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lwalker
05-09-2007, 03:54 PM
I work just down the road from a shop that's being auctioned off. No manual machine tools, but there's a bunch of shop equipment & tooling I could use. I would like to bid on some of this stuff, but I have never participated in a machine shop auction before.

Are there any pointers for a first timer? If I bid say, $5 on a used R8 adjustable boring bar holder am I likely to get it or should I be bidding closer to new cost. I guess what I'm asking is if the newer stuff is likely to go for pennies on the dollar or will most of it sell closer to the "as new" price. I guess the newer machining centers & punch presses will probably go fast, but I have no idea how much in demand the "hobby sized" tooling (endmills, drill bits, taps, dies) would be. Also, if I show up after the auction is over, am I likely to get the leftover stuff just for the cost of hauling it away :-)

SGW
05-09-2007, 04:12 PM
Why would you want to bid at close to new cost unless:

1) You REALLY want the item, and
2) Somebody else has bid up the price.

I think the main thing about an auction is to decide beforehand the maximum amount you're prepared to pay for something, and absolutely don't exceed it because you're caught up in the bidding. Sure, somebody may get an item you wanted for 5 bucks more than your last bid, but that means you would have had to bid another 5 bucks on top of that, and maybe more if another bidder came in again.

Also, go to the inspection period before the auction and look the stuff over.

Be sure you totally understand the bidding procedure.

There is really no telling about an auction. Sometimes really good stuff goes for pennies, and sometimes junk goes for more than new. Know what you're buying!

lwalker
05-09-2007, 05:08 PM
My problem is that there are a number of things I want and I have a finite amount of money to spend on those items, so I'm trying to figure out the likelihood winning what I want if I spread, e.g., $100, over just two things I really want, versus bidding on 10 different items for a total of $100.

Bill Pace
05-09-2007, 05:54 PM
There is really no telling about an auction.

Auctions can run the gamut, from the sublime to the insane!! One will be practically giving stuff away and another will be bringing unbelievable prices....You do follow ebay??

Go, by all means, get registered and just sit there for a while, youll pretty quickly get a feel for the 'mood'. It'll be an education in any case......

IOWOLF
05-09-2007, 06:42 PM
Take an Enco catalog to the Inspection day.

Or learn by your mistakes the first time you go.

lane
05-09-2007, 07:09 PM
Some times they will lump a bunch of stuff together.Their may be one are two items you can use. The rest you will have to get rid of . By all means go if nothing else a good learning experience.

Rustybolt
05-09-2007, 09:49 PM
I work just down the road from a shop that's being auctioned off. No manual machine tools, but there's a bunch of shop equipment & tooling I could use. I would like to bid on some of this stuff, but I have never participated in a machine shop auction before.

Are there any pointers for a first timer? If I bid say, $5 on a used R8 adjustable boring bar holder am I likely to get it or should I be bidding closer to new cost. I guess what I'm asking is if the newer stuff is likely to go for pennies on the dollar or will most of it sell closer to the "as new" price. I guess the newer machining centers & punch presses will probably go fast, but I have no idea how much in demand the "hobby sized" tooling (endmills, drill bits, taps, dies) would be. Also, if I show up after the auction is over, am I likely to get the leftover stuff just for the cost of hauling it away :-)


It's a crapshoot. I"ve gotten great deals. I've also seen absolute junk bid up to astronomical prices.No. Really. Rusted solid pieces of crap bid up past new.
My best advice is to just stand around and watch your first auction. Know what the price of stuff is new and determine for yourself what you are willing to pay and then don't under any circumstance go over your maximum. My personal rule of thumb is never pay more than half the new price. No matter what it looks like, you don't know who handled it and what they used it for.My .02.

john hobdeclipe
05-09-2007, 10:12 PM
Hopefully they will have a preview the day before the auction. If not, you'll only have a couple hours to look on the morning of the auction. Use this preview to your advantage. If at all possible, meet the auctioneer (or at least some of the staff,), introduce yourself and tell him honestly that you've not been to an auction before, discuss the things you're interested in, ask how the bidding works, etc. Don't waste his time, but get in some face time so that during the auction he'll recognise you in the crowd. It helps.

Then when you're bidding on the items you want, position yourself in sight of the auctioneer or a bid spotter whom you've gotten to know so he'll see you as an individual and not just another hand going up in the rabble.

Find out ahead of time what the removal arrangements are. You may have to take everything out on auction day, or you may have to wait until the following day.

Don't forget to include the buyer's premium (usually 10%) in your bidding decisions.


If I bid say, $5 on a used R8 adjustable boring bar holder am I likely to get it or should I be bidding closer to new cost

The auctioneer will start the bidding on each lot at or above what he thinks he should get. Usually no-one will bite, so the auctioneer will ask for progressively lower opening bids until somebody bids, then the bidding goes back up...often way past the initial request. So if you feel like paying $100 for your boring bar holder, don't just jump in and bid $100, but play the game...you may just get it for a lot less.


I guess the newer machining centers & punch presses will probably go fast
Not neccessarily. The guys bidding on the high dollar stuff will be somewhat slower in their bidding as the guy buying a fifty dollar item...especially as they approach their bid ceiling. And the auctioneer will likely slow down a bit and give these guys time to deliberate. After all, there's a lot more commission at stake.

A good auctioneer will average about 100 lots per hour, so be ready to think fast.


Also, if I show up after the auction is over, am I likely to get the leftover stuff just for the cost of hauling it away
There's rarely anything left unsold, but just in case, ask the auctioneer or a staff member before the auction. Occasionally some things don't get picked up by the loadout deadline, and they have to be disposed of somehow.


Some times they will lump a bunch of stuff together.Their may be one are two items you can use. The rest you will have to get rid of
I've done this quite often...buy a lot that includes the item I really want, then sell off the stuff I don't need on eBay. I've ended up with some nice tools and equipment essentially free.

Have fun, let us know how it goes.

RPease
05-09-2007, 10:12 PM
I'm not saying that it will happen, but you might try to be aware of "wierd bidding". I've been to auctions where the auctioneer seems to get bids from "nowhere".

On one occasion, the auctioneer was bidding on item himself (sometimes they use a "shill") to raise the price. If item didn't go for what he felt it should go for, he would just buy it and take it to the next auction and try to sell again.

Just trying to say that.........you have to be careful........

Regards..........

BadDog
05-09-2007, 11:24 PM
Very nice (and very accurate) description by John. Likewise, I've got some good lots at auction, but I'm a packrat and have hard time letting go. Last big auction they were piling EVERYTHING together at the end. One lot went too high for the piddling stuff I wanted that got shoved in. Asked the winner, and he wanted something else. So I offered him a bit more than my stuff's fair share of the total (for his trouble) and he happily let me take my stuff. Still got a good deal, and he was happy he got the piece he wanted even cheaper.

Just don't let the "fever" strike you. Many new auction attendees get caught up in the bidding and wind up paying near new, sometimes more if too newbies get to bidding against each other from some bauble. And check something like ebay, don't go for percentage new or you'll wind up paying too much. In most cases, if I can't get it less than ebay prices, I'm not interested. Ebay tends to go high on most items (IMO). Except for things where I feel I MUST put my hands on it before bidding, I will simply pass if it goes above "great deal" price.

Main thing, just stay detached and calm, don't get caught up in the energy that the auctioneer is trying to create with his hurried babble and goading.

wierdscience
05-09-2007, 11:33 PM
My problem is that there are a number of things I want and I have a finite amount of money to spend on those items, so I'm trying to figure out the likelihood winning what I want if I spread, e.g., $100, over just two things I really want, versus bidding on 10 different items for a total of $100.

If that is the case the first thing to do is seperate the needs from the wants.Focus your efforts on the needs and work on the wants if the chance arises.

If you need a set of collets,then research what those collets would cost you new and then figure half of that or less as your maximum bid for that item,anything over that,then pass on that item.Reason is they made more than one of them and you'll get a chance at another later.

Now with that in mind,you might miss everything you need,but might also come up on a want for a really good deal.Last auction I went to all the stuff I needed went higher than I was willing to pay,but a want I had looked at and figured would go for more than I could pay landed in my lap for cheap.

The next thing is a must,research,research,research let the fools spend too much.Go for the inspection day,write down the model/serial number of the items you are intrested in and then go home and read up on them.Tooling is a perfect example,Ebay does set the price for tooling to a degree I have seen this in the past couple years,somethings are selling higher than used to and somethings are selling lower.Take a dial caliper with you so you can check out tooling no sense getting stuck with oddball or wornout tooling.

Large lots,no problem,avoid them unless you KNOW for a FACT you can sell the excess stuff you don't need.What I have done is write down the bidder number of the winning bidder and ask them if they will sell you just what you want out of that lot,do this the day of the sale and have them write you a bill of sale that includes a witness signature and thier bidder and item lot number.

Small tooling and tools,unless the auction company secures your items as you win them from pilferage you will need a buddy that you can count on the stand watch and check on your won items.People at auctions do steal small items and ocassionaly large ones too.I bought a pallet of tooling once and some one stole a couple of new tandem acme taps that were on it.That reduced my profit on that lot to a loss.

Shilling,most common type here is the auctioneer running up the bid.The bidding will be going along and start to stall,then suddenly out of nowhere start going like wildfire,that's because it really is being bid from nowhere.Dead give away is when just as suddenly the bid drops back down to what it was just before it started to stall.Auctioneers that have thier own yards will do this most often.Those type auctioneers will sometimes have a bidder in the audiance and buy the item if it doesn't sell high enough,then haul it back to thier yard and sell it in the next auction.This is pretty common,especially if the auctioneer is an older one.Lots where this has happened will many times have two or more lot numbers on them in different color ink,or different aged tags,unless the auction company believes paint is worth $1000/gallon and it's been painted over.

lwalker
05-10-2007, 07:57 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions. It's an online auction and runs for about 2 weeks, but the only in-person inspection date is 2 days before auction close. Of course online photos of all items are provided.

Anyway, I bid on a number of items I wanted and we'll see what happens from here. I've already been outbid on a Kurt vise, but at $9 there's a lot of margin before I give up :-)

recoilless
05-11-2007, 01:36 PM
lwalker: As has been said, have a plan and price limits. As aveteran of many auctions, you'll see a little of everything. Good deals are possible, but remeber you don't have the option of returning everything. Overall, I buy from all the suppliers(Enco, MSC, Traverse WT, the smaller ones too) even if it's just $50 a year. It keeps the SALES flyers coming in. At any given moment, somebody has a heck of a deal on something!! If I'm unhappy with it I can send it back, which you won't be able to do at an auction. If found good deals and also have boxes of WHATEVER that came with that I may never use. That being said, I've always had fun at auctions

Too_Many_Tools
05-11-2007, 03:43 PM
Another issue about auctions is the time they take.

My time is worth money..and I expect that yours is too.

When deciding how much to bid for an item, weigh the fact that going to a dozen auctions to win an item at your price just cost you a considerable amount of time. If you keep track of the time spent chasing that bargain, you will many times find that it is no bargain. And the last time I checked, the price of travel and transportation have gone up...and up...and up. Keep track of miles driven to find that great bargain and again many times you could have brought it new.

I find it interesting that several people have said to not bid over half of new price. For many auctions I have been to, half of new price will not even get you a bid.

I strongly agree about knowing what something is worth. I was just at a neighborhood estate auction this weekend...the used Harbor Frieght tools there were selling for 25 - 50% more than new.

I also strongly agree on previewing the offerings of any auction. Any auction that I have not done so has put me at a disadvantage on the day of the sale.

TMT