Construction Equipment Auctions: 4 Successful Bidding Tips

From a simple nod to a raised sign, to a wave of the hand, auction bidding is nuanced with numerous gestures that are often too subtle for a first-time auction attender to capture.  One moment you’re holding the winning bid the next you’re three bids behind.  Auctions are fast-paced and can be gut-wrenching or exhilarating experience, depending on your taste for adrenaline.

Winning Isn’t Always Winning

It sounds counterintuitive, but here are the basics: don’t get caught up in the action and over-pay just to win.  Consider winning a piece of construction equipment a win only if the price plus auction fees fall within a reasonable resale value of the equipment in question.  Before settling into your seat at the auction, know the catalog and do some price checking on the item value, taking into account the auction fees/premium.  It’s also advisable to check on auction house warranties, sales guarantee, or build a buffer into your estimate for potential repairs or maintenance on day 1, depending on equipment age or previous care/use.  Should the equipment you’re after exceed the resale price of the equipment outside of auction, consider it a win if you let it pass by.

Ready To Bid, Now What?

The item you’re looking to bid on is about to come up on the block, how do you bid effectively?  If you’re not a casual bidder, the best way for your voice to be heard is to first connect with an auction staff member, sometimes referred to as a “ringman”.  Their job is simple: identify bidders and facilitate the bid price to the auctioneer.  In a large hall, a single hand in the audience may be easily overlooked, but an auctioneer is trained to make eye contact with the various “ringmen” scattered around the room.  Make the connection before the item hits the block and your bid is sure to be heard.

Know The Signs

Eye contact is king.  A subtle gesture such as nodding your head or brushing your nose while making eye contact with the auctioneer can be enough to secure a bid.  If you’re not interested in placing a bid, break that contact before making a gesture that could be construed as a bid.

Timing Is Everything

Get a feel for the room before you roll out your bid, wait to see how quickly bids rise and know who you’re up against.  Present your opening bid when they begin to slow, and more than anything, know when to quit bidding.

At ENGS, we’re proud to offer finance for construction equipment as well as insurance products to protect your equipment assets.  Contact an ENGS representative to learn how we can help you finance or protect the construction equipment assets you have or will acquire in the near future.