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Old 08-30-11, 06:29 PM   #1
Farmer Dave
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Police bike auctions

I have heard this is a great place to pick up a new ride from a few friends and that they are relatively cheap. Is this true? Has anyone actually purchased a bike from an auction of this nature? As always thanks for your input Bike Forums.
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Old 08-30-11, 08:41 PM   #2
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The auctions are usually in inconvenient locations and times.
Often bikes are sold in lots of 10, you must remove all 10.
You might encounter the person who owned the bike previously and wants it back.
In general the prices are low due to inconvenience involved in bidding and picking up the bikes.
Every bike I have ever gotten at a police auction or bought for a 'bargain' has needed work done to it.
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Old 08-30-11, 09:55 PM   #3
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Here in Dallas, I work at the SW police station and the cops here don't take care of their bikes at all. The bikes get tossed and piled up under the stairwells. The cassettes and chainrings stay rusty as do the cables. They'll get taken to B&B Bike shop only when repairs are needed. I'm nobody's mechanic but I maintain my bikes better than that.
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Old 08-30-11, 11:06 PM   #4
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The bikes that get auctioned by my (former) university's police department are the same ones that rust for years on the bike racks to the point that its obvious the original owner doesn't remember they exist anymore. As a general rule there's a good reason those bikes have been abandoned; they're not worth taking/moving once the students move on.
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Old 08-30-11, 11:11 PM   #5
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I assume you mean auctions of unclaimed recovered bikes, not the bikes used by policemen (which seems to be what Big_e is discussing).

The online auctions I've seen, and the one real live auction I've been to, involved mostly Walmart bikes in not-so-good condition, selling for $5 each. And not worth any more than that, I would say. At the live auction, there was one Trek, I think that went for $70. I don't recall the model, but I'm thinking comfort bike, not high-end bike, and it still needed work. (And yes, I did purchase a $5 bike to get some forgotten part off of it!)

on auctions like that, if they're set up for dealers, they'll be on weekdays, and may involve buying stuff in inconvenient lots. If they're set up for normal people, they'll be on a Saturday and sell a bike at a time. I would think they would sell any worthwhile bike by itself anyway.

If you meet up with the owner...I don't think that should be an issue, you do have legal title to it when you buy it.

You'll read of plenty of $3,000 bikes being stolen, but that's not what you find at these auctions, you find $100 bikes that were stolen and then thrown in the creek by some kid.
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Old 08-31-11, 04:12 AM   #6
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Last police auction I went to they were selling bikes in lots of 10, average price was about $75. I saw NOTHING other than BSO and POS. FWIW $75 is about scrap prices...after you break them down. Yes good bikes get stolen, most of those go on CL or to a pawn shop, very seldom, if ever, do the police around here recover any high end bikes.

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Old 09-01-11, 09:56 PM   #7
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Don't expect much,most bikes at those auction are damaged,found dead or some tweak had after being camouflaged,rigged to ride because it was stolen then tweaked on it and well.
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Old 09-02-11, 05:37 AM   #8
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I've bought several at a local police auction. It's held twice a year and it's usually junkers that are good for parts. They sell for a few dollars each. The nice thing about this one is that they take donations too which results in a few dusty classics showing up that have been in someone's way for a long time. I've even donated a few to the auction just to get rid of them.
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Old 09-02-11, 07:26 AM   #9
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I went to one last month. It was mostly Wal-Mart stuff, going for between $5 and $35 dollars. There was also a Giant comfort sort of bike, an old classy three speed with baskets and fenders, a Bianchi mountain bike in fairly good order, and a not too bad Schwinn that needs a little work, but not too much. I bought the Bianchi and the Schwinn.
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