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California Surplus Auctions Online: How to Get the Best Deals


Items available in the Southwestern College online surplus auction

If you’re a new business owner looking for office equipment, a company vehicle, or if you’re someone who just enjoys scouring the web for bargains on computers and other necessities, online surplus auctions are excellent sources to keep in mind.

Here are a few tips to help you get the best deals on items at California surplus auctions:

Be persistent. Just like anything in life, the more persistent you are in your goals, the more likely you will succeed. You have to apply the same mindset when it comes to winning at online surplus auctions. Research the different auctions that are available and subscribe to receive email updates when new auctions are posted.

Keep an eye on the items you want. Write down item number so you can quickly check on it every so often. If you’ve already placed a bid, then depending on the company that’s hosting the auction you may get an alert if someone has outbid you.

Stick to your budget. There’s a tendency to get emotionally involved when bidding on items, especially if it’s something you really want and it turns into a bidding war towards the end of the auction. Before you even start bidding, make sure to set a maximum price that you’re willing to spend on an item, otherwise you can end up spending much more than the item is worth.

Look for local surplus auctions in your city. Check online classifieds, the chamber of commerce or government agencies to find out if they hold auctions on a regular basis. Sometimes local surplus auctions are smaller so you won’t have as much competition when bidding on items. When registering on an auction site, make sure you understand their process and all the terms and conditions.

When people think of surplus auctions, they usually check the city agencies like police departments, but there are other agencies including universities and college school districts that hold auctions as well.

We host auctions on a regular basis for Southwestern College, which is part of the San Diego Community College school district. You can usually find deals on vehicles, computers, gym equipment, office furniture, supplies, and so much more. The current auction ends on Tues, September 1st, and if you’re in the San Diego area you can attend a preview day on Monday, August 31st from 9 am – 4 pm. Register to bid and browse the online catalog here.

Do you have any other tips to add when searching for deals at online surplus auctions?