As a private party, how do I buy surplus property for myself?

The state of Oregon's Surplus Property Program conducts sales of personal surplus property through our daily "General Store", as well as online on "eBay" and "GSAauctions".

General Questions

What exactly is Oregon Surplus Property?
Why do government agencies (including the state of Oregon) have surplus property? Why isn't it being used?
What happens to the property that is turned in?
What happens to the proceeds from the sale of surplus property?
What online venues does the state of Oregon use to sell surplus property?
How is the title and registration handled?
How long do I have to pay and pick up my item?
I have a problem in getting there to pay and pick up my items. Can I have an extension?

What happens if I cannot make the "7 days"?
The vehicle or item I bid on is significantly not as advertised. I was unable to inspect in-person. What can I do?
I drove from far away, stayed in a motel, etc. If the item is not as advertised at the time I pick up my item, will I be reimbursed for travel/lodging/meals?
Can I get maintenance records on a vehicle, either before or after the sale?
There is a problem with my item that was not disclosed. I still want the item. Can we negotiate a pro-rated settlement?
It seems your "Terms and Conditions" are quite strict. Is there any room for negotiation?
Is loading assistance available?

The "General Store"

The state of Oregon sells state-owned property?
When and where can I come in and purchase property?
What kind of things are in the General Store?
Are there any warranties on the items I purchase in the General Store?
Can I look online to see what is available in the General Store , or call to find out?
What types of payment can I use to purchase items in the General Store?


Online Sales-eBay

How can I purchase items on eBay?
Can I look at items I would be interested in bidding on before I place a bid?
I see where some items are not located at the warehouse in Salem, OR. Why?
Does the state of Oregon sell vehicles?
Are there any warranties or guarantees associated with the purchase of vehicles, or any other property made available to purchase?
Does Surplus Property allow test drives of vehicles before bidding?
If I purchase a vehicle, and two days later the engine blows up, would I have any recourse?
How is the title and registration handled?

Online Sales-GSAauctions

How do I purchase Federal property online?
How is it that the State has Federal property?
Where does this property come from?
Is this old worn out property?
How do I pay for my item (s) I win on GSAauctions?
How long do I have to pay for and pick up my GSAauctions item (s)?
I continue to bid on an item at the last minute, and the auction keeps extending (does not end)?
Can I inspect items available on GSAauctions before I decide to place a bid?
What do I do if there is a problem, such as a mis-description, or a hidden defect in the item I won on GSAauctions?

Q: What exactly is Oregon Surplus Property?
A: This is a state agency that is responsible for facilitating the reutilization and sale of personal property to other government agencies, non-profit organizations, and the general public.

Q: Why do government agencies (including the state of Oregon) have surplus property? Why isn't it being used?
A: There are many different reasons as to why an agency might turn in surplus property. Often times it can be because of an office closure, an office remodel, an obsolete piece of equipment that needs to be replaced, or that an item simply is not needed any longer (i.e., hiring a sub-contractor rather than performing the work themselves).

Q: What happens to the property that is turned in?
A: Property that is brought to the Surplus Property warehouse is first made available to other eligible government agencies to use in their respective programs. If the property isn't purchased by another agency, it is then made available to the public to purchase.

Q: What happens to the proceeds from the sale of surplus property?
A: The State Surplus Property Program keeps a small percentage of the proceeds from the sale of an item to completely fund the day-to-day operations of the program. The remainder of the proceeds are returned to the agency that turned the property in for us to sell. In this respect, the program operates much like a consignment shop.

Q: The state of Oregon sells state-owned property?
A: Not only does Surplus Property sell state owned property, but property owned by various cities, counties, school districts, special districts, and so on. 

Q: When and where can I come in and purchase property?
A: The daily "General Store" is open to the public 1-4:00 p.m., Monday-Friday, except holidays and statewide mandatory furlough days. This is a "cash and carry" store that is located at the Surplus Property Warehouse at 1655 Salem Industrial Drive NE in Salem, OR.

Q: What kind of things are in the General Store?
A:  The types of items in the General Store vary, but typically include items such as desks, file cabinets, office chairs, bicycles, book shelves, and packs of knives, to name a few. We often have items that are not well suited (or restricted from) selling online, or those that are typically either in high demand or in plentiful supply.

Q: Are there any warranties on the items I purchase in the General Store?
A: There are no warranties or guarantees on items purchased through the General Store.

Q: Can I look online to see what is available in the General Store , or call to find out?
A: No. The inventory changes daily, so by the time we posted something online, it would likely be sold. Also, Surplus Property staff is very limited, and unfortunately do not have the resources to check and see what is available.

Q: What types of payment can I use to purchase items in the General Store?
A: The state of Oregon accepts cash in person, Visa/MasterCard, or debit cards displaying the Visa or MasterCard logos. Unfortunately, we cannot accept personal or business checks.

Q: What online venues does the state of Oregon use to sell surplus property?
A: Currently, the Surplus Property uses two different venues: "eBay" is used to sell surplus "state" property, and "GSAauctions" is used for Federal "Donation" property.

Q: How can I purchase items on eBay?
A: First, you have to be registered on eBay. Once you are registered, you can bid on items that have been made available on "oregontrail2000" or "oregonmotors2000". Click here to get registered on eBay now.

Q: Can I look at items I would be interested in bidding on before I place a bid?
A: Yes. Viewing/inspection times are the same as the daily General Store hours; 1:00-4:00 Monday-Friday.

Q: I see where some items are not located at the warehouse in Salem, OR. Why?
A: It is not always possible or practical for agencies to transport items to Salem. In these cases, we can sell their items on-site. We will state exactly where the item is located, the property custodians name/phone number/email address, and the bidder would make arrangements to view and pick up the property where it sits.

Q: Does the state of Oregon sell vehicles?
A: Yes. These are items that are bid on through our eBay seller name "oregonmotors2000".

Q: Are there any warranties or guarantees associated with the purchase of vehicles, or any other property made available to purchase?
A: No. That is why we always recommend a personal inspection prior to placing a bid on any item offered for bid on oregonmotors2000 or oregontrail2000. A dissatisfied bidder will not have any recourse against the state of Oregon (or agencies we sell for). Items are sold "as is/where is" with no warrantees or guarantees.

Q: Does Surplus Property allow test drives of vehicles before bidding?
A; We don't. Due to liability issues, it is impossible for us to allow test drives of vehicles. Again, this is why we strongly urge an in-person inspection before placing a bid. Bidders can start the vehicle, kick the tires, slam doors....do anything except drive vehicles.

Q: If I purchase a vehicle, and two days later the engine blows up, would I have any recourse?
A: No. We not only sell vehicles for state agencies, but for other agencies as well. We have no historical knowledge (in some very rare instances, we may have the service records available) of vehicles we sell. Our descriptions are based on information supplied to us from the agency (if any), and general observations at the time of filming/describing. It is literally impossible for us to know all that is wrong or right with a vehicle.

Q: How is the title and registration handled?
A: When you pay for your vehicle, we will provide you the title for the vehicle, signed and ready for you to take to the DMV to be transferred into your name, and at your expense. We also have trip permits available if you decide you need one.

Q: How long do I have to pay and pick up my item?
A: A successful bidder has 7 calendar days to pay and pick up their items.

Q: I have a problem in getting there to pay and pick up my items. Can I have an extension?
A: No. If an item is paid for within the 7 day period, we may be able to work out an extended pick up time with prior authorization. But, as a general rule, 7 calendar days, no exceptions.

Q: What happens if I cannot make the "7 days"?
A: If items are not paid for and picked up after the 7 days, or paid for and not picked up, we may at our discretion resell your item, without any reimbursements made to you.

Q: The vehicle or item I bid on is significantly not as advertised. I was unable to inspect in-person. What can I do?
A: Let us know before you take possession of the item. If an item is indeed not as advertised, we
may be able to make arrangements to let you out of the sale. All bets are off if you leave with the item, then claim the item was not as advertised.

Q: I drove from far away, stayed in a motel, etc. If the item is not as advertised at the time I pick up my item, will I be reimbursed for travel/lodging/meals?
A: No. Any expenses incurred while picking an item up is solely at your discretion, and cannot/will not be refunded.

Q: Can I get maintenance records on a vehicle, either before or after the sale?
A: Very rarely do agencies provide us with these records. However, if they do, we will make them available to the successful bidder, as well as a potential bidder. If there are no records available, we can assist the bidder in locating the selling agency so that they can try and locate these records, if any are available.

Q: There is a problem with my item that was not disclosed. I still want the item. Can we negotiate a pro-rated settlement?
A: No. Unfortunately, there are only two options: Take the item with the deficiency, or we can let you out of the sale, depending on the severity of the discrepancy.

Q: It seems your "Terms and Conditions" are quite strict. Is there any room for negotiation?
A: On some things there are, on others there are not. This seems ambiguous, but some T's & C's are set in law, and some in policy. If you accidentally place an incorrect bid, let us know-we can fix it. If you have a question, let us know-we can answer it. If you have a problem with something, let us know-we would rather come to a mutually satisfying conclusion if we can. Our hands are completely tied on some issues. However, if there is a way to help the bidder out, we will do our best to accommodate them.

Q: Is loading assistance available?
A: Loading assistance is available for any item purchased at Surplus Property. We have many forklifts, docks and other tools at our disposal to assist with loading. We cannot, however, help customers secure their item. We strongly recommend bringing ropes, straps, chains, or whatever you need to secure your item. Surplus Property personnel can not provide materials for securing loads, or assist in securing loads.



Q: How do I purchase Federal property online?

A: You will need to register in GSAauctions to be able to bid on Federal property. Click here to go to GSAauctions now, and see the "Register" box at the right hand top of the page to register.



Q: How is it that the State has Federal property?

A: The State Property Distribution Center is a source of Federal "Donation" property. We bring in items that still technically belong to the Federal Government, and make it available to qualified agencies. If items do not sell within 1 year, we can make it available for purchase to the public on "GSAauctions".



Q: Where does this property come from?
A: This property can come from literally any Federal installation or subcontractor around the world. The Surplus Property Program typically screens property located at various military bases, NASA, and research facilities within the U.S.



Q: Is this old worn out property?
A: It can be, but not always. Some property made available for bidding may be used/worn, used/useable, an even items that have never been used.

Q: How do I pay for my item(s) I win on GSAauctions?
A: The confirmation information will be sent to you by GSAauctions. You will pay GSA directly for your items.



Q: How long do I have to pay for and pick up my GSAauctions item (s)?
A: You are required to pay for your GSAauctions item within 2 days of the auctions close, and pick up within 10 days.

Q: I continue to bid on an item at the last minute, and the auction keeps extending (does not end)?
A: Correct. In a traditional online auction, a bidder can place a last second bid (Snipe) and win the auction. With GSAauctions, the auction will run for approximately 5 days, and will continue to run in 10 minute increments, as long as bids are being placed. The auction will end when there are no more bids placed within that 10 minute time frame.

Q: Can I inspect items available on GSAauctions before I decide to place a bid?
A: Yes. Items are available for viewing 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. An appointment is strongly encouraged, but not required. All contact information will be included in the auction details.

Q: What do I do if there is a problem, such as a mis-description, or a hidden defect in the item I won on GSAauctions?
A: While this is a rare occurrence, it does happen from time to time. In that case, the bidder would need to contact us first to let us know the situation. Surplus Property personnel will then instruct the bidder to contact GSAauctions to assist in resolving issues. Surplus Property personnel is not authorized to make any adjustments regarding GSA property.

If there are any questions you need answered that have not been addressed here, please feel free to contact Surplus Property personnel by email, or by phone at 503-378-6020.