What is an Equipment Auction?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Equipment auctions are events in which parties are invited to bid on various types of machinery or other equipment. Often, the items offered at these auctions are used, but still in good to excellent condition. Just about any type of used equipment can be included in the auction, from office machines to manufacturing or construction equipment.

Almost any type of used equipment can be included in an equipment auction.
Almost any type of used equipment can be included in an equipment auction.

For the most part, the items offered at an equipment auction have been declared obsolete by their original owners, and replaced with updated equipment. However, the items are still in fine working order, and will usually sell for a fraction of the original purchase price. Winning bidders are able to secure pieces of equipment they need, while owners can dispose of unwanted items without incurring any expense, since the fees are often taken out of the proceeds generated by the auction itself.

Farming equipment is often sold at auction.
Farming equipment is often sold at auction.

There are several different types of equipment auctions. One of the more common examples is the farming equipment auction. Used items such as tractors, rototillers, and harvesting machines will be sold to the highest bidder. The equipment is normally certified as to the condition, making it possible for bargain hunters to have what they need without spending a great deal of money.

Construction equipment is also sold at an equipment auction. Once again, the items have usually been replaced by newer makes and models, but are still capable of performing well for many purposes. Even industrial equipment, such as commercial sewing machines, textile warping frames, and strapping machines may be included in an equipment auction.

Selling industrial equipment at an auction is one of the easiest and most profitable ways to make money on any type of equipment that is no longer needed. Often, companies will go through an auction house to arrange the equipment auction, listing anything that is no longer of use to the business but could hold value for someone else. The auction company will work with the client to determine if the auction will be structured as a public event or will only be open to a list of invited bidders.

The goal of any equipment auction is to find a buyer for every item that is offered at the event. If all conditions are favorable, every item will sell, allowing the owners to make a small profit, the auctioneer to earn revenue, and the happy bidders to take home machinery and any other equipment they can put to good use.

Equipment auctions can be goldmines for buyers looking to purchase farm tractors.
Equipment auctions can be goldmines for buyers looking to purchase farm tractors.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


Cupcake15-I know that storage unit facilities will have a surplus equipment auction to get rid of things that people have forgotten about and refuse to pick up.

These auctions offer a lot of gently used goods that might be great to sell on Ebay.


Subway11-I went to a real estate auction and you do have to be careful and have a top bid number in mind because the auction goes so fast and you also have the feeling of wanting to leave with something.

It is better to leave empty handed then to bid more than a property is worth. A great thing to do if you are not familiar with auctions is to attend a few so that you get the hang of it before you start bidding.

It is a very different thing from being at home and thinking rationally about an item or a house that you want to buy, then from being at an auction where people are competing against you for the same thing.

Also, remember that is rumored that many of these auctions will have bid shillers in the audience in which they are instructed to bid on items just to get the price up and have no intention of buying the product.

Although this is illegal, it is hard to prove and some auction houses get away with it. This is another reason why you have to be careful with any auction to you take participate in.


Moldova-I went to a home auction by the company REDC and it was really because the property that I intended to buy was a foreclosure that went to auction, so I had to go to the auction to buy the property.

It is true that the auction goes very fast, as a matter of fact the property that I bought was auctioned off in less than one minute. You also have to keep in mind with auctions, especially with home auctions that these auctions have a reserve price, so although you see a very low starting bid, don’t kid yourself into to thinking that that is what you will get a four bedroom house for $25,000.

If you are the high bidder the auctioneers will say, “Bid subject to confirmation” which means that the bank still has to accept or decline the bid. About 90% of the bids do get accepted.


Auctions are really a lot of fun. There are all sorts of auctions from a used equipment auction, to a heavy equipment auction, which may include a construction equipment auction.

Equipment auctioneers usually receive certification training in order to become equipment auctioneers. You really have to pay attention during an auction because the auctioneer talks really fast and you might miss your item, or bid when the item has already gotten too high.

The best thing to do before you go to an auto equipment auction, or even a restaurant equipment auction is to familiarize yourself with the catalog of bidding items and determine what the value of those items are and what is the top dollar you will pay for it. It is best to decide this ahead of time because auctions are very emotional things and you will be tempted to spend more if you are not careful because you want to take something home.

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