The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has canceled its yearly live fleet auctions in Bemidji and Grand Rapids. Instead, these auctions will take place online via MinnBid, the state’s online auction website.

The auctions have begun and will take place over the next 10-12 weeks. Over that time, different lots of equipment are available on a one-week rotation. The DNR is using online auctions due to COVID-19 health and safety considerations.

“We are working with our partners at the Department of Administration to come up with a way to return to live sales that is safe for customers and staff,” said DNR section manager Paul Johnson. “For now, online sales are our best option.”

The DNR has about 300 pieces of equipment that will be up for auction on MinnBid. To ensure the safety of staff and bidders, six to 12 pieces of equipment will be listed per site for a duration of one week, starting August 7. Auction lots will only be available for viewing by appointment during a 3-hour window once a week during the time they are listed. Appointments can be made by calling the number listed in the auction listing.

Once a winning bid is submitted and accepted using the MinnBid website, the bidder will be able to schedule a time to pick up the equipment at the DNR site.

During inspections and equipment pick-ups, staff will be encouraged to wear cloth masks and will maintain social distance from the public. The public is also encouraged to wear masks when on site. Additionally, staff will wear gloves when handling any auction items and paperwork.

Following the online auction, if a successful bidder needs help loading equipment, staff will be able to help using a forklift, as they would at a live auction.

The DNR prepares equipment for auction by removing all state stickers, decals and registrations, washing and vacuuming the road vehicles, and addressing or making a note of any mechanical issues.

“DNR equipment auctions are a great way to find a new truck, trailer, or even a new fun way to get outdoors — like an ATV or snowmobile,” Johnson said. “Our goal is to sell equipment while it still has good life left in it. This presents the best value for the buyer, and for the DNR.”

The auction lot is available for viewing and bidding at minnbid.org. Registration is required before users are able to ask questions about lots through the system, or before bids can take place via the MinnBid site. Head to minnbid.org/mobile/register to register for an account.

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