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Gov surplus auctions are often a SCAM, shady, underhanded! Need suggestions!

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posted on Feb, 23 2018 @ 06:59 PM
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I have been buying items through govdels.com and had a major problem a few years back but am trying them again.
Most recently they had an item listed, I was the top bid and 90 mins before closing the item was pulled by the seller due to lack of interest. The item was listed for 3 weeks and it was a very good deal and I spent 20+ hours lining up buyers for quantites of the product and at the last minute theu pull the auction with NO REASON posted!! They say that it is in the TOS, but I know it wasn't there when I signed up, so it has been added recently which is underhanded and BS. The sale was for 9 tons of a product that sells for $4 -$100 per lb ($100 when sold in 15 - 45grams increments) and people also buy in 5, 10, 20, 40, 55, 100lbs & 1 ton lots, so it would ahve been easy to sell. I'm most upset about the time I wasted preparing buyers for this product and want to know if there is any recorse. I'd like to sue them in court somehwere, as they are across state lines, I think this is fraud and there are A LOT of complaints of similar actions by them. Many people sayt that they have shill bidders (people bidding for the site to bump up prices which has been prosecuted under the RICO act a few times).

The first problem with GovDeals.com was when I found a college right outside of DC that was selling 12 pallets of servers, laptops and networking equipment (total of about 50 servers) and they were all pulled in working order and were in same configuration in which they were purchased (this means same RAM, HD, CPU, extension cards, etc. I looked at all the pictures and got the service tag numbers for the Dell's, HP's and Cisco equipment. All the Dell servers had 32 or 64Gb or ECC RAM (best for servers, expensive at this time) and 3.0Ghz quad core Xenon's (2 in each machine). This was the configuration in over 30 servers and the pictures of

the inside showed all the RAM and CPU's, PCI-E cards (some REALLY expensive like 40Gbps ethernet cards, or original PCI-E SSD cards 1TB in size!!) in the machine. I called the IT department and they told me "all equipment was pulled from the rack, in complete original configuration and 100$ working, and placed on the pallet. This is when the pictures were taken).

I rented a truck to drive 4 hours and arrainged for 3 strong guys to help move it all into the truck. With the 4 of us working as fast as possible, we barely got done before the next appt arrived for pickup. All in all there must have been 800+ pieces of equipment being picked up and we were given 1 hour for pickup with no help from the warehouse. It would hav been impossible to look at each piece of equipment.

When I got home I realized that over 1/2 of the servers were missing their RAM, CPU, PCI-E cards, Hard drives, basically anaything inside the machine. This was done by someone who knew what they were supposed to take and took well over $50,000K worth of hardware and made these servers bascially worthless or if I split hardware from the other servers and put it in these, the price for the others would fall drastically and no longer be standouts in the resale market making the sale a breeze for the price (selling a $20,000 machine for $12,000 just to move it was great business but splitting the hardware turned them into $12,000 servers and there were thouseands of those for sale at discounted prices like $4,000-7,000 - it just really cut down on profitability).

I was irrate because I had a feeling this was done in the warehouse b/c the "manager" was always watching and hovering over the shoulder and asking odd questions. He threw in some free laptops from another lot and some laptop bags (all of it was junk really) as it seemed he was trying to be my friend and it just felt really off, I didn't know why at the time. So I estimated that I was missing at least $50,000 in hardware, probably 3x that much if sold for higher end pricing on used items (which this stuff could have been sold for, it looked brand new and have very little hours on it (18 months use and about 2 months total on time)

I calledl the campus police and told them about the situation and said I think someone in the wareshouse stole from the auction lot and they then seemed more interested in interrogating me about WHY I bought this, if I had a criminal record, who was I planning on selling this to, did I have buyers lined up, and all kinds of odd questions that didn't have anythign to do with the missing items. I called GovDeals and had to leave emails telling them what happened and after 20+ emails, not one response and there was NO WAY to contact anyojne on the site except fro the chat feature and these seem to be some mimimun wage staff that know nothing except the basics. They DID drop my account back into probation for complaining, after a $15,000 sale, pickup within 36 hours, they felt it acceptable to penalize me for stating the truth.


So my first experience with buying from a government surplus auction was a different surplus site that doesn't look as nice and it is a little dated design wise, but the deals can be great. My first ever surplus purchase was getting 5 Dell servers for something like $600 and the current price for them was about $700-1,500 each depending upon who you could sell them to (profited nicely on some of these). The next buy was 2 IBM (super servers valued at $250,000 each when new) for just over $200 after auction fees and VA state tax! These were only 4 years old and still had A LOT of life left in the for the right company or organization. Pickup was super smooth with them and everything was 100% good. I bought another lot from the same company for about $400 for 7 servers that were selling for about $2,000 each on the used market. I though I had found a good thing here. I ended up selling the 2 IBM super servers for just under $4k + freight (they weighed 250lbs each) which being a private retailer/reseller, this is a good deal as I have no warranty and no possibility of return. I also pulled 256GB of ram from each machine so over 1/2 Terabytes of ram stick were removed and left the other half in the machine, which was much more than what the buyer needed. This was worth another $4-10,000 and would be easy to sell.




posted on Feb, 23 2018 @ 07:22 PM
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It's an auction. You are basically gambling, you take on the risk. If you are serious about business investigate before you buy and probably stop gambling on get rich quick schemes in an auction. You sound irate that you got burned which I'm sorry to hear, but yo expect honesty from a government department???

Generally if it's too good to be true, then expect something to go awry.

(edit) And look what you did with the bargain servers you got! Did you leave all the ram in it for the new customer, heck no! You ripped out those RAM sticks so you could wring out some extra bucks selling them twice! You did exactly what you're complaining the auction house did to you! Buyer beware.
edit on 23-2-2018 by Qumulys because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 23 2018 @ 07:25 PM
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That´s some #ed up scheme and also criminal if they really pulled hardware.




I calledl the campus police and told them about the situation and said I think someone in the wareshouse stole from the auction lot and they then seemed more interested in interrogating me about WHY I bought this, if I had a criminal record, who was I planning on selling this to, did I have buyers lined up, and all kinds of odd questions that didn't have anythign to do with the missing items.


If you do have something like a legal protection insurance, activate it!

Once bought a small house and after the seller didn´t move out after 4 weeks, I had to sue. It (the lawsuit) would have ruined me financially at that time, if not for my legal protection insurance. It´s basically a "flatrate" for legal advice and they will cover the lawyer costs, every cent.

Never used it in 15 years but then I needed it, I would have payed twice the money I spend the last 15 years paying a yearly fee.



posted on Feb, 23 2018 @ 11:54 PM
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originally posted by: verschickter
That´s some #ed up scheme and also criminal if they really pulled hardware.




I calledl the campus police and told them about the situation and said I think someone in the wareshouse stole from the auction lot and they then seemed more interested in interrogating me about WHY I bought this, if I had a criminal record, who was I planning on selling this to, did I have buyers lined up, and all kinds of odd questions that didn't have anythign to do with the missing items.


If you do have something like a legal protection insurance, activate it!

Once bought a small house and after the seller didn´t move out after 4 weeks, I had to sue. It (the lawsuit) would have ruined me financially at that time, if not for my legal protection insurance. It´s basically a "flatrate" for legal advice and they will cover the lawyer costs, every cent.

Never used it in 15 years but then I needed it, I would have payed twice the money I spend the last 15 years paying a yearly fee.


Yes, they pulled hardware. I forgot to say that I called the IT department and asked if they pulled hardware, meaning all the RAM, CPU, HD's and PCI-E cards on 1/2 of the newest Dell's, and they said absolutely not. They took them from the rack and placed them on the pallet. The thieves even left the heatsinks off and the RAM cover off so it was a dead giveaway when I opened them. They did leave the RAID cards though as they were in the front of the machine, which make me think it was someone who didn't know much about computers b/c these were close to $500 each at the time.

I had a bad feeling the way the warehouse manager was hovering around me and the fact that he could really only speak spanish well and very broken english... Giving me free stuff from other pallets seemed odd and I declined but he kept putting them on my pile and said they were "orphans" or something...

I wish I had some kind of insurance, I didn't think about that and didn't really know about it for purchases like this. I'll have to look into this. Thanks for the suggestion.




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