Even the public sector dabbles in the auction business

Filed under: Daily News,Focus |
The city has put its Vietnam War-era police helicopters up for auction on publicsurplus.com. The minimum bid is $170,000 each.

The city has put its Vietnam War-era police helicopters up for auction on publicsurplus.com. The minimum bid is $170,000 each.

Both the city of Colorado Springs and Colorado Springs Utilities moonlight as auctioneers.

The Colorado Springs Police Department auctions impounded vehicles on the third Saturday of each month at CSPD’s impound lot, 2725 East Las Vegas St.

There may be some good deals available, but these auctions are clearly not for the unsophisticated or unwary buyer.

According to the CSPD Web site,

“The public may view the vehicles from 7:00 A.M. to 9:00 A.M. the day of the auction. In order to bid on a vehicle, you must be registered with the Impound Lot before 9:00am on the day of auction. Registrations will not be processed after 9:00am.

“All vehicles must be paid for in full by 12:00 NOON, on auction day. The buyer must tow the vehicle out by 4:00 p.m. auction day with a tow bar, tow truck or trailer.

“The City of Colorado Springs issues only a Bill of Sale. Buyers must apply for title with the State of Colorado, who may issue or refuse title. You must be 18 years of age to attend or be accompanied by an adult. Vehicles are sold to the highest bidder for cash-in-hand.

“All vehicles will be sold AS-IS at the auction unless they are picked up by the registered owner or lienholder prior to the sale.”

About 75 cars, trucks, and trailers are scheduled to be sold at auction on Feb. 22. Most date from the 80s or 90s, and may or may not be in working condition.

But buyers might find at least two vehicles to be of interest, if the price is right.

There’s a 2009 Chevrolet Impala LT — potentially a nice ride for anyone! The other, which might be perfect for hauling dogs, kids, and groceries, is a 2006 Nissan X-terra. Both are described as “not salvaged,” but neither have keys. Better bring a trailer, a locksmith, or both.

While CSPD runs its own auctions, Colorado Springs Utilities and the city also outsource auction activities to an Internet-based company, publicsurplus.com.

Founded during 1999, the company specializes in auctioning surplus or unwanted items from public agencies.

It claims that its systems enable agencies nationwide to “manage their entire surplus inventory, while at the same time maintaining compliance with State regulations and policies.

“The system’s specific features allow for the reallocation or auctioning of surplus items without actual, or the appearance of: waste, favoritism or collusion.”

The company accepts anything that a client might wish to dispose of, including “mousetraps, portable classrooms, automobiles, buses, heavy equipment, shop equipment, kitchen equipment, athletic equipment, musical instruments, computers, printers, furniture, etc, etc. Almost everything listed sells, no matter how old or how odd.”

It’ll be interesting to see whether a couple of items that CSPD recently listed will sell. They’re described as “two OH-58C helicopters (acquired) from the Department of Defense in 1995.” Minimum bid: $170,000 each.

And if you’re the successful bidder, there are no guarantees or warranties of any kind — and you’re responsible for removing the aircraft.