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Log In / Register | Apr 24, 2014

Buying Cheap from Uncle Sam

Businessman Doug West wanted a second boat for his oyster transplantation business, writes Karen E. Klein of Bloomberg Businessweek Small Business. But boats don't come cheap. West was a self-employed contractor with $100,000 in annual revenue, making the $75,000 boat he needed a big bite that may have been more than he could swallow.

The happy solution was a successful $36,000 bid on a 65-foot U.S. Coast Guard cutter. The boat was old, but had been well maintained by the government, so after scraping and repainting the bottom, she was ready to go to work.

Government Liquidation, the website where West learned about his boat bargain, sells surplus vehicles, equipment and scrap metal for the U.S. Department of Defense.

Opening bids for every item, including Navy warships, start at $50 to $150. —Bloomberg Businessweek Small Business

Says Tom Burton, a president of Liquidity Services, which operates the site and seven other liquidation marketplaces,

We are a small business incubator: If you’ve got an idea, this is a place you can come and see if you can turn it into a business opportunity.

Read the Bloomberg Businessweek Small Business article to learn more.

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