My first machinery auction -- Any tips ?

One other tip: Some times an item you are interested in is grouped with items you have no interest in. When these items are sold, watch carefully to
see who the buyer is, and approach him about selling you the item. This has worked for me numerous times.
(Minor Gloat) Last week I went to an auction where I did this very thing. They had grouped some items with a lathe that were not lathe related. I got a Hardinge dividing head and tailstock, a Mitutoyo toolmakers microscope, and an Aloris CA toolpost from the lathe purchaser. He didn't need them, and I bought them cheap enough to resell at a profit.
John Normile

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You have recieved a lot of good advice. Generally, the opening call seems to be in the neighborhood of what the auctioneer hopes to get for the item. They will then start working their way down until they find someone to buy in. Depending on the order of things, it helps to buy(or at least bid on) something before what you really came for. For me at least there is always one or two things that you really came for. A lot of things that are of definite interest, and a few unlisted things or just to good to pass up as things go on.
If the auctioneer "knows" you, he will watch you for interest when he is looking for bids. Try to keep the yes bid subtle once you are in.
JW
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good
nor
Google "Old Nick"'s advice in some recent threads. On low value items, sometimes you want to have a bid in at a particular price point, otherwise the item isn't worth going another $10 or $20 for. For example, you're willing to go 30, the bidding starts at 20, if you're the first bidder you may benefit by offering 30, rather than needing to go to 40 after the second bidder chimes in at 30. It's usually easier to be recognized as the first bidder than as the second or third bidder.
If it is an "in-plant" sale at a going concern, you may be able to get someone there to load large equipment for you, even if the rules state otherwise. Also check out the availability of loading docks.
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Another comment someone made in the past. Beware of items not part of the shop that is closing. ie they were trucked in from somewhere else.
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AL writes:

Assuming you do get a bargain, remember that moving it will therefore be a significant chunk of the real cost.

Seems common now at industrial auctions, unheard of 20 years ago. Probably imposed on the auctioneer by his own liability insurer.
In my experience, they won't hold this against you if you're doing a move yourself, as long as it isn't absurdly beyond your abilities, and you don't start doing crazy or risky stuff. Just act nonchalant while you wheel in your shop crane or whatever.
Ultimately they have to get the stuff outta there, and they're not going to want to quibble over one or two questionable pieces. If they're really worried, they might even get the rigger to move it out onto the street where they won't have any further liability. The riggers make some great money at these auctions and will usually do the auctioneers a favor like that.
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Cheapest way to move an item is to beg, borrow, or rent a utility trailer and have a rigger load it at the auction site. For a Bridgeport sized mill or a 13" sized lathe this could be anywhere from $50 to $150. If a rigger is already doing work there with his lifts, a knee mill or tool room lathe is just gravy work for him. This makes the assumption you have the ability to remove the equipement from the trailer at your destination point.
I moved a lathe I purchased at auction. I started with my first call to a local rigger wanting $1600 to move it into my garage. I ended up doing it myself with a borrowed trailer and the help of a friend for $50 and lunch for friend. The $50 went to a rigger at the auction site to uninstall and put it on my trailer.
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gradstdnt wrote:

Worst case is $50-$75 to hire a wrecker to pull it off the trailer and set it on your driveway.
I placed mine on 2 "tracks" of oiled 1"x1/8" steel strips and slid it into the garage. Much easier and safer than putting it on rollers.

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Great responses so far. My $.02:
First go to a practice auction with no intention of buying ANYTHING. Mentally figure what you would pay for the item, then follow all the other comments that were posted. ie "Pretend" bidding. Then follow the whole payment and shipping/loadiing gig.
I found that you have to attend an auction or two, buy just a couple of small items, before you have a clue what the adreniline rush can do to you. A newbie planning on buying a big item is in for a haircut.
AL wrote:

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Look over every item in which you might be interested, even if you think the price will be too high. Every now and then you'll hit an auction where some things are going for ridiculously low prices.
You should watch out for people swiping stuff after it has been sold, but you'll more often find people "re-packing" box lots before they are sold. On the other hand, if you bought the milling machine, and the milling cutters are being sold with the lathe, sing out and the auctioneer will usually make the correction. On the other hand again, if you didn't buy the milling machine but want the cutters, object to him giving them to the mill guy by calling out a bid for them.
Take measuring equipment, tools, chain and anything else you'll need. Take catalogs or parts price lists.
Make sure you have cash with you. Most auctioneers will take checks, but the guy who just bought "everything on the shelves in the grinding room" won't. If you want to buy a few pieces from him, you'll need money.
Know what things are worth. Remember that there are likely to be hidden defects that will cost you money. Bid on machines that come with tooling - buying the tooling later is expensive.
John Martin
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CIA is a pretty reputable auction house. They always run a good auction. They have the best floor guy in the business. You won't have to look far to find him, his name is Mike and he runs the auction more than the auctioneer.
Jeff is their main auctioneer. He tends to start slowly which is good if you are new. As a company, everyone at CIA is very willing to help and very professional.
As others in this thread have said, if there is an item that you are interested in, you really need to have a number in your head before the bidding gets to that item. If you don't, you'll most assuredly wind up overpaying. Remember too, it's always OK to back down, this isn't a dick size contest.
If you are prepared by knowing what it is that you want and what that item is worth to you, then I think you will find the experience to be a whole lot of fun - even if you come away empty handed - which is unlikely.
CIA are not sticklers for having a Bank Letter of Credit. Some auction houses are. You can pay with a company check. However, I'm not sure if they will take a personal check. Of course cash always works.
Large machines are usually not taken on the day of the auction. On the other hand, small stuff usually is. With the majority of auctions, you will have a fairly short time frame to remove your purchases. Generally, everything has to be out within a week, often sooner, occasionally longer.
Are you looking at the auction in Elk Grove Village next week? If that's the auction that you are planning to attend, there will probably be a half dozen riggers there: Rite Industrial, Rameco, Luckey, Scientific and Seminole. They are all good. At one time or another I've used them all.
If you plan to buy something like a Bridgeport, you can take it out yourself. Alternatively, you can pay a rigger to put it on your truck or trailer and of course you can always have them do the whole job. If you plan to buy something that is larger than a Bridgeport then you had better plan to have a rigger move it.
I take it this is a personal purchase? If I'm wrong in that assumption and this is for your business, then you should have a reseller's number and you will not be required to pay sales tax; this is true even if you do not intend to resell it. If it's a personal purchase then, in theory, you will be required to pay tax.
Again, if that's the auction, it only has about 600 lots. That is a small auction. It should all be over by about 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon giving you plenty of time to take small stuff out.
The buyer's premium will be added to the bottom of your invoice and then the tax will be added to that. You won't be able to take anything out of the building until you have a paid receipt in your hand. You can settle up at any time, you don't need to wait for the auction to end. They will most likely sell the office furniture last so if you don't need a new credenza that might be a good time to high tail it down to the auction office and pay before a long line forms.
Have fun!
Maybe I'll see you there.
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||Are you looking at the auction in Elk Grove Village next week? If ||that's the auction that you are planning to attend, there will ||probably be a half dozen riggers there: Rite Industrial, Rameco, ||Luckey, Scientific and Seminole. They are all good. At one time or ||another I've used them all.
What kind of money should one expect to pay a rigger to load something like a small lathe (10"-12") or a Bridgeport?
||If you plan to buy something like a Bridgeport, you can take it out ||yourself. Alternatively, you can pay a rigger to put it on your truck ||or trailer and of course you can always have them do the whole job. If ||you plan to buy something that is larger than a Bridgeport then you ||had better plan to have a rigger move it.
How would you go about loading a BP by yourself?
Good thread guys, thanks. Texas Parts Guy
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rex@@txol.net (Rex B) wrote:

Anywhere between 0 and $100. I'd plan on spending the $100.
There are always riggers at the auctions. Grab one and ask him what he'll charge to put it on your trailer. Needless to say, it's best to do that before you bid.
I've found that the way riggers handle this kind of request varies depending on the part of the country that you are in. The riggers in the southern states seem to be more helpful, often loading a machine for nothing more than a tip.
I was in Indianapolis last year and a rigger put a Browne & Sharpe 618 surface grinder on my truck for $20. I gave him a $20 tip and I still felt bad.
Remember that these guys pay a lot in insurance premiums. For them to ask $100 for what looks like a 5 minute job is actually pretty reasonable in my book.

Use a drop-deck trailer a pallet jack and a Johnson bar. Lift it onto blocking with the Johnson bar, slide the pallet jack in under the machine and roll it onto the trailer.
I always take enough wood to make a pallet on site (you have to assemble it under the machine). I then steel band the machine to the pallet and roll it out the door.
The last machine that I took like this was a 15 X 40 Jet Lathe. I believe that I was in and out in under a half hour. It took me longer to tie it down to the trailer than it did to get it out of the building.

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Back in the mid '80s, I used to go to a lot of farm auctions in CO,NE,KS. Most farmers had a fair ammount of shop equipment, and some had whole machine shops to keep the AG equipment in good order.
My MO was to arrive a bit early and get registered. Then I'd look over the things that I was interested in VERY CAREFULLY. I assigned any lot I was going to bid on a dollar ammount, that was my absolute top bid. I usually wrote the lot number and my top bid ammount on the back of my bidder number card.
When one of the lots came up I made a point of being in the front row of the "arc" around the item. When making my initial bid on a lot, I would make eye contact with the floorman and state my bid ammount and flash my bidder number. As the bidding progressed, eye contact with the SAME floorman and a nod gets it done. If the bid went higher than my absolute top bid, eye contact with the floorman and say "No Thanks". If I was the high bidder when the auctioneer "dropped the gavel", I would echo the bid ammount and state my bidder number, and write the sale ammount on my bidder number card.
Don't be afraid to call out a much lower bid when the auctioneer is trying to get the bidding started on a lot. If he's asking for "$100 to open for this rare widget...", make eye contact with the floorman, flash your bidder number and offer $15. The bid has to start somewhere.
You MUST have a dollar ammount in mind before the bidding starts and you MUST be ready and able to say "No Thanks" if bidding exceeds that figure.
Rex the Wrench
AL wrote:

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AL wrote:

There has been a lot of good advice, and some bad (IMNSHO) given already.
The good: -preview and inspect as well as can. I prefer to go the day before, if possible. This is the ideal time to ask any questions and maybe make contacts with the users of the equipment. It also allows you time to research a little on the "surprise" items that you did not know were there. Best to be able to know BEFORE you bid the price up, what the item is worth new. This is also a good time to point out to the auctioneer that the box of chucks in the cleaning supply room may be better with the lathe they fit on. Or not.
-Eye contact with the floorman or the auctioneer. These guys are trying to work here, make it as easy as possible for them to know that YOU are bidding. I have on many occasions hollered out a loud "HEY!" with my bid card up when the floor guy ha smissed my attempt to bid. Get his attention if you must. Once you are in, they will be looking to you when the bid is raised. Keep your bid number handy.
The bad: -Learner auctions.You won't learn much standing around all day at an auction you have no vested interest in. You go to auctions to buy things for as little as you can or for as much as you must pay. Auctions are about the most mind numbing events I can think of, except for when I am there for something that is coming up on the block. All you will learn, going to just one auction, is that it is dull, dull, dull, to stand around all day listening to the auctioneer when you are not trying to buy. But when you are there to maybe get a deal....:-)
-Shills and imaginary bidders. I suppose it happens. Usually, the auctioneer has a patter and trys to keep it rolling. Any auctioneer that spent too much time taking bids from the sparrows or imaginary bidders will get caught at it soon enough, and end up losing buisness over it. Its tough to sell something when you took a high bid from an imaginary bidder and the live one won't raise. And it IS all about selling the product. If it happens at all, it will happen very early in the bidding, but I would have to say that I have not ever seen it happen that I was aware of. I HAVE seen many guys raise their own bids and become part of the entertainment for so doing, though. Know what you bid. Watch the other bidders. Ask if in doubt as to whether you are on or not. Ask if you are in doubt about what the bid is at. But be damn fast about it. I have nver been too concerned about shills. Either I will get an item for what I am willing to pay, or someone else pays more than I am willing to pay. Period. Like the imaginary bidder, this happens less than you would think. Too much of a chance hat the item will not sell to a paying customer. I have been to a lot of auctions wher items required the approval of the owner to finalise the sale. That's something different, though.
I will preview and assign prices to the items I want. I almost never make an opening bid. If there is an item that I am interested in, and an opening bid is not forthcoming, I'll offer a buck or a couple bucks and often get it for that. If I really want somthing, though, and it is worth it to me, I will sometimes start the bidding high. Very often the result is that it sells for less than it would have if the auctioneer had been able to get some momentum going on the bidding.
Once I start bidding, I stay in and will bid hard and fast, right up to my limit. Once I get out, I AM done bidding on that item, and it has been sold to someone that was willing to pay more than I was. To reiterate, I will not get back in. Wishy-washy bidders are probably where most of the assumed shills and assumed imaginary bidders stories come from IMO. Me, I know how much I will pay. If you will pay more, it will be your purchase.
At the end, every auction is a different experience. Some days nobody wants to spend any money, other days it gets stupid, and everybody want to pay retail or more for used goods. The only thing I can say is consistant, is that you don't get the deals by staying home.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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wiat until the second or third one to buy anything
ALWAYS set a limit. stick to it. ALWAYS ***************************************************** It's not the milk and honey we hate. It's having it rammed down our throats.
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First let me thank everyone who replied. Your responses were very helpful.
I went to the Amerimold auction in Elk Grove, Illinois today. I only stayed a few hours and left empty handed (as there wasn't much that I wanted). But it was still quite an experience. As a hobbyist, the auction is only half the fun. I rarely get to visit real shops so inspection day means I get to explore.
Amerimold had a very nice shop. They had several giant CNC vertical milling centers, a giant radial drill press, and several giant surface grinders. I could practically park my car on their largest mill. And if I wanted to drill a hole in the car roof, I could use that radial drill. For smaller stuff, they had 7 Bridgeports, 2 Boyar Schultz manual surface grinders, and 4 or 5 Kent (Japanese) surface grinders. The Bridgeports were all lined up in a row. Most of their large machines were made in Japan. The smaller manual machines were US made. I saw a few German machines, only a handful of Taiwanese machines, and no Chinese machines.
I took a good look at their shop layout--hoping they had some creative arrangement that I've never seen before. But they had a large rectangular building so the machines were well spaced apart and lined up in rows.
I did notice that most of their machines had plugs and outlets (rather than being hard wired through a safety disconnect switch). I think I will do this too, as my shop progresses.
The auction started quickly, with small stuff on the tables going first. They were plenty of bargains--but nothing that interested me. Various Starrett and Mitutoyo measuring instruments went for very good prices. The lifting eyes, end mills, drill bits, allen keys, etc. went for fair market value. And there were a few items that weren't exactly bargains. A Harbor Freight tile saw went for around $150. A Harbor Freight pipe threading kit went for over $100 (I bought a new one for $25).
One item did stand out from the rest though. It was a 7" Chicago Electric angle grinder with the same design, shape, color, and texture of the current Harbor Freight models. But this one said "Made in Japan".
When they finished with the small stuff, they moved onto the surface grinders. The Boyar Schultz grinders started at $1000, dropped to $100, then sold for around $300. I wanted to bid but by the time my brain deciphered what the auctioneer was saying, and then commanded my hand to rise, the first one was already sold. Before I could say "darn", the second one sold too.
Then they moved onto the Kent grinder. They started the bid at $5000. I said to myself, I wonder if these will go down to $100. Alas, they all sold for around $3000.
About that time, I started getting tired from standing and from trying to understand the auctioneer. So I left.
Do they have schools that teach people how to talk like that?
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wrote:

Yupper. I'm not sure if they teach the cheesy jokes that most of them have in their repertoire, or if they just come up with them on their own.
For example: http://www.auctioneerschool.com/main.html
Best regards, Spehro Pefhany
--
"it's the network..." "The Journey is the reward"
snipped-for-privacy@interlog.com Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
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Yes they do, and it's tacky.
If you watch an auction at Southerby's, where they sell antiques and paintings worth millions, you can hear every word the auctioneer says.
I attended an auction run by an auctioneer from L.A. once where $2,000,000 worth of stuff was sold. I had no problem understanding the man, and there was none of that bogus Dutch auction trick either.
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Yes,     They put them in with a bunch of turkeys - gobble gobble gobble
Went to auction today in Perth (www.wwauctions.com.au), auctioneer was a Sep, sounded just like a turkey, I had to look at electronic display to guess what bid was as I could not translate his gibberish. . Prices were reasonable, I bought a new 3.6 kVA diesel generator, for my caravan, for $647 would have liked to buy a Komatsu wheel loader at about $14k but the bank account would not stretch that much. Alan in beautiful Golden Bay, Western Oz, South 32.25.42, East 115.45.44 GMT+8 VK6 YAB ICQ 6581610 to reply, change oz to au in address
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