August 22

Terrific Items Sold at Government Auctions in Illinois

Last Updated on November 10, 2022

There are several kinds of terrific items sold at government auctions in Illinois. And if you’re not familiar with them or government auctions, today that changes.

Haven’t you ever wondered what happens to municipal vehicles like fire trucks or ambulances when they get replaced by something newer or get too old to repair? When government bodies need to divest of their surplus, they use government auctions as a go-to solution.

There, buyers can bid on a variety of items from decommissioned police cruisers to a retired snow melter. Government auctions are also a place where municipalities sell items taken from the public. This includes the necklace someone left at the train station or a vehicle that’s been repossessed.

What you can buy varies state to state, but is sure to come as a surprise to those unfamiliar. The same is true for the terrific items sold at government auctions in Illinois.

Who Can Buy at Illinois Government Auctions

Government auctions typically include small business owners and private citizens as the buyers. Those in the first category include people running dealerships, taxi companies, even food trucks. Small business owners often see government auctions as an opportunity to buy quality vehicles for a good price. 

Taxi companies buy surplus to add to their fleet, vehicles that fit the same aesthetic and will likely have the same mechanical issues. Dealerships seek out these auctions because they could buy a cheap vehicle with little to many problems, fix up the car, then resell at a higher price.

Individual private citizens use government auctions as a means of buying vehicles for cheaper than they would at a traditional dealership. This is especially advantageous for those versed in DIY conversion and repairs. Aside from automobiles, these auctions are a place to buy jewelry, technologies, and other commodities too.

There are times when municipalities will sell directly to other municipalities, but these auctions occur privately.

Where to Find Government Auctions in Illinois

The state of Illinois maintains a list of all of their auctions on their website.

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Those who visit will find information about timing, price, whether an auction is in-person or online only, and more. As of August 2022, their auction is still “Virtual Only” with no in-person viewing allowed, only pickups.

Another place to find information on government auctions in Illinois is to search directly on the Municibid website. In addition to restricting search criteria by item, users can also search by state.

Illinois Government Auctions

Terrific Items Sold at Government Auctions in Illinois

1973 Cessna 150L

The first item to make the Illinois auction list is a 1973 Cessna. As is the case with some auction items, certain purchases will have to serve more as collectibles rather than transportation, unless you’re capable of DIY repairs. As noted by the seller St. Louis Regional Airport, this particular plane is both unregistered and unable to be flown. The plane lacks maintenance logs and other records and has not been flown in over 15 years! This is true though the exterior looks good and the inside parts appear to all be in place.

The same company is also auctioning a Lycoming R-680-17 Radial Aircraft Engine through Municibid! All of the proceeds from both of these auctions are being put toward the East Alton community, specifically road maintenance, public safety initiatives, and other programs.

Illinois Government Auctions - 1973 Cessna 150L

2011 F450 Super Duty Dump Truck

One auction item that has been kept up to date is this 2011 F450 Dump Truck. The truck came courtesy of the Village of Broadview, situated in Cook County, Illinois. Despite some prior usage, this truck was in fair condition without any missing parts. After enough wear and tear by the government, ordinary citizens can still find use in such items either at home as a personal vehicle or as part of a small business’ fleet of vehicles.

Though a plow is included in the image, the plow was actually not a part of the sale. Always ask questions before bidding even when the answer seems obvious. You don’t want an unpleasant surprise later.

Illinois Government Auctions - 2011 F450 Super Duty Dump Truck

2003 International 7400 Plow/Dump Truck

Another dump truck on the list is the 2003 International 7400 Dump Truck and this one does have a plow included in the purchase. Mechanicsburg Township sold this vehicle with 26,750 miles and a  DT466E Engine (330HP) with an Allison 6-speed automatic transmission. Other features inside the vehicle come as most vehicles are expected: door locks, manual windows, and cruise control.

When buying auction items, always inspect in-person when possible. Assumptions can lead to disappointments. By inspecting you can also spot the extent of some issues even if the seller mentions them. With this vehicle, there is sheet metal rot around the back LED lights and powder coat paint coming off in certain areas.

Illinois Government Auctions - 2003 International 7400 Plow/Dump Truck

1979 Ford L900/Pierce Fire Engine

Fire trucks like this 1979 Ford L900 are bound to get retired after enough use by the state. However, what comes next could be a fun recreational vehicle for the family or a truck that gets used to transport tools, maybe for a landscaping or construction company. Whatever the case, before emergency vehicles like this one can legally be driven on the road by the public, all decals relating to former use must be removed.

Illinois Government Auctions - 1979 Ford L900/Pierce Fire Engine

HP Chromebook 11 G7 Model EE

Not every item you find at a government auction will be a former public service vehicle. Sometimes governments have to divest of things like an HP Chromebook 11. This commodity was sold by the USPS – Chicago Asset Accountability Service Center. With any auction purchase, especially items like this, inspecting in-person is advised when possible. That way you can ensure quality before placing the winning bid.

Illinois Government Auctions - HP Chromebook 11 G7 Model EE

2012 Chevrolet Tahoe

Amid other decommissioned police vehicles, this 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe was sold to the winning bidder with the police decals still in place, but with tires in new conditions. There were a few knicks here and there, but nothing beyond the norm. The vehicle runs well, which makes it a terrific buy for whoever won the truck. Once they remove the police signage, they have a great new ride to take on the road.

Illinois Government Auctions - 2012 Chevrolet Tahoe

2004 Trackless Mt Municipal Tractor

The Village of Mt. Zion sold this 2004 Trackless Municipal Tractor. The vehicle will prove to be advantageous for a construction business as it is designed for heavy duty work on behalf of military bases, parks, and more. Included with the purchase were a three-point hitch, air conditioning, dual wheels, and a Cummins Model 4BT3.9 Diesel Engine.

There are no attachments that came with the buy, but there will be several available on the market that the winning bidder can seek.

Illinois Government Auctions - 2004 Trackless Municipal Tractor

Creosote Lumber

Unlike the mechanical devices teaming this list, one item less technological was the Creosote lumber sold by the Chicago Transit Authority. Similar to the other items on the list, the lumber was sold as is, but also where it was located. Oftentimes, after winning the bid, buyers are responsible for securing their own transportation of the goods from the old property to their own. This is a good reminder to consider and have plans in place for when such an occasion comes.

Illinois Government Auctions - Creosote Lumber


Whenever you’re ready to start your venture, head over to Municibid’s website and learn just what Illinois may have to offer you!


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