Police auctions, are there bargains to be had?

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If you’re looking for cheap items to sell, buying from police auctions and benefiting from police seized goods might be the way to go.

police auctions - people bidding

Police auctions are not new and getting something worthwhile can be hit and miss, but as long as you are prepared to put in some effort and regularly review the places where I tell you where you can find police auctions there should be no reason why you can’t bag yourself a bargain.

What is a police auction?

As part of a criminal investigation, the police will seize items and offer these for sale to the general public.

Why do the police sell seized items at auction?

On occasion, the police, regardless of their best efforts, are unable to locate the items that have been seized as part of their investigation and can’t store these items.

They also sell these items to create funds that can be invested into other policing initiatives 

What can you buy from police auctions?

It’s safe to say that criminals aren’t generally fussy about what they steal from us or buy with the proceeds of crime and as a result, what you can buy at auction can include anything from jewellery, cars, tools, electronics, exercise equipment and home furnishing.

Do you have to pay for the item immediately? 

There’s no buy now, pay later when it comes to police auctions, so you will have to make sure that you have the money available should you win a bid at auction.

Where can you find police auctions?

Auction Houses

Some police forces will feature their seized items at auction houses, the benefit of this is that you can usually visit the auction house and view the items that are listed for auction. 

John Pye auctions have a page specifically for police seized goods and feature auctions across the country.

When you win a bid there will be buyer’s fees and vat that be added to the winning bid.

police eBay auctions

Would you believe that some police forces have a page on eBay and sell a range of items?

Having looked at the various pages below, I didn’t see much being auctioned off so this might be due to the shift in selling items via auction houses.

Something that you will have to note is that it’s likely that you’ll have to collect the item direct as postage won’t be given as an option.

In 2020 Leicester Police auctioned off £37000 worth of designer handbags on their eBay shop.

Cheshire Police

Leicester Police Property Disposal

Nottinghamshire Police

Sussex Police Auctions

Thames Valley Police

Bumblebee auctions

While I have seen many people recommend Bumblebee auctions as a way of getting items seized goods, on the occasions that I have visited the site looking to see what is listed they rarely have anything listed, so i.m not sure whether police forces still use this as a way of getting rid of stolen and seized items.

Are there any restrictions when selling the items?

If you buy items from a police auction, the transfer of ownership shifts to you and there are no restrictions on what you do with the item, so long as it is legal.

This is different to handling stolen goods which is against the law and subject to a criminal conviction.

Where can you sell your items for a profit?

Depending upon the size of the items you’ve bought you could sell your items on eBay, but these will be subject to selling fees, your time listing the time and postage.

Thankfully there are other places that you could sell your items such as local classified pages or one of the many classified ads apps that are now available.

Can you make money from police auctions?

Yes, you can, but this depends on getting the items at the best possible price to make sure that there’s profit to be had.

As is the case with everything that we buy to sell on, you can only sell what there’s a demand for. 

Are police auctions worth it?

While there are good deals to be had at police auctions, the items might not necessarily be the cheapest on offer, therefore you need to pay due diligence and see if you can find the items elsewhere.


Police auctions can be one of the many ways in which you can find items to sell for a profit but be warned many people will be doing this regularly and will know what sells and what doesn’t and will know what represents a good deal and will have plans for what to expect at auction and what they will do should they win a bid.

If you’ve ever been to a police auction, would you recommend them as a way to find items to sell or what you steer clear of and find somewhere else to buy cheap goods? Let me know in the comments.

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