Buying used machinery on auctions?

Is it a good idea to purchase used heavy equipment on auctions?

When you are looking for used machinery but you can’t find any around your home, it might be an idea to check used machinery auctions. To reduce your risk before buying, you can book a Mevas technician for an inspection. He will check the machine or the machines on your behalf. On auction sites we offer a special kind of inspection for a lower fee.

We are specialized in inspection of heavy machinery. Mevas can deliver detailed inspection for small machines such as a mini digger of 2 ton but of course we can also inspect a 100ton mining truck, a 200ton capacity mobile crane or big excavators.

What kind of experiences have you had when buying used machines? Let us know in the comments.

Map where Mevas can inspect used heavy machinery. But not all places are listed yet.
Mevas inspections in Europe and countries worldwide

Advantages and Risks of buying machinery on auctions

Purchasing used heavy equipment at auctions can be a good idea, but it comes with both advantages and potential risks. Whether it’s a good idea for you depends on your specific needs, budget, and willingness to take on certain uncertainties. Here are some of the pros and cons of buying used heavy equipment at auctions:


  1. Cost Savings: Auctions often provide the opportunity to acquire heavy equipment at a lower cost compared to buying new or from dealerships. You might find good deals on well-maintained machinery.
  2. Diverse Selection: Auctions offer a wide range of equipment, from different manufacturers, models, and types, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your needs.
  3. Opportunity to Bargain: In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a lower price or secure a good deal if bidding competition is limited.
  4. Quick Acquisition: Auctions can be a relatively fast way to acquire the equipment you need, especially if you win a bid or make a purchase on the spot.
  5. Potential for Unique Finds: Some rare or specialized equipment may be available at auctions, which might not be readily found through traditional dealerships.

Risks and Considerations:

  1. Limited Inspection Time: You may have limited time to inspect the equipment thoroughly before bidding. This can lead to unexpected issues if you overlook important details.
  2. Unknown History: It can be challenging to ascertain the maintenance and usage history of used equipment at auctions, which increases the risk of hidden problems.
  3. Competition: Auctions can be competitive, and you may end up paying more than you originally intended if there is strong demand for a particular machine.
  4. No Warranty: Most auction sales are typically “as-is,” meaning you may have little or no recourse if the equipment encounters issues shortly after purchase.
  5. Buyer’s Premium and Fees: Auctions often involve additional costs in the form of buyer’s premiums and fees, which can add to the overall purchase price.
  6. Ownership Transfer and Logistics: You’ll need to manage the logistics of transporting the equipment to your location, which can be a significant cost and logistical challenge, especially for large machinery.
  7. Understanding the Auction Process: It’s important to understand how auctions work, including bidding strategies and payment terms, to participate effectively.

Whether purchasing used heavy equipment at auctions is a good idea for you depends on your comfort level with these considerations, your experience with heavy machinery, and your ability to mitigate risks through careful inspection and research. If you choose to go this route, be sure to thoroughly research the auction, conduct due diligence, and, if possible, attend preview days to inspect the equipment in person. Consulting with experts or having a qualified mechanic or inspector on hand can also help you make informed decisions.

Which auction platforms are globally relevant for purchase and sales of used heavy machinery?

Several auction platforms are globally relevant for the purchase and sale of used heavy machinery. These platforms have a broad international presence and offer a wide range of construction and heavy equipment. Here are some globally recognized auction platforms for used heavy machinery:

  1. Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers: Ritchie Bros. is one of the largest and most well-known auction companies for used heavy equipment. They hold auctions worldwide, both on-site and online.
  2. IronPlanet: IronPlanet is an online auction platform for used construction equipment, offering a wide selection of machinery and trucks. They are known for their IronClad Assurance, which provides equipment condition reports.
  3. Euro Auctions: Euro Auctions conducts heavy equipment auctions across Europe and other regions. They are especially known for their periodic auctions of industrial equipment.
  4. Proxibid: Proxibid is an online marketplace and auction platform that hosts a variety of auctions, including those for heavy machinery and construction equipment.
  5. AuctionTime: AuctionTime, a subsidiary of Sandhills Global, specializes in online auctions for construction equipment, trucks, and agricultural machinery.
  6. Mascus: Mascus is an online marketplace for used heavy machinery and trucks, allowing buyers and sellers to connect directly. It lists equipment from various countries.
  7. Government Surplus Auctions: Many governments and municipalities hold surplus equipment auctions online, making it possible to find used machinery at competitive prices. Websites like GovDeals in the United States are relevant in this context.
  8. Plant & Equipment: Plant & Equipment is an online platform for buying and selling construction equipment and machinery, offering a global marketplace for heavy equipment transactions.
  9. Iquippo: Iquippo is an online marketplace for used construction equipment, operating in India but with a growing presence in other countries.
  10. TradeMachines: TradeMachines is a search engine for used machinery auctions. It aggregates listings from various auction platforms, making it a convenient tool for finding equipment globally.
  11. eBay: While primarily known for consumer goods, eBay has a section dedicated to heavy equipment auctions and listings. It’s a global platform with a variety of construction machinery.
  12. Bar None Auction: Bar None Auction is an auction company that conducts heavy equipment and machinery auctions in various locations, primarily in North America.

When participating in global machinery auctions, it’s essential to carefully review the listings, understand the terms and conditions of the auction, and conduct thorough due diligence on the equipment. Many of these platforms offer inspection reports, photos, and detailed information about the machinery, allowing buyers to make informed decisions. Additionally, consider factors like shipping and import/export regulations when buying equipment from different countries.

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