Police Auctions & Government Auctions
It is one of the many online auction sites available on the internet. Participants can place bids on items shown on the site as the countdown clock ticks down to zero. Most products start with a bidding price of $1 and go up according to number of bids placed. In all, it is a perfect example of the law of supply and demand struggling live. Police Auctions features hundreds of items that range from jewelry to car parts or musical instruments. It is perhaps one of the most varied sites among the many popular auction web pages, mainly thanks to the wide range of products offered and also, because it offers links to car auction and government sites that are supposed to provide one-in-a-lifetime opportunities to purchase tempting items at really low prices.
How do participants engage?
In order to place a bid, potential customers are requested to complete an online registration process by opening a Police Auctions.com account. Unlike similar sites, Police Auctions does not ask for credit card information during registration and offers members regular newsletters with useful info on how to go about the site. Upon registration, members are asked to state that they have read and fully agree with the terms of service and customer policy. So far so good, the public should know, however, that the free membership status is limited to very few uses. If members are interested in taking part in other auction categories, such as government auctions, they must apply for the unrestricted membership which is a paid service, of course.
How does the bidding take place?
Once you have become a member, you can start bidding on any of the items, provided they are not in the government auctions category. There are several types of items listed in the Police Auctions webpage. Here are some characteristics you should keep in mind before joining:
No-Reserve Auctions: These types of auctions refer to non-government products that are advertised and auctioned directly by Vortal Group Inc through the website and work on “as is” basis. This means, you get the product as it is –what is hard to find out since participants don’t have access to the real items, only to pictures. Some of these products may have a manufacturer’s warranty or not, they may be boxed or sealed, and there is no certainty as regards shipping conditions. These points are carefully detailed in the terms of service part, which many newcomers fail to read, unfortunately.
Proxy Bidding: Through this system, bidders have greater chances of being the winners once the auction process is over. The system is quite simple and it is supposed to help participants “secure” an item they are very interested in without having to follow the auction closely by the minute. Bidders place a high (maximum bid) for an item and the site will automatically increase the bid for you every time another participant bids something else, until your top bid is reached. Since the site does not allow bids over a dollar at a time, proxy bidding enables the system to act on your behalf until the whole deal is over. If another bidder matches your bid, you are the winner as priority is given to first bidders. If, on the contrary, your maximum bid is topped, you will need to make a new bid, or else drop off the deal altogether.
What’s to like?
Easy and Quick Registration: The sign up process is swift and hassle-free. First timers only need to fill in certain fields with personal info and answer some questions as regards site referrals. For free membership access, users are not requested to give out a credit card number at all.
Multiple Categories: Few other sites offer so many products covering many different categories. The most widely sought-after are jewelry, electronics, car parts, motorcycle gear, gardening, coins, toys, sporting goods and watches. For members who have upgraded their membership status to unrestricted membership, there are even more bidding chances on the government auction hot spots that feature auction opportunities on cars, seized boats and unclaimed money.
Multiple Payment Options: Both for membership payment or prize claim, participants are able to use different payment methods which include pay pal, checks, credit or debit cards, money orders or cashiers.
What’s NOT to like?
Major Scam Alert: Truth be told; about 99% of former Police Auction users claim to have been conned, cheated, lied to or feel disappointed in at least some aspect of the transaction. Here are the most popular complaints:
Faulty, low-quality goods: There are a large number of angry shoppers who claim to have gotten broken, faulty or poor-quality goods. In fact, most items are outrageously overpriced if compared with regular, non-auction, shopping pages. The category which tops the ranks is undoubtedly jewelry and watches. A very dissatisfied bidder went a step further by taking what he thought was an emerald to a jeweler’s, only to find out that the piece was plastic meant to be used in costume-making. The worst part, though, is that if you want to send an item back for a refund, the company charges you with a 15% restocking fee, plus the cost of shipping the product back. In the end, it ends up costing much more than if you had shopped for it elsewhere.
Unmet Shipping Duties: Police Auctions seems to be having some major difficulties in delivering and shipping off the goods. To begin with, even when the credit card account says that the company has already charged the items, purchased goods are not delivered on time. In fact, many reviewers voice out their anger in disbelief since the purchase has been charged twice or even three times on their cards.
Non-existing Customer Support Service: From the minute a person becomes a Police Auctions member, they are told they can contact either the call toll free 800 number, or the e-mail provided on their site. Nonetheless, the truth is that very few people have been able to reach a representative or get any reply by using these channels of communication, let alone find a reasonable solution to their problems.
In conclusion, the site is too shady to even consider risking time and money.