Police Auctions – Why and how?

Police Auction GoodsWant to know a little secret? You can buy stolen things, and no, not on the black market. You can get everything you’ve ever dreamed of buying, from jewelry to televisions, at a huge discount. And you can do it all from the safety of your own home, and with the complete endorsement of the police department.

If you’re starting to get a little worried that we’re encouraging you to buy stolen goods illegally, don’t worry. It’s completely legal. Several police precincts throughout England and Wales have starting using a website called Bumblebee Auctions, in an effort to sell lost items and stolen property that has been confiscated from thieves. And don’t worry, the owners won’t come knocking at your door. The police only sell items when they haven’t been able to find the rightful owners after a long period of time.



Which brings us to the next question: What can you buy on Bumblebee? Well, think about what things are most commonly stolen. Phones, cameras, jewelry, tools, bicycles. Anything that is at the risk of being nicked is probably going to show up on the website.

Don’t like thinking in the abstract? Go log on to the website now. It’s a very simple process. Next, click on the ‘search auctions’ tab that’s found on the left-hand side of the browser. When you select the ‘closed’ button, you should be able to see a list of completed auctions. This will also show you the prices for the items for sale.

Now, keep in mind: Just because it’s an auction doesn’t mean that everything is going to be hugely discounted. If you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal possible, you can check several online marketplaces to be sure.

Some of our favorite places to find bargains are:

  • eBay

  • Selling Groups on Facebook

  • Amazon’s Used Marketplace

  • Lost Luggage Auctions

So, what are your options on Bumblebee? Well, it depends. Because the auction is dependent on items getting stolen and those items not getting claimed, the number of options on the website can vary. Usually there are between 100-200 items available at a time.

There are also a few other expenses you need to take into consideration before purchasing on Bumblebee. Delivery can often be an expense, so make sure if it’s offered before you pay for your purchase. Often the delivery fee is between £5 and £8.

Sometimes, the items aren’t even shipped. Several stations ask that people come pick up the sold items in person, which can be difficult if the station isn’t in your area. And not every area’s police station is on the website. Some of the bigger cities, like London, aren’t signed up. Also, Scotland and Northern Ireland aren’t signed up, either.

If you’ve decided that you just need to get started on Bumblebee Auctions immediately, the sign up process is a little bit of a hassle.

First, you’ll need to sign up for an account on Nochex, which is an online payment system. This process can take about 3 days, so prepare yourself accordingly. Also, just a heads up, Nochex will make a small administration charge to the card you use to register your account. This is just to make sure the card is really yours. Unfortunately, it’s non-refundable.

Once you have your account set up at Nochex, you’re ready to begin bidding on Bumblebee.

Now that you’ve got your account set up, you can start bidding on items.

However, keep in mind that Bumblebee doesn’t work like eBay. You can plan on what you want to bid and when to bid on it, but you won’t be making any sneak bids on Bumblebee. Every time someone bids, at least in the last 10 minutes, an extra 10 minutes is added to the clock. While this may seem a bit annoying, it’s just to give other bidders chances to bid back.

Sometimes owners get on Bumblebee and find their belongings. In this case, the auction can be cancelled. Obviously, all money gets returned to those who bid or paid for the item, but just keep this in mind whenever you’re purchasing something on the website.

If you’re the person who has seen something on Bumblebee that belongs to you, don’t worry. You can email service@bumblebee.co.uk and let them know that you think the item is yours. They’ll contact you and do everything in their power to get you your things back.

If you see something that belongs to you and it’s already been sold, try calling the police precinct that sold the item and let them know what’s happened. Often times, the police will talk with the buyer and try to work out the return of your things.

Okay, so here’s the big question: Where does all that auction money go? And the answer is that it depends. Police stations use the fund differently, so if you’re interested, you can call in and find out where the money is going. Often it’s to a charity or police initiatives.

What is the Verdict?

MoneySavingPigWhat do you think about shopping with Bumblebee? Will you be having a look on the website? We love feedback so please use the comment section below. 

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