The General Services Administration (GSA) is the “business side” of the U.S. government. They were established over 50 years ago by President Truman. GSA manages all excess Federal assets. The website, GSA Auctions, is a way for GSA to get rid of these excess and surplus items. All items were purchased with Federal tax dollars and are auctioned off to the general public at reasonable starting bids. The public is allowed to bid on both single and/or multiple items. To bid, consumers must register on GSA Auction’s homepage. However, consumers do not have to register to simply browse their selection.
Most, if not all, of the items do not have the option to be shipped to you. Most of the items need to be picked up. If you cannot personally pick up your item that you won, you must provide a letter that states the name of the person you have authorized to pick up your item, the sale and lot number of the item, and your signature. The person picking up your item must present their photo id and your receipt of the item.
Most of the items sold on GSA Auctions are larger items (military equipment, vehicles, boats, helicopters, houses, trailers, etc.) at a very reasonable starting bid. They were owned previously by a government entity so all sellers can be trusted.
Their site is very straightforward and basic, which can be good for some consumers. They have a thorough FAQ section and a phone number and/or email in case any consumer has any questions.
It is completely free to browse and bid on items on their site.
You cannot list personal items on their site. So if you are looking to be a seller, this site is not for you. This is a big negative for many.
Being a government owned site, they have very strict guidelines on the whole process. Your credit may be checked in some cases and your account balances (for whatever payment you will be using) will be checked in all cases.
Unless mentioned otherwise, all items have to be personally picked up and removed from their site. This is a hassle, especially being that some of these items are very large and may be across the country.
The Bottom Line
GSA Auctions is a good site to browse and/or bid on larger items and properties for a low price. If you are looking to own and find unique pieces of American history, this would be the place to look. However, you cannot list personal items on this site. There are also many strict guidelines and fine print to understand before making any kind of purchase. For those reasons, we suggest checking out our most recommended auction sites for better options.