If you’re looking to add to your equipment fleet in 2013,auctions offer contractors a great way to buy the machinesthey need. With hundreds of events held worldwide andequipment options brought in from all over the globe,potential buyers are sure to find the right fit for their needs.Below, Doug Olive, Vice President of Pricing and Appraisalsfor Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, offers the Top 5 tips whenpurchasing equipment at auction.
1. Research your item of interest. Prior to theauction, it’s important to examine the equipmentyou’re looking to purchase. Olive suggests scopingout important facts about the machine and its currentmarket value.
“When it comes to your equipment needs, take thetime to do your homework — research, ask questions andbe prepared on auction day,” says Olive. “Because it’s anunreserved auction, it’s the bidders that control the finalprice. Every item sells to the highest bidder, regardless ofprice. So if you’ve done your homework ahead of time,you’ll feel confident while bidding.”
2. Inspect and test the equipment. In addition toresearch at home, prospective buyers should takethe time to visit the auction site to test and inspect theequipment before bidding. Olive says customers shouldfeel free to bring in their own mechanics in order to makesure that they know everything there is to know aboutthe item.
”At Ritchie Bros., we encourage customers to come kick the tires and test the equipment before they bid,” saysOlive. “We try to make this process as easy as possibleby collecting all equipment for a specific auction at asingle auction site. This allows bidders to inspect and testmultiple pieces of equipment at one location.”
3. Register ahead of time. Whether you’re biddingin person or online, Olive points out that registeringfor the auction ahead of time is a good call. This givesbidders time to study the auction day schedule and makearrangements for financing and transportation, if needed.
“When you’ve found something you want to buy,register to bid in that auction,” says Olive. “You can bid inperson, online in real time or by proxy. If bidding online,make sure you register several days before the auction.You may be required to submit a refundable bid deposit.Smaller items may be sold in an online timed auction.”
4. Know your financial limits and stick to them.Since auctions can be very competitive, Olive cautionsthat it’s imperative to not get caught up in the hype andto stay within your budget. If the equipment you’re eyeingis in your budget, scope out the payment options for theauction’s location. Options typically depend on where theauction is conducted and whether you are bidding onsite or online. For example, Olive mentions that onlinebuyers can typically pay by Visa or MasterCard or by wiretransfer.
Some auction companies many even offer their ownfinancing plans. For example, Olive says that Ritchie Bros.Financial Services, a joint venture between RitchieBros. Auctioneers and Travelers Financial Corp.,has partnered with leading equipment financeproviders to bring fast, convenient financingoptions to Ritchie Bros. customers.
“We also offer up to 100 percent financingat our auctions,” says Olive. “All financingapprovals are good for up to 90 days at anyRitchie Bros. auction and offer quick release ofyour equipment.”
5. Bid with confidence. Thanks to the duediligence taken in Tip No. 1, a buyer can cometo the auction confident in what he is biddingon. However, if a buyer finds themselves in a positionof uncertainty, Olive notes that it’s good practice topass and look for further solutions — there will beplenty of more auctions to try your hand out.
“Buyers should be able to make all purchases —used or new — with the utmost confidence,” saysOlive. “The most important thing to rememberabout any major purchase is to do your duediligence;inspect the item, read about it, have itappraised for market value and test it out yourself.”
Pam Kleineke is Associate Editor of Utility Contractor.