Forget Groupon, Living Social, Scoutmob, etc. Today's bargain hunters need look no further than Uncle Sam.
The U.S. government centralizes purchases of office supplies, vehicles, furniture, and other material goods in the hands of the General Services Administration (GSA). Currently, about 15% of all government purchases are managed by the GSA, a number it is aggressively seeking to increase with a goal of handling 90% of government procurement in 10 years. In an effort to recoup some of their expenses the GSA holds online auctions for inventory that is no longer in use. What type of inventory? Everything from computers and cell phones to gently used trucks to Air Force Two.
The GSA Auctions website is constantly updated, so for shoppers who really want to "Buy American," there's really no better place to turn. Here are some of the most interesting listings currently up for grabs to the highest bidder.
A Colorado forest. 36 acres, 5 buildings. $90,000
A dune buggy. Looks fast, still has government seal. $10,525
A Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Chromed out; who knows why the government needed this in the first place? $5,406
A camouflage forklift. Those boxes will never see you coming. $782
A seaplane. It's in Alaska, but you could fly it home yourself. $80,000
A cop kit. Listed as "Miscellaneous Items," this law enforcement grab bag packs enough swag to start your own force:three bulletproof vests, 15 flashlights, 18 pistol holders, and much much more. $90