LA County Public Administrator Estate Auction

Below are answers to common questions about buying at CWS’s Los Angeles County estate live an online auctions. If you have additional questions, feel free to email us at, phone at 888-343-1313, or check the “Common Questions To All Auctions

Common Questions

Yes.  All live and online auctions are open to the public.

The LA County Estate Auction is held on the second Saturday of the month, approximately 10 times a year. The sales typically start at 9:00am and continue throughout the afternoon. In addition, online auctions are also conducted as needed.

Live auctions are conducted at the Los Angeles County Public Administrator Warehouse at 16610 Chestnut Street, City of Industry, California, 91748. Go to directions from various Southern California areas. Online auctions are conducted at the website.

For live auctions, all items can be inspected the day of sale beginning at 7:30am and up until the time an item sells. Photos and descriptions of select items are available online approximately 7 days prior to the auction.   For items selling online, if a live inspection is scheduled, it will be posted on the auction information page for that particular sale.

Printed catalogs are available the day of sale for live auctions as well as online the Friday prior to the auction. The lot descriptions serve as the catalog for online auctions.

For live sales, auction registration occurs at the auction location on the day of sale. Please bring your driver’s license or other photo ID, and the completed Bidder Agreement and Terms of Sale forms to the registration windows. This form is also available at the live auction. A $100 refundable, cash or credit card deposit, is required to register. To bid on certain “High-end” items, an additional deposit may be required.  If no purchases are made the deposit is returned to the bidder.

Acceptable forms of payment are cash, credit cards (Visa, Master Charge, Discover, American Express), and cashier’s checks made payable to CWS Marketing Group, Inc. Personal or business checks are not accepted. Cashier’s checks made payable to the remitter are not accepted.  Any special payment requirements will be noted in the Terms of Sale.

For live auctions, all purchases must be paid for in full the day of the sale.  For online auctions, please see the Terms of Sale for payment requirements.

For live auctions, all purchases must be removed the day of the sale, with the exception of vehicles that are non-operational and exceptionally “Large or heavy” items that approval is given to remove the first business day following the auction, between 7:30am-10:30am. These exceptions are at the determination of CWS and The County of Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles County Treasury and Tax Collector / Public Administrator has designated CWS Asset Management & Sales as the prime contractor for their personal property estate auctions. All property offered for sale if done so by Los Angeles County and comes from estates the County serves as Public Administrator or Public Guardian. CWSAMS conducts auctions throughout the United States representing various government agencies including The Departments of the Treasury and Homeland Security (DHS), US Customs, IRS-Criminal, US Marshals Service, and ATF.

Just about anything you might find in a home or office! Remember, these items all came from various estates. Items including cars, boats, aircraft, antiques, collectibles, art, jewelry, coins, stamps, special collections, household furniture, appliances, electronics, computer equipment, tools, and clothing. Items may be new or used and are sold in lots ranging from single items to wholesale quantities.

No, you do not need a broker in order to bid. If you do have a broker, all arrangements, including any fees and broker commissions, are strictly between you and the broker.

These auctions can produce some very good bargains. Good rules to follow are: (1) Preview the property prior to bidding, and (2) Set a maximum for what you are willing to pay for it. The more knowledgeable you are regarding items you are going to bid on, the more satisfied you will be with your purchase! “A knowledgeable buyer is a happy buyer!”

Generally, there are no minimums or set starting bids. We simply start the bidding at whatever price we get an offer. The Seller, The LA County Public Administrator, will always have the right to accept or reject the high bid.

The live auction is an on-site, live-bid auction only. You must be present to participate in the bidding. Internet, phone, or “proxy” bidding may be made available for certain items at the sole determination of The Los Angeles County Public Administrator or CWS.  For internet-only auctions, see the auction details section for the particular sale you are interested for online bidding information.

Yes, unless you present a valid resale card. Check the City of Industry, CA for the current sales tax rate.

NO, you pay sales tax when you register the car.

The auction can be a great place to buy a car! Remember, all of the vehicles come from estates and vary in quality and condition. All paperwork required to register the vehicle will be provided to you when a purchase is made the day of sale. Vehicles are sold with clear title unless otherwise stated. Some basic things to consider prior to bidding are the following:

  1. Set a price limit prior to placing a bid;
  2. Search the CA DMV for any past registration fees due at the CA DMV website before the day of sale (the vehicle VIN # and license plate is required for this and is available under the vehicle description at;
  3. Preview the vehicle thoroughly the morning of the sale;
  4. Ask questions at or at 888-343-1313 x256

Some of the vehicles sold at the County auction have expired license tags. If that is the case, the buyer would be responsible for any past fees due. Past DMV fees can be figured out by going to the California DMV website.

The buyer is responsible to perform the necessary smog check at the buyer’s expense.  There is no guarantee that a vehicle will pass smog, and any repairs needed to pass will be the responsibility of the buyer.

There is a 15% Buyer’s Premium charged to the total of your purchases. This fee, paid for by the buyer, goes to offset the costs of conducting the auction. Following is an example:

Bid Price $100
Buyer’s Premium $15
Sales Tax (9.0%) $10.35
Total Purchase Price $125.35

CWSAMS will not ship or deliver any items. It is the sole responsibility of the buyer to remove the merchandise purchased on the day of the sale. All costs and liabilities associated with the removal are the responsibility of the buyer.

For online auctions, Buyer’s may have an agent or shipping company, acting as the buyer’s agent, pick up and ship property at the expense, risk and liability of the buyer during the removal dates and times.  All arrangements for shipping are the responsibility of the buyer are strictly between the buyer and agent.  Should registered buyer wish to send an agent to pick up property/merchandise, buyer must provide agent with a Copy of the Paid Invoice, signed by the buyer as received, and the name of agent/company.  Check online for local shipping companies.  The UPS Store is one local company that offers shipping services.

The general order of the auction is located on the inside cover of the catalog. Catalogs are available the day of sale or online the Friday prior to the auction. The live sale starts at 9am, with vehicles selling at 10am and the jewelry room items at 11am.

Free parking is available on-site at the auction facility parking lot.  Look for signs!

Information is available by email at or by phone at 888-343-1313 x256.

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