Five Tips for Buying At Auction

Five Tips for Buying At Auction

Bidders know they’re going into an auction to get a great deal on a vehicle or piece of construction equipment. They can set the price for every item, providing a great opportunity for a bargain.

However, if you’re new to auctions, it can be an intimidating environment. The auction moves quickly, everything is sold “as-is,” and the bidding war can be thrilling, yet aggressive. Adopt these buying tips for your next auction, and you’ll feel more confident in your bidding strategy.

1. Register Online

Skip the registration line and pre-register online. Several auction companies offer this feature today. Signing up in person can still be an easy process, but registering online is a breeze and can be done from the comfort of your own home. Skipping the registration line at the auction site also allows you to spend more time on the lot to inspect your next potential purchase.

2. Inspect Your Next Purchase

Want to feel more confident in what you decide to buy at the auction? Be sure to check out the item you’re interested in before you make your purchase. Walk around the vehicle or piece of equipment. Sit in the operator’s seat and turn on the engine. Does the engine purr beautifully? Are there any unusual noises or marks that you might want to take into consideration? Take notes and make sure you inspect the product thoroughly. To help our customers prepare, JJ Kane hosts an inspection day from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. the day before every live auction.

3. Do Your Research

Another benefit of an inspection day is that it often gives you the chance to retrieve the manufacturer’s serial number on a piece of equipment or a vehicle. Finding out the serial number allows you to research the make and model of that item so you can cross-reference pricing. This provides a great advantage in knowing market value and deciding how high you want to bid.

4. Bring a Friend

It’s always good to have another set of eyes to help inspect. Your friend may notice something about a vehicle or piece of equipment that you might have missed. They can also help you cover more ground if you’re planning to bid on multiple lots. Having a confidant with you may also provide a voice of reason. They can help rationalize your buying decision and assist you in getting a great deal on an item that you might have otherwise missed out on.

5. Preparation is Key

If you’re looking to get a great deal, preparing for an auction is the single most important thing you can do. Thankfully, you most likely have several tools at your fingertips that can help you prepare. If your auction company offers it, go online and check out the inventory in advance to decide which item(s) you want to bid on. If you can, attend an inspection day, take notes, and research serial numbers. Overall, these action items will help you form a game plan and allow you to make informed decisions when bidding begins.

Reviewing these tips beforehand can provide a competitive edge when placing your bid in a fast-paced auction. Arriving at the sale armed with the details of your desired purchase can help you outbid your fellow bidders or get a great deal. Maximize your efficiency by registering online and reviewing your auction company’s website in advance, so you can spend more time researching.

At JJ Kane, our associates are available on site to answer any questions you may have.

This article was published in the March edition of Crane Hot Line.