Frequently Asked Questions
How can the general public purchase surplus goods from the government?
Asset Investment Recovery (AIR) uses a variety of sales methods to provide access to government surplus asset sales.
The most common are Cash and Carry sales, Online Auction (BC Auction), Silent Bid Sales (Lot Sales), and Live Auctions.
Where does the surplus come from?
Assets not only come from the provincial government, but also the federal government, public sector agencies such as municipalities, schools and universities, crown corporations, hospitals, police and fire departments, correctional facilities, and proceeds of crime.
How does the government determine a selling price for the surplus goods sold to the general public?
Prices are determined by reviewing historical sales values, trade magazines and appraisal reference guides.
Why is tax charged on second hand goods sold to the general public?
Asset Investment Recovery Branch is subject to the terms and conditions of the "Business Licence By-Law 1985". Any individual or group that holds a business licence is obligated to collect HST from sales to the General Public. (Business Licence #9198, District of Saanich).
Is there any warranty on the goods sold, such as computers and phones?
All surplus goods are sold "as is, where is, no warranties expressed or implied". Buyers are responsible to satisfy themselves as to the condition of goods being purchased.
Cash and Carry Sales FAQ's
Can we preview the assets prior to sale?
No previewing is allowed at any Cash and Carry sales as pricing and inventory activity continue up until sale time.
Are cash and carry prices firm or can they be negotiated?
All items are pre-priced based on historical values and trade magazines and cannot be negotiated. Items are sold on a first come, first serve basis.
When do I have to pick up the item that I purchased?
Cash and Carry sale items must be paid for and picked up on the day of purchase (unless otherwise authorized). A printed receipt will be issued for each paid transaction, and must be shown at the door prior to removal of any goods purchased.
What form of payment will you take?
Payments for Cash and Carry sales can be made by cash, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, or Debit Card. All purchases are subject to tax where applicable.
I keep placing bids and keep getting outbid immediately, what is going on?
BC Auction uses a process called "Proxy Bidding". This is the standard for online auctions (eBay, etc.) Proxy bidding is an automatic bidding system to make bidding on auctions more convenient for buyers.
How Does Proxy Bidding work?
When you place a bid, you enter the maximum amount you'd be willing to pay for the item. Your maximum amount is kept confidential from other bidders and the seller. The BC Auction system compares your bid to those of the other bidders and places bids on your behalf based on bid increments using only as much of your bid as is necessary to maintain your high bid position.(see bid increments) The system will bid up to your maximum amount. If another bidder has a higher maximum, you'll be outbid right away and be notified immediately that you have been “outbid”. BUT, if no other bidder has a higher maximum, you win the item. And you could pay significantly less than your maximum price! This means you don't have to keep coming back to re-bid every time another bid is placed.
What are the bid increments?
Bid increments increase in conjunction with the value of the current high bid.
|Current Price||Bid Increment|
|$ 0.00 - $ 24.99||$ 0.50|
|$ 25.00 - $ 199.99||$ 1.00|
|$ 200.00 - $ 499.99||$ 5.00|
|$ 500.00 - $ 999.99||$ 10.00|
|$ 1000.00 - $ 2499.99||$ 25.00|
|$ 2500.00 - $ 4999.99||$ 50.00|
|$ 5000.00 and up||$ 100.00|
What if I change my mind, can I retract a bid?
No, it is the buyer’s responsibility to determine the suitability of an item. Bidders should ask any questions before placing a bid. Once a bid is placed, it cannot be retracted and the high bidder is obligated to purchase the item at the high bid price. Failure to honour a bid will result in the cancellation of your BC Auction account.
How do I pay for an Item on BC Auction?
Payment is to be made by Visa, MasterCard or American Express within 3 days of auction end via the online payment system.
I have paid for my item, now what?
We will ship within 48 hours of receiving payment. Most items are shipped via mail. Shipping charges will be calculated on to your invoice prior to payment.
Can I pick up my item to save on shipping?
Absolutely. Just click the box on the on line checkout that you will be picking up the item and shipping will not be calculated in with payment.
Can I return a BC Auction item?
As with any sale, there are no returns. All items are sold “as is, where is” with no warranties expressed or implied.
Media Destruction FAQ's
What does this “Shredder” do and what is so good about it?
This industrial shredding machine destroys hard drives, handheld devices and flexible media. It protects data from falling into the wrong hands, and since the materials are 100% recycled, it protects the environment too.
Why did government invest in this machine?
British Columbia is a leader in the protection of electronic data. That’s why we’ve invested in special equipment to securely dispose of electronic equipment like hard drives.
Why have you made this available to the public?
We believe that everyone should benefit from technology like this. “The Shredder” will also help divert thousands of data devices from the landfill, and help protect people’s privacy.
Why are you charging fees?
Asset Investment Recovery operates on a cost-recovery basis. We do get some money back from the recycler, but this only covers a minor portion of ongoing maintenance. The fees charged are very small – two dollars or less. These costs cover repairs, operational upkeep, labour and shipping of the particulate.
What happens to the particulate?
We ship it off to a recycler. All of the materials are used for energy processes or turned back into raw materials (which are then used to create new items such as cement, metal products, park benches, etc.).
How much particulate do you create?
Since last summer, we have created over 7 tonnes (7,000 kg) of particulate. All of this has been recycled.