If you’re looking at the machinery market, chances are you’ve started to consider purchasing directly at auction. You can save money this way and get a much better deal, but that’s only if you make informed decisions. Below, we will discuss some of our professional tips to help you get started!

Before You Bid

Before you’re allowed to bid on anything, you will need to officially register either online or at the auction site. Usually, registration entails providing some form of ID, contact information, a deposit, and in most instances, either proof of money in your bank or financing approval. After registration, you’re issued an official bidder number and given a catalog of all of the equipment available.

Always Do Your Own Research

Before you even arrive at the auction grounds, you should have a clear idea of the equipment you’re looking to purchase. Start by making a list of must-have features and looking for online reviews on the equipment available on the market. Having a clear idea of the specifications that are of interest to you will ensure you don’t make an impulse purchase or end up buying equipment that doesn’t fit your needs.

Auction is probably the most desirable method for purchasing industrial surplus as it allows you to acquaint yourself with different retailers and compare the equipment available. It also helps you get the best deal for your money!

Establish A Budget

It’s wise to head to auction knowing what you can reasonably spend on equipment and what the equipment you’re looking to purchase should cost. For example, if you see a piece of machinery going for much less than what it’s worth, it could signify something troubling about its condition. Before making a bid, make sure to ask any and all questions you may have.

Inspect Equipment Condition

Ask the auction rep if you can inspect the equipment in person that you’re looking to bid on. Or, at the very least, ask if you can send someone knowledgeable to perform an inspection for you. It’s important to do this as even a nice facade may hide significant damage to the machinery behind the scenes.

There are certain auctions where you can actually test the equipment before they go to floor. This allows you to really pinpoint any problem areas and spot potential damage. However, if you can’t test equipment before they get auctioned off, make sure that you inspect them at least visually at auction.

A visual inspection is still better than nothing. You can look for troubling signs such as signs of rust, corrosion or a hasty paint job done to cover potential damage. This is especially the case when decals are applied over damaged spots.

Speak to the seller directly and ask to see documentation pertaining to the past of the equipment. This should give you a better idea of how and when it was serviced, how much use it has seen during its lifetime, and you may even have the ability to contact its previous owner for direct intel.

Check The VIN Number

When purchasing equipment from an auction house, you can rest assured that VIN number checks were already carried out and adequately cleared. However, if you choose to deal directly with the seller, this is something you will need to do yourself. For example, check the location of the VIN plate and take into consideration if it has been tampered with at all.

The VIN number you find on the equipment should have numbers that correspond to the correct class of machinery and check out against other equipment in the same category. This includes taking into consideration the make and model.

Set Bidding Guidelines

It’s important to set bidding guidelines for yourself to avoid overpaying for equipment at auction. It’s easy to get caught up in the heat of the moment, but it could cause you to spend more than what the machinery is worth. The moment you hit your personal limit, simply stop bidding!

It’s easy to assume that all equipment at auction is in desirable condition, but some sellers are unscrupulous. It’s important to stay informed and do your own research moving forward!