I am wondering how many shops out there use the online industrial auction sites like IRS. It looks like some incredible savings on really nice, broke in, machines. One question I have is this, are there ways to get machines to my door without having to pick them up myself? Seems like most of the auctions I have been watching are on the coasts, I am in the Midwest. Does anyone have past experiences or ideas?
From contributor L:
Someone has to pick up the equipment. You or a company you can hire that will haul machinery. There is usually a millwright on location that does all the loading. They carry the insurance and, of course, charge for it. Maybe they will let you load it with your own forklift, probably not. If it is a small item that can be loaded by hand, then you can. Its almost always cheaper to take a trailer and pay the mill right. Then plan on unloading with a rented forklift or use a tilting trailer.
Another thing to be aware of is the buyer’s fee is usually several percent higher on online auctions. You want to account for that in your bid. I have bought several items from IRS and the transactions went well and I saved a lot of money. They were however all within driving distance.
I have watched and participated in enough auctions to have a feel for what type of auction it is and how likely the equipment will be plug and play. But I can say from some live auctions I've attended that the online pics are not reliable. I went to an auction last year to bid on a shaper. After giving it a quick look I changed my mind, the online bidder who won was probably not a happy camper. So again it comes down to a gamble. I also haven't bought anything costly enough to justify having to pay a rigger to move it, yet.
Talk to IRS on the phone and they can tell you more and hook you up with transport. This is a great example of buyer beware, since buying unseen has its risks. Of three machines, two were brand new - one never unpacked, and the third - the saw - I was able to learn about. I knew about that type of saw from previous shops, and that helped.