police auction toronto

Here's how Toronto Police auction off their mountains of seized treasures

Police auctions in Toronto are seemingly inevitable with all the high-profile crime busts and white-collar crime taking place in the city and the province as a whole. Police forces bring in a treasure trove of seized goods that eventually find their way back into the hands of consumers.

We've all heard of police auctions or seen dramatizations of them on television. Fewer have experienced them firsthand. 

For those less familiar with just how these auctions go down, here are some things to know about how police auctions work and the kind of crazy deals they offer.

Law enforcement agencies across Ontario and many college/university campus security and transit police forces auction off their seized, forfeited, or found items through Police Auctions Canada's online marketplace.

Especially in the pandemic climate, the days of fast-talking auctioneers are numbered, with e-commerce quickly filling the void.

Some items listed on the website clearly have a story to tell, like a "lot of 16 assorted used bikes," a "gas-powered 50cc chainsaw," or a "Swiss bayonet with sheath."

At any given time, there are currently numerous active bids for things like a "2017 Donald Trump Colour Silver Plated Souvenir Coin." The world truly is a strange place.

You'll have to keep questions to yourself, though, as Police Auctions Canada's website maintains that "we are not privy to specifics of where the items originated."

You can also find lots of jewelry, clothing and accessories, and vintage coins and currency.

There are a surprising number of listings for pure silver coins and ingots, while some of the current bids on electronics with typically high retail prices are laughably low. We're talking $60 for laptops low.

The reason even electronics are priced so low is that the auctions all start at $1, no matter what the item.

For those looking to get in on the deals, you should know some essential rules going in.

A first-time bidder will be limited to their initial bid, unable to bid on any additional items until paying up for the first. When dealing in high-value items, the auctioneers require a credit card number or a deposit for any first-time bidders.

When a bid wins, the buyer has a seven-day window to pick up their item, though anyone who makes a bid and then fails to pay gets the boot, banned from access to any future auctions.

A large share of the proceeds from these sales is donated to support non-profit organizations and community projects in the various municipalities, institutions, and transit systems from which the items originate.

These auctions run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round.

Lead photo by

Police Auction Canada


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