Looking for a good deal? Your business may benefit by participating in national, state and local auctions of unclaimed property from police departments, banks and other agencies. The misfortunes and forgetfulness of others can be a boon to your business. And there's a side benefit – in the process of looking over these opportunities, you may spot something that belongs to your own company.
To capitalize on these opportunities, you'll need a plan:
- Check with your local or state governments for upcoming auctions.
- Shop with an eye toward bargains, particularly in computers and electronics.
- Contact your state government about any unclaimed property that may belong to your business.
Tap into local law enforcementOnce they finish their investigations, local law enforcement agencies often auction hundreds of seized items, from tools to computers.
Scan state government sitesSome states conduct their own online auctions as the best way to attract nationwide buyers for unclaimed property.
California, an early leader in this trend, or contact Luv2Bid for a schedule of upcoming auctions in all states.
Register with eBayMore states are finding it easier to auction items through industry giant eBay, which has a built-in national audience. Texas is among states using this service.
Check your own recordsHave you moved your business recently?You may not have claimed all your security deposits from landlords or utility companies. Such funds may become unclaimed property in your states.
Don't pay a feeSome companies will want a fee to connect you with your unclaimed property. But the same information likely is available for free from your state government, which acts as a clearinghouse for such information.
- Contents of safe deposit boxes become unclaimed property if the owner fails to pay rent within a certain timeframe. Some states also auction these goods.
- Uncashed checks, store refunds and accounts from closed banks are items that may become your unclaimed property. Check with your state for details.
- To complete a successful claim to your own unclaimed property, most states require you to provide detailed information, including legal name and previous or current address.