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Internet auctions

Discussion in 'General Industry Questions' started by Randy88, Oct 9, 2020.

  1. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

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    I don't have to say a thing since my views on equipment auctions have been made clear from day 1. Some emotes to describe my feelings about them.....:(:mad::confused::eek::oops::rolleyes:o_O
     
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  2. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    More and more of the stuff sold on auction is at a remote location, many auction firms don't even have yards anymore, its all sold offsite somewhere at either a sellers location or in one case of a machine I bought, sitting on an oil patch, beside a pumping well 20 miles from anywhere, the buyer can go pick it up himself, not even anyone around to give the paperwork to once we arrived.

    I've had to give the release forms to people before on things I've bought, several told me to just show me a copy off my phone, basically they never even looked at it before telling me to just load it up and go?? HHHHHMMMMM wonder how tough it would be to forge the auction paperwork and just haul off a machine without ever paying for it at all?

    I think I can see the next major wave of crime about to hit the auction industry, forging paperwork and going picking up machines off remote locations.

    I bought a piece of equipment two years ago off one of the large auction firms via the internet and paid for it, got the paperwork and directions to go get it, [I never looked at it beforehand] and when I got there, I called and asked for better directions, was told that's the address, they told me twice it was right, I said hold on one minute can you repeat it once more, they did, the lady that lived at that address informed them she didn't have anything like that in her backyard or in front of her house for that matter and told them to quit giving out her address as the place all this stuff was to be picked up from. It took about half an hour to get the correct address to get my machine from. Turns out the elderly lady who's address they'd been giving out was wrong in the GPS system and she was tired of everyone stopping at her house to pick up stuff. Nice lady though, I told her I'd do my best to straighten it out so she wasn't bothered anymore, which I think we got accomplished, turns out the gravel pit behind her house was where everything was at, she had no idea anything was for sale there since it had been shut for years.
     
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  3. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

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    Ever wished you knew where your auction purchase came from...???
    For your viewing pleasure!
     
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  4. Vetech63

    Vetech63 Senior Member

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  5. John Canfield

    John Canfield Senior Member

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    Occupation:
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    A bunch of the equipment on Iron Planet is former rental, Sunbelt is a major supplier. My JLG boom lift only had 1740 hours on it (Sunbelt rental) and was due for another annual inspection so I suppose they didn't want to pay for and cut it loose. I've gone through it and it's been well maintained.
     
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  6. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    One of my family members worked for Sunbelt as a mechanic for a couple years before getting tired of them and moving onto something much better. When he first got there they brought in a big new portable standby generator and he had to go set it up, it ran 24/7 and he was finally given permission to change the oil and take the break in out of it when the hour meter read 1800 hours. It was very common to have light towers with 3-4000 hours on them between oil changes, they only held a few quarts of oil to begin with. Lifts had gasoline put in the oil reservoirs routinely and diesel lifts had diesel put in the oil reservoirs all the time by those renting them. The single greatest invention ever was the low oil shutdown alert, when the oil level got to a certain level, the engines would automatically shut down, then it was routine to just go add some more, never change the oil or filter, just keep adding. That's one outfit I'd never buy anything they ever owned no matter how cheap it was on a sale. I'd think they do a lot better business of product endurance testing for companies rather than renting machines, most of their equipment survival rates are not all that long before hitting an auction somewhere.
     
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  7. Birken Vogt

    Birken Vogt Charter Member

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    That is funny, I have had several customers bring in Sunbelt machines for a once-over, that had pretty good maintenance records and looked like they were well taken care of. One we think may have been auctioned because of a "gremlin", it would run fine at light load but sputter out at full load, turned out to be a well hidden "rock screen" type filter that was part of the fuel pump, changed that and it was golden.
     
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  8. John Canfield

    John Canfield Senior Member

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    I bought a Genie battery powered scissor lift a few years ago from Iron Planet but it wasn't covered under their "Iron Clad Guarantee" which basically means if you get the equivalent of a giant paper weight, tough luck. That lift had an intermittent control problem which I tracked down to the joystick cabling. The hydraulic steering linkage needed to be replaced, there was always a loud CLUNK when maneuvering. So lesson learned. I gave it away to get it out of my shop.
     
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  9. aighead

    aighead Senior Member

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  10. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    Just showed up this afternoon, was complete and in perfect condition. The rep for the auction company apologized again claiming this kind of thing is extremely rare and never should have happened. Delivery cost me nothing, so they trucked it 400 miles one way at the auction companies expense through their sales reps.

    I told them anyone who bid on the item was bidding on everything complete, turns out they contacted the other bidders to do a "survey" of why they bid and what they were bidding on and it appears I was right, take the extra's out the seller wanted to keep and none of the other bidders were even interested in the original piece at all, basically they were after the extra's and that was all.

    Last year I bought a piece of shop equipment off an online auction, went to go get it, had all the correct forms in hand, loading was included. The auction rep asked me, get this, what the item was and what it did.................I asked him if it was indeed mine, he said it was, I told him I'd answer any or all of his questions after it was loaded, chained down and ready to leave. He was a bit puzzled as to why, but agreed, it took about two hours to move enough stuff to get to it, get it loaded onto my lowboy and chained down ready to go. Just as I was about to pull out he came over to get an answer. So I told him, he completely misidentified the item, I only stumbled across it by accident online, told him what it was, that it was only two years old, had never been used and that it cost almost 60,000 bucks new today, had every bit of tooling with it included, also never used and because of his error, I bought it for 600 bucks on his sale and he loaded it for free besides. The look on the guys face was complete shock and horror as I waved to him and told him to have a great day, I was pretty sure I just did and it was only getting better. Every once in a while a person gets lucky on items they buy online, it really helps if those listing stuff have no clue as to what it is, I also noticed the auction site took it off their items sold portion completely, like it never existed or was ever sold, imagine that??
     
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  11. The Peej

    The Peej Well-Known Member

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    Nice to hear a story with a happy ending.
     
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  12. InsleyGuy

    InsleyGuy Well-Known Member

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    OK I"ll ask, what was it??
     
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  13. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    Last year I bought a brand new cylinder bench, this go around I bought a crane with a lot of current certified lifting rigging.
     
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  14. LCA078

    LCA078 Well-Known Member

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    Austin, TX
    My latest online purchase from Iron Planet was a cheap (cost wise) hydraulic grapple for my hoe to clean up junk, tree limbs, etc. from the property. Paid the bill and set up the freight on my own to get it like always. Pretty seamless and straight forward. A couple days later on a late Thursday afternoon I get a call from the yard manager where I bought the grapple and he tells me that he just sent the truck away that I had come to get it. I asked why and he said the truck was not a flat bed but a regular box trailer for freight. I said okay but why send it away without the load. The yard manager then breaks in to a tirade about he only loads heavy equipment on flat beds and he needed a heavy duty pallet and he wasn't going to drive around town looking for a heavy duty pallet then strap it down on his own dime. He then starts saying how freight companies don't haul "heavy equipment" so it was my fault for any additional charges I might incur, etc. etc. He said he told the freight driver to come back Monday (4 days later) after I, the buyer, figure out a solution for him, the yard manager 600 miles away, to load it. End of conversation. Being end of the day, I decided to cool down and call the freight company next morning.

    Next morning Friday, I call the freight company 1-800 customer service number and after explaining my situation, I was handed off to the regional manager for customer service. She puts me on hold and calls the local freight hub who services that area and verifies my story. She said all their trucks carry extra pallets and could have loaded it but said the yard manager turned their driver away (which I had already explained). She then asks me to verify if there was any hazardous material since it was 'heavy equipment' since that was the yard manager said it was. I said no, it's just a hydraulic grapple just like it says in the bid and quote I got from the freight company. Then I heard "Aaah... can you verify the hydraulics were drained, flushed, and capped to prevent hazardous material spillage?" I said no, I can't... to which she said "Okay, that's why the local hub manager said he couldn't pick it up and turned down the load." I start to explain that I described the grapple correctly in the bid (even used the exact dimensions and weight from the manufacturers website) but she said they don't read the bids per se and it's a computer generated system that quotes based on dimensions and weight only. I'm confused and frustrated as she starts to read some fine print somewhere where they don't pick up hazardous material and she has to abide by the local hub manager's decision. I said fine, cancel my load and ensure the truck doesn't come back on Monday so I don't incur any charges. She agrees and she cancelled the load and cancelled any pending charges. I decided to wait until the following Monday before I called anyone else or tried to get another LTL quote as I was pissed and knew it would be a bad conversation.

    Monday morning rolls around and I get a call from a guy who says he's the local freight hub manager and he's got a truck heading out to pick up my grapple in a few mins. Confused I asked if he had talked to his previous driver or the main office or seen anything in their computer systems about this debacle. The hub manager said that his last driver was turned away because the load wasn't ready yet and was instructed to come back on Monday and that's all he knows. And since one of his trucks was in the local area, the hub manager was sending it over. He called me to verify the load was ready as my contact info was listed as the loadout POC (even though the yard manager was listed in the quote, bill of laden, and release docs). I said I thought the load was cancelled and have no idea what the yard manager will do. Hub manager says, well, his truck is only a couple mins away so he'll call me back if any issues. 30 mins later my phone rings and I expect another bad conversation. This time the hub manager said the load was on a pallet, strapped down, and loaded without issue. He had no idea what the issue was the few days before nor with his main office.

    Grapple got delivered without issue and no additional fees.

    Just goes to show you how dependent you are when you rely on someone else to get something done. So many variables, personalities, and systems that don't always connect. I got lucky this time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2020
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  15. John Canfield

    John Canfield Senior Member

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    What a mess but glad it worked out for you. When I was dealing with a freight broker that kept lying to me about my load being picked up but it wasn't I got Iron Planet involved (this was several years ago) - that plus me going ballistic with the freight broker worked. Got my wired money returned. Contacted a trucking company directly and that all worked out fine.
     
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  16. Steve Frazier

    Steve Frazier Founder Staff Member

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    I've bought a few vehicles/machines from internet auctions and while I've been disappointed a time or two I've never been burned. When I do my bidding I always consider there could be a major component that could need replaced and make an appropriate bid. If it turns out to need some major repair when it arrives, yea, I'm disappointed but I've made provisions in the purchase to pay for it. I don't always win the auction but I've avoided purchasing scrap metal.
     
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  17. Randy88

    Randy88 Senior Member

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    I was at an auction quite a few years ago now, must be close to 15 years as time seems to fly and everyone there was talking about a large contractor and his house purchase over the winter. Seems this guy, local to where the auction was at, bought a piece of property down south and then bought a fabricated pull together house for a winter home down south. The house was built, and he had his own guys do the cement work on the lot for the pad it sat on, water, sewer, driveway install and even the electrical panel was in place, basically all they needed to do was get the house set and hook stuff up so to speak. So as the story goes, the contractor got cheap when it came to the trucking of his new house for that far so instead of using the house manufacturers dedicated movers, he decided to hire someone cheaper. So everything was arranged, the house was picked up on time, and a few days later his new house was supposed to arrive where his crew was waiting for it, crane was hired to set it in place and everything was good.................till it never showed up on the other end....................ever. Turns out, he builder of the house wasn't at fault, since his dedicated movers were not involved, the house movers he hired evaporated and had no business line working anymore, turns out the place he took care of the paperwork at, was an abandoned building that nobody was supposed to even be in and his house was nowhere to be found....................ever. Turns out there are no serial numbers on houses, so no law enforcement can even go looking for it, no idea what state it even went to let alone what town it ended up at and the buyer was out his money, trucking and the whole deal. Now I'd heard plenty of stories about stolen equipment, vehicles, even livestock but to steal a house was a new one for me.
     
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  18. KSSS

    KSSS Senior Member

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    I have bought a fair amount of stuff off Iron Planet and all has gone well but the freight situation always concerns me. The way they word the ship out is ridiculous. I have sold stuff on IP as well and I always make it as easy as possible on the buyer. I load the item, regardless of trailer type. Having been on both sides it is apparent that if the seller wants to be a PINA it is really easy to do. If they wanted to generate more sales, make the seller obligated to provide loading of the item. Spec the trailer if you need to, but trying to find someone to load an item on the other side of the country is a huge PINA.
     
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  19. LCA078

    LCA078 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like it was deliberate scam to steal a house...but wow...stealing a house!!! Ballsy! Gotta wonder about insurance fraud too.
     
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  20. LCA078

    LCA078 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. I buy a decent amount online without having physically seen it. Most of the time I get what I expect and I'm happy as the seller tries their best to be accurate and fair. But I always try to verify the shipping method and cost before I buy...which Iron and Gov Planet make impossible to do. It's really a gamble with those sites as some of their pickup locations are easy access for large trucks while others involve going through a military or so security gate with all kinds of pre-arranged ID checks and scheduling. At least Ritchie Bros sites are pretty open and straight forward...but I have had drivers turn down bids to go to Ritchie Bros due to long wait times for pick up. After I explain they would be picking up weeks after the auction closed and there should be no lines, they usually take the job.

    KSSS- just in case no one has said it- thanks for being a good seller! Good buyers appreciate it!
     
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