provided to individuals without disabilities, unless an undue burden would be imposed on us.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader, eye tracking device, voice recognition software, etc.) and have difficulty accessing information on GSAAuctions.gov, please contact GSAAuctions.gov and provide the URL (web address) of the material you tried to access, the problem you experienced, and your contact information. A GSAAuctions.gov team member will contact you and attempt to provide the information you're seeking.

Q: Some custodial facilities have secured entrances/lobbies that do not allow us to use their phone to call the custodian upon our arrival, what do we do if we do not have a cell phone?

A: Please make sure you communicate this to the custodian when planning the pickup of your item(s). It is urged that you find out security’s phone policy in advance to ensure you do not have issues when proceeding through security and the removal process or have access to a phone to make contact with the custodian when arriving at the property location.

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Q: Do I have to pay sales tax or a buyer’s premium on anything I buy on GSA Auctions?

A: The U.S. Government is not responsible for collection of State taxes. Sales tax is not on any items you purchase; successful bidders on GSA Auctions only pay for the high bid amount that they are awarded. Sales tax is an issue handled by each state, especially for items that have to be registered, such as vehicles. You will not be charged a buyer’s premium. However, purchasers of Federal personal property may be subject to payment of state sales and/or use tax and may obtain information from a State tax office. Sales and/or use tax officials are permitted to examine records of Federal personal property sales to determine tax liability.

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Q: Can I copy pictures from a sale posted on GSA Auctions and re-use them to advertise on my website?

A: Any person wanting to copy and re-use photo(s) from the GSA Auctions website must take it upon themselves to find out about the copyright of the photo(s). We make no representations or warranties about photos we've used. Some photos we may own, and others we may be using with permission.

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Q: There is a condition code assigned to the property I want to bid on. What are the different condition codes along with their meaning?

A: A Condition Code is a code assigned by the owning agency which is used to designate the serviceable condition of that item. They are as follows:

Condition Code
Condition Code Meaning
1
New/Used
4
Usable/Good Condition
7
Repairs Needed
S
Scrap
X
Salvage

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Q: What is the invitation for bids (IFB)?

A: The IFB is a publication that contains the information you need in order to make a bid for a property. Each property for sale has its own unique IFB and constitutes the Government’s contract. The contract becomes binding on the parties upon acceptance of your bid. It provides the location of the property, property description, maps, pictures, general terms of the sale, bidding instructions and any special terms of the sale. The IFB also contains the official bid forms for purchase of the property and specifies the required deposit to participate in an auction. Any additional questions you have regarding the property or how to bid can be answered by calling the Realty Specialist listed in the IFB.

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Q: Where is the property located and when can I look at it?

A: Surplus Government Real Estate may be located anywhere in the United States and in U.S. Territories. GSA sales include every type of real estate, in both rural and urban areas, including homes, vacant land, office buildings, military installations, and lighthouses. GSA specializes in real estate that was once used for Federal Government missions and is therefore usually commercial type properties. The IFB contains information on how to get to the property and when and how the property can be inspected. The IFB also tells you the name of the Realty Specialist who is handling the property and his/her phone number where they can be reached for any questions not answered in that IFB.

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Q: How much are you asking for this property?

A: Law and regulation requires GSA to obtain the Fair Market Value (FMV) for each parcel of real estate it sells. Each property is different so there is no set price for all of our properties. Only the high bidders are considered for award in GSA sales and each high bid is compared to FMV. If the bid is at or higher than GSA's FMV the property is generally awarded to that high bidder. GSA's FMV is proprietary information and is never made available to the public to prevent influencing bidders. Bidders must perform their own due diligence and are encouraged to contact local real estate professionals to help them make a bid that they are comfortable with.

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Q: What is the appraised value of the property?

A: As a matter of policy, GSA does not release any information regarding the appraisal of the property being sold. This information is considered proprietary and for GSA internal uses only. In addition, neither the appraised value nor the appraisal reports are subject to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The prospective buyer is encouraged to seek out the opinions of local real estate professionals when considering purchase of a property.

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Q: Are GSA properties sold at discounted prices?

A: No, GSA is required to obtain Fair Market Value for property sold to the public. Sales are competitive and only High Bidders are given consideration for award of sale.

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Q: Is there a starting bid?

A: Yes, starting bids are used to establish the bidding process. A starting bid, however, may or may not correspond with appraised Fair Market Value. If there is only one bid placed at the starting bid, GSA may not accept that bid. Thus, the starting bid should not be confused with a minimum bid. GSA always reserves the right to refuse any and all bids.

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Q: Is there a reserve price?

A: Usually there is no reserve price on real property that GSA sells. However, if a reserve price is determined appropriate, bidders will be informed at realestatesales.gov if the reserve is met or not. For additional assistance on this issue, please contact the Realty Specialist identified in the IFB or listing.

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Q: Is a Registration Deposit required?

A: Yes, a Registration Deposit is usually required to be paid prior to being allowed to bid. The amount required is specified in the Invitation for Bids for each property. Depending on the specific auction you may be able to use a credit card or you will need to send the appropriate Registration Deposit with your bidder registration forms to register as a bidder. Written instructions are provided in the IFB about how to make your bid and the address of the GSA Real Property Utilization and Disposal office that you must submit your deposit to before you can place a bid.

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Q: If my bid is not the highest, how can I find out who the high bidder was and when do I get my Registration Deposit back?

A: If you were not the high bidder, we make every effort to refund your Registration Deposit to you timely after the date the conclusion of an auction. GSA sales are public and the name, city and state of the highest bidder, once determined, can be obtained by contacting the GSA Real Property Utilization and Disposal office that conducted the sale.

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Q: How do I find out if I was the highest bidder?

A: If your bid was the highest bid received and if the bid has met all the criteria required and will be accepted the Realty Specialist will contact you to let you know. This will occur soon after the conclusion of auction.

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Q: Do you offer financing?

A: You will need to make arrangements to get your own financing for the purchase. After the date of acceptance, there will be an established closing time, as specified in the Invitation for Bids, in which to send in your final payment to close the sale. More information regarding the closing of the sale will be found in the Invitation for Bids. You may contact the Realty Specialist handling the sale for any further information or arrangements.

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Q: Is the highest bid always accepted?

A: Not necessarily. GSA reserves the right to refuse any and all bids and/or to accept an offer in the Government's best interest and sometimes other factors, besides the bid price, are considered.

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Q: If I am the successful bidder, do I receive a deed?

A: Yes. After accepting a high bid, GSA generally issues a Quitclaim Deed to the high bidder when they provide full and final payment for the purchase price of a property sold.

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