“Purchasing surplus goods from the government is an easy and affordable way to equip your new and expanding business. From computers to cars to gently used medical equipment, just about anything you can think of that your business might need is sold by the government at or below cost or fair market value. Here’s how it works. When a federal or state agency has extra equipment, seized goods, or forecloses on a piece of property, it is either transferred to another government agency or sold to the public. These goods are sold “as is” by auction or negotiated sale, either online, in-person or both. Online auctions work much the same way as other auction sites, such as E-Bay. You visit an agency’s auction site, register your name, and place your bid.” Check out the Small Business Guide to Government Auctions and Sales for the pertinent federal website.

The State of California Office of Surplus Property Reutilization (OSPR) holds public auctions of surplus materials online every six weeks – the next auction date is December 8, 2007. There is also a California Federal Surplus Personal Property Program.

Tomorrow we’ll look at how you can sell your product or service to Sonoma County, California, or U.S. agencies or departments through contracting programs. The SCL Biz Guide to Internet Resources has more valuable business websites.