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U.S. CUSTOMS SERVICE AUCTIONS: GOING ONE, TWICE, SOLD!

 WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Customs Service issued the following, written by Steve Duchesne, a public affairs officer with the U.S. Customs Service in Washington:
 Are you still fantasizing about bobbing your way through the harbor this summer on that boat you've always wanted? Don't give up hope. Maybe you've been wanting to add a second car to the family garage, but just could not afford to. Do not despair -- it may be possible. Or perhaps you've been looking for that oriental rug at the right price to finish off the den. An auction of items seized by U.S. Customs may be the answer.
 Every year hundreds of thousands of items in commercial and personal quantities are seized by Customs officers looking for drugs or that are abandoned at U.S. ports.
 In 1990 Customs turned over the task of disposing of the property to Arlington, Va.-based EG&G Dynatrend (EG&G), a private property management firm. Since assuming this monumental responsibility, EG&G has widely publicized its auctions which are held about every nine weeks in six locations across the country.
 Bidders from all walks of life have walked away with everything imaginable from airplanes to wearing apparel and office equipment.
 If you were thinking of a fur coat for the wife, consider that one lucky bidder took home a full-length mink for $1,100. A fox fur for him went for $450.
 Don't think, however, that you can drive home in a new car for a dollar. That usually doesn't happen. As one EG&G official says, "We have pretty good deals, but no steals." One winner left a recent auction in a Ferrari ($75,000), and another drove home in a Jaguar XJS ($33,500).
 For that aspiring cosmetologist: how about five drums of black mud from the Dead Sea? And for the small businessman looking to get into the pet supply business -- 12,000 pooper scoopers.
 Proceeds from the sales go to the U.S. Treasury and are used to fund drug education programs such as those at U.S. Customs. In 1992, gross sales from the auctions totaled $20.6 million. The take from the first auction at EG&G's Edison, N.J., facility was $900,000.
 Bargain hunters are coming out in droves for the sales. Attendance at EG&G's Los Angeles facility averages 1,500 per auction. The numbers for their other sites in Nogales, Ariz.; El Paso, Texas; Laredo, Texas; and Miami range from 500 to 2,000. Demand for the auction items has been so great that EG&G now offers to their international customers a live teleconference hook up to take bids over the phone.
 EG&G offers a couple of tips to those looking for the sale of the century:
 1. Do your homework. Inspect the property and find out what it's worth.
 2. Don't get carried away with the excitement of the auction. Set your top price and don't bid beyond it.
 EG&G is the only legitimate sales agent for U.S. Customs. Don't be fooled by any other. If it's not EG&G, it's not sanctioned by U.S. Customs.
 For information about U.S. Customs auctions, you can call the public auction line at 703-351-7887. Call now before the luxury cruisers and pooper scoopers are gone.
 -0- 1/12/93
 /CONTACT: Steve Duchesne of the U.S. Customs Service, 202-927-1770/


CO: U.S. Customs Service ST: District of Columbia IN: SU: EXE

TW -- DC001 -- 3804 01/12/93 07:33 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 12, 1993
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