food and beverage underground

How to Use a Restaurant Equipment Auction

A used restaurant equipment auction can be a wonderful way for you to cut down on your opening expense, or to just keep your operation running without breaking the bank. But
there are also hazards to buying at auction. Being prepared and sticking to your game plan is the best way to successfully bring those dollars home.

You can find absolutely everything imaginable at the larger used restaurant equipment auction. From teaspoons to king sized walk-ins, they have it all. These auctions, if properly used can fully equip your entire restaurant for pennies on the dollar.

Before the gavel starts

The first thing you need to do, before attending one of these auctions, is create a detailed list of your used restaurant equipment needs. You have a reason for going and know what you need so spending all of your savings from the auction, at the auction, for unneeded equipment isn’t’ the point here.

Once you have that detailed list start searching for an auction nearby, and check out there used restaurant equipment auction list and make sure there are pieces you are interested in. Highlight the pieces on the list that you are specifically looking for.

One of the biggest pitfalls in any auction is getting caught up in the hype and paying too much for an item, so we are going to head that one off at the pass. Call your suppliers or pull out your supply books and find the retail sales price of the items you highlighted. This is the top dollar price for the piece brand new and with a warranty. If there are any shipping charges associated with it add that in too.

Next, call your local used restaurant equipment dealer and see if they have any comparable equipment and write down their prices next to the new price. One final column; write down what you think would be your top offer for the piece if it were in good condition, and still gives you a bargain.

Add up all the item columns then and add in a few hundred dollars for what it will cost you for transporting the goods back home and see if that auction will save you enough to justify the trip and the time. If it does, start packing.

Make sure you preview your items

Arrive at the auction site early on the day of the auction. This preview time is when you need to spend scoping out the pieces you had in mind on your list. This is also your chance to access the condition and make sure of its working condition. You need to make more than just a general look here. Check to make sure it is operational, clean (or could be cleaned up). If it is a larger piece of used restaurant equipment it should have a metal manufactures plate on it so examine it for the year of the model.

Does it fit

A major point of concern that many people overlook is making sure to see it is fitted for your needs. By this I mean if it is an electrical piece make sure you have compatible wiring at your restaurant. As an example it may need three-phase wiring and if your place isn’t wired with three-phase you will have a good-sized electrical bill to add on to the bill. The same holds true for pieces like fryers. Make sure if it is regulated for natural gas, you have natural gas. There are conversion kits, but it will take away from your savings.

From here make your final adjustments up or down on your top price you are willing to go on each piece. After you have your game plan set out go and take a look at the rest of the used restaurant equipment auction items. No, I don’t want you too add to your list, but you may want to look at some small wares. Things like silverware, glasses, trays, and even fire extinguishers will go for a song so you may as well be prepared.

Auction Time

Now it’s auction time, you have done your homework; you have set your limits, now all that’s left is following your plan. You will be spending a good amount of time waiting for the items you have on your list to come up, so use this time to strengthen your had. Try to watch the other people bidding and look for the people I like to call the auction hounds. These are auction specialists; they usually are there for the same thing you are, a steal. Their objective is slightly different however, they are there to get the equipment and sell it as used restaurant equipment to those less savvy than you. Bottom line, they usually know their stuff so watch them carefully and try to chat some if you can.

All that’s left for you now is bidding on your items. Remember to be smart here; you have your plan in hand so stick by it. You wouldn’t go into a store and offer to buy a $1.00 coke for $1.50 so don’t do it here. You may not get every item on your list, but going home with less is much better than getting caught up in the frenzy and going home paying more than what you should have. Good luck and happy bidding!

From Restaurant Equipment Auction to Used Restaurant Equipment


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