How to Find Auctions in My Area

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No matter what type of auction you seek, online and print-based publications list upcoming events in your area. Some auctions are advertised in classified ad and auction-listing sites and publications, while fundraising auctions designed to help a non-profit agency may be promoted with flyers or on the agency's website.

General Estate Auctions

Auctions to settle an estate may involve personal belongings, the contents of a home, farm or even the property itself. This type of auction is advertised in local newspapers in advance; many papers offer the same classified listings on their websites as well. Auction listings and ads include the name of the auctioneer; the auctioneer's website typically shows or lists some of the the items being sold at any given auction. Contact the auction company directly to find out about more auctions they manage, to be put on a mailing list or an email subscription, if the company has one.

Government Auctions

Government auctions, held by a local school district, police department, city hall or county administrations, occur when a government entity has surplus, unwanted or unneeded items. Everything from office furniture to overhead projectors and unclaimed bicycles may be found at government auctions. In some locales, auctions are held once or twice a year, while some organizations may hold auctions more frequently. Scan your local free weekly newspaper for news of upcoming government auctions, or look at the bulletin boards in local government buildings where public information is posted. Police auctions sometimes include vehicles and luxury items seized during arrests; these auctions are often advertised in local newspapers or by searching online for local government or police auctions.

Storage Auctions

Storage auctions occur at many storage facilities, although they may happen only once or twice a year at some facilities. At a storage auction, you bid on contents within a storage unit based on what you can see from the entrance to the unit, so you may not know exactly what you are bidding on. Check local classified listings or call local storage facilities to ask the date and time of the next auction. Ask a representative days in advance about rules and details for the auction, such as arriving ahead of time to sign in. Some storage auctions are heavily attended, so the competition may be intense.

Auction Houses

In some communities, auction houses host their own auctions on a regular basis, such as once a month or bi-weekly. Items at these auctions may be specialized, such as a toy auction, or include more general merchandise such as household belongings or antiques. Typically, an auction house allows you to look at and pick up items being offered before the auction begins. Visit the auction house's website or scan local auction listings in a local newspaper or online classified-ads site. Calling the auction house or auctioneer is another way to find out about upcoming public auctions run by the auction house or auctioneer.


About the Author

Kathy Adams is an award-winning journalist and freelance writer who traveled the world handling numerous duties for music artists. She writes travel and budgeting tips and destination guides for USA Today, Travelocity and ForRent, among others. She enjoys exploring foreign locales and hiking off the beaten path stateside, snapping pics of wildlife and nature instead of selfies.

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