Buying Bucket Trucks at Auction – Things to Consider

An auction is a great venue for purchasing inexpensive, used equipment, like used bucket trucks. However, if there is not a nearby event, the next option is to find an online equipment auction. It is almost identical to the physical version except that bidders view the items, inspection reports, and place bids via the internet.

An online auction refers to bidding on an item over the internet; there are two different approaches as to how this is done.

  • Timed Online – As the name implies, the sale takes place over a certain span of time that is determined by the seller. This is the format on popular websites like eBay and Craigslist. Interested participants can place bids within a particular time frame; when the allotted time runs out, the highest bidder is automatically announced as the winner.
  • Live Online – Similar to a live, physical auction event, participants bid over the internet and compete against the crowd of physical buyers on site with the equipment. The auctioneer sets a day and time for the event and participants must be online at that particular time in order to place a bid. Participants compete live and winners are immediately announced.


Purchasing equipment, such as bucket trucks, from companies who auction equipment online may seem like a last resort if remotely located from a physical venue; however, this is not true.  The online auction offers several advantages to those who prefer to bid over the internet, rather than by conventional means.

  • Convenience – Traditionally, purchasing a used bucket truck from a live event means searching for an auction and then traveling to attend the sale, at the specified date and time. While this may work for some, many interested participants would have to spend time and money to get there, which is impractical considering there is no guarantee that a purchase can even be made. Via the internet, participants can look for many different event dates and bid from any remote location, making it a convenient option.
  • Variety – Equipment sold at one particular event can be fairly limited, resulting in either buying a certain make or model that may not having been a first choice or even skipping the event entirely as nothing was available that was even close to what the buyer desired. The internet offers a wide variety of machinery because of the many online auctions. Interested parties can choose the make, model, specifications, and condition, and then purchase the equipment that best suits their needs.
  • Atmosphere – One of the drawbacks of a live event is the competitive atmosphere. This is natural because participants are competing to buy the merchandise. Unfortunately, not everyone is accustomed to this, especially first timers. The internet is the perfect alternative for individuals who do not want to experience such intense competitiveness.

Bidding Tips

While purchasing from an online auction has advantages, there are also a few things to remember to achieve success.

  • Reputation – Always check the background of any company hosting the event before making any deals. Verify their existence by using all posted contact details.
  • Vehicle Condition – Before bidding on any equipment, have an expert inspect it to determine condition. Most auctions have an “as-is, where-is” policy, so quality should be determined before purchasing.
  • Added Expenses – Find out if there is a buyer’s premium added to the sale and if so, how much and factor this into the total price so an established budget is not exceeded.

Ask us for help if you need assistance estimating the value of items like bucket trucks; we are glad to help you. Check the various pricing guides and never bid beyond what is indicated as fair market value. Companies who auction equipment online offer the perfect venue from which to purchase such equipment. It is convenient and provides a wide variety from which to choose. Most who try this wonderful type of sales venue find that an online auction website is indeed a great way to purchase heavy-duty equipment, like used bucket trucks!

Auctions can be a much better alternative than buying equipment from dealerships because they offer an opportunity to buy at market cost. Download our Buyer’s Guide for helpful tips; and contact us, if we can assist.