FAQs - LA County Public Administrator Estate Auction


Below are answers to common questions about buying at CWS's Los Angeles County estate auctions. If you have any other questions, feel free to email us at service@cwsmarketing.com or by phone at 888-343-1313.

Common Questions Can anyone attend the auction?
Yes! The auctions are free and open to the public.

When are the auctions held?
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.

Where are the auctions held?
The 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.

How can I be notified of upcoming auctions?
You may sign-up for free email notifications.

Can I inspect/preview the property?
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 10 days prior to the auction.

Is a catalog available?
Catalogs are available the day of sale or online the Wednesday prior to the auction.

What do I need to do to register for the auction?
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. These forms are available at the auction or you may download them, fill them out and bring them with you on auction day. A $100 refundable, cash or credit card deposit is required to register. If no purchases are made the deposit is returned to the bidder.

What forms of payment are accepted at the auction?
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.

When do items purchased at the auction have to be paid for?
All purchases must be paid for in full the day of the sale.

When do my purchases have to be picked up?
All purchases must be removed the day of the sale. The one exception to this is non-operational vehicles. An appointment may be made to pick up these vehicles the Monday following the auction.

How do I know that these are legitimate auctions?
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.

What is sold?
Just about anything you might find in a home or office! Remember, these items all came from various estates. Items including cars, boats, 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.

Can I get a good deal at these auctions?
These auctions can produce some pretty decent bargains. Good rules to follow are preview the property prior to bidding, and 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!"

Is there a minimum bid?
Generally, there are no minimum 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.

Can I bid on the Internet?
This is an on-site, live bid auction only. You must be present to participate in the bidding. Internet, phone, or "proxy" bidding is not available at this time.

Is sales tax charged to my purchases?
Yes, unless you present a valid resale card. The sales tax in Los Angeles is 9.75%

Do you collect sales tax for vehicle sales?
NO, you pay sales tax when you register the car.

What should I consider when purchasing a vehicle at the estate auction?
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. 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 cwsmarketing.com);
  3. Preview the vehicle thoroughly the morning of the sale;
  4. Ask questions at info@cwsmarketing.com or at 888-343-1313 x256
What fees are associated with my winning bid amount?
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 (9.75%) $11.21
Total Purchase Price $126.21
Can items be shipped or delivered to me?
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.

Is there a particular order to the auction?
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 Wednesday prior to the auction. As a general rule, vehicles sell in the afternoon, sometime between 12:00 noon and 1:30pm.

How can I contact someone regarding the auction?
Information is available by email at info@cwsmarketing.com or by phone at 888-343-1313 x256.

Are there any back DMV fees due on the vehicles at the auction, and if so is the buyer liable for those fees?
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. image