Going to a heavy equipment auction anytime soon? What are some good reminders before you attend?
New or Used
First, think about whether or not you want a brand new piece of equipment or if used will do. Oftentimes, you can get a nearly-new or used piece of heavy equipment at an auction for a fraction of the price you’d have to pay if you went to a store and paid the full retail price. Therefore, if you’re okay with a used item, buying it at an auction is a logical choice.
Next, do some research about the equipment you are most interested in, such that you’ll feel more confident at the auction. For instance, what’s the typical price of a used piece of equipment that you’re interested in? You might be able to do an Internet search and find that, for example, a lot of them have sold for between $8,000 and $10,000 recently, so you have a ballpark figure of what to pay at auction.
Also, set a budget for yourself beforehand. That way, you know when to stop bidding so you’re not trying to pay for something you truly can’t afford. If you know you have $10,000 to work with, hopefully you’ll get what you want for less than that.
When you are physically at the in-person auction, inspect the heavy equipment up close if possible, checking for things like dents and scratches. If allowed, inspect the engine and start it up to see if it runs well. Are there any maintenance documents with the item(s) you care about? If you can ask questions of the seller, do so.
Finally, come auction time, place your bid(s) strategically. You might want to watch some online videos about “winning auctions” so you get some helpful tips on the bidding process.