gavel hitting an auction button on a keyboard

Buying or selling machinery at an auction is an excellent way to get its maximum value. Regardless of how many pieces of equipment you have sold before or how successful you’ve been with bids, there are several things that you need to keep in mind before you participate in an auction. You also need to check a few pointers and red flags that would indicate a flawed auction. While you may have a repertoire of bidding strategies under the belt, it would be prudent if you learned the ins and outs of machinery auctions. In this piece, we examine the things that make a good auction and red flags that point to a flawed process.

Selecting an Equipment Auction

#1: Choose an Auction Company

Getting maximum value will depend on how good the auction company you choose is. Before you sell or buy a used machine, the first thing you should do is to look for a reliable, experienced, and professional auctioneer. No matter how much preparation you make for a sale or how sharp your bidding skills are, the whole exercise is likely to be fruitless if you land on the wrong equipment auctioneer. The best auction company should have:

Resources

Before you utilize a given company’s services, you need to be sure that they have the right resources to facilitate the sale or purchase of the type of equipment you have in mind. Check for affiliations with attorneys, shipping companies, lending institutions, and other relevant agencies

Experience

Another aspect that you ought to consider is how well the company knows what they are doing. Are they the kind of auctioneer that conducts 2-5 auctions annually, or do they have weekly auctions that give them continuous experience?

Professionalism

The term professionalism may have a different meaning to different people. However, as a used machine buyer or seller, you need a company that follows the professional code of conduct, whether it is when you are approaching them or communicating during the auction. If you detect a lack of professionalism in the initial stages, this might not be the best company for you.

Reach

You also need to know the extent of the company’s reach. How vast are their marketing systems, and how big is their market? If you want to make a sale, you want a company that boasts extensive marketing and advertising capabilities. If you are making a purchase, you want to be sure that several machines are on display to make comparisons.

#2: How Do You Pay or Get Paid?

This is one part that most sellers and buyers fail to question. Before making any agreements, seek to understand the payment options provided or recommended by the auctioneer. We all know that some payment systems are more secure and reliable than others. Therefore, it is crucial to make sure that you are comfortable with the payment method recommended by the auction company.

If the company asks you to use credit cards, you should dig deep to understand whether they offer some form of protection. And if you are selling a top-dollar machine online, make sure that the auction site you are using is equipped to receive online payments without jeopardizing your personal information and your hard-earned cash.

#3: Make Sure That Everything is Prepared

Now that you understand the payment modes, it is time to make sure that everything is ready. A single mistake in the initial stages can be very costly. To make sure that everything moves smoothly:

  • Make thorough preparations. Ensure that you have highlighted every detail about the equipment you are selling, or make sure you have inspected the machine you are buying before making your first bid.
  • Seek to understand all the costs associated with the auction and know who is paying them. How much premium is the company charging? Who pays for the shipping or inspection costs? How about the taxes?
  • Timing is everything. There are no hard and fast rules regarding the best time to list or bid, but it is vitally essential to consider things such as market conditions.

#4: List Your Equipment or Make a Bid for a Machine of Your Choice

Once you determine that everything is set, you can now go ahead and list your machine or submit your bid. Make sure that you check out the auction’s sales rules and policies. Sellers should also ensure that they provide their guidelines and procedures. Honesty is one element that should manifest when you are listing your item. Make sure you don’t leave out important information or mislead buyers. For instance, if you want to list an old machine that’s not in good shape, remember to include words like “outdated, used or defective.”

Red Flags That Point to a Bad Auction

There is a crop of individuals who pretend to be making offers, yet they want to defraud you, your money, goods, or personal information. Here are things that may indicate this kind of auction:

  • People asking you to pay via payment options that are not secure and not recommended by the auctioneer. Don’t respond to buyers asking to deposit money directly or use payment systems that the auction company does not accept.
  • Beware of buyers or sellers who contact you after the auction is over. Only communicate with other people via the right channels provided by an auctioneer. When someone reaches you directly, you should think twice before you decide to deal with them.
  • Selling things that are not listed. Be aware of individuals who list a given item and then call to inform you that they have additional products that will interest you. Since you’ve already established some form of trust with them, they could take your money and fail to send you the product.
  • Auction companies where many reviewers indicate that they were defrauded. If you find an auctioneer with several negative reviews, this is a sign that they are not reliable.