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Thread: Looking for a good deal on second-hand bandsaws..Are auctions a good option?

  1. #1

    Looking for a good deal on second-hand bandsaws..Are auctions a good option?

    Hey Guys,
    I was wondering if anyone has had experience with using an auction website for purchasing a machine before? I have been looking at Surplex and a couple of other options for getting some ex-warehouse/liquidated machinery at a cheap price.

    If so, were you able to check the condition of your machine during the auction period? Also, how did you find the overall experience?

    Any input or suggestions would be massively appreciated
    Thanks!
    Last edited by Aspei Smith; 03-06-2015 at 03:46 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    5,317
    I wouldn't buy anything at an auction that I haven't been able to pre-inspect. This especially holds true for machinery. Motors, bearings, cracks in castings, warped wheels...just too many things that can be wrong.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    583
    I've bought a number of tools/machines at auction. I either do my homework on that particular machine so i know what to ask about/look for (typical problems, broken or missing parts, availability of parts, past owner or work environment), or i assume i'll be replacing all bearings, wiring, tires (band saw) etc. I also assume i'll pull the innerds apart for a thorough clean up, lube, and adjustment. Make sure you know the electrical specs (single or three phase, voltage, amperage draw, etc.) so that you know if you can plug it right in or if you need to make some sort of arrangements such as a VFD, phase converter, dedicated circuit, replacement motor, or what-have-you.
    I've had good luck with this. I make a conservative estimate of the work and cost involved in getting it up and running. Worst case, i rebuild a machine and have accounted for the expenses (or at least most of them) to get it done. Best case, after a quick clean up/tune up, it's ready to go.
    In general, i'm pretty leery of buying sight unseen, but you can make more worst case assumptions and adjust your max bid down accordingly.
    Also, don't get sucked into a bidding war beyond your pre-set max. Band saws aren't exactly rare.


    Quote Originally Posted by Aspei Smith View Post
    Hey Guys,
    I was wondering if anyone has had experience with using an auction website for purchasing a machine before? I have been looking at Surplex and a couple of other options for getting some ex-warehouse/liquidated machinery at a cheap price.

    If so, were you able to check the condition of your machine during the auction period? Also, how did you find the overall experience?

    Any input or suggestions would be massively appreciated
    Thanks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,746
    I've bought a few tools off Kijiji (Canada's version of Craigslist, I think,) and have been very satisfied with all my purchases, which include a drill press, a lathe (twice), a router lathe, and a bandsaw. The bandsaw was 30 years old, of good manufacture, and in perfect running order. I have used it on just about every projcect I have done since I got it. They were asking $75, I offered $60 and got it. I did get to see the machine before I bought it, and to verify that it was working. It is a 10" Rockwell/Beaver with a 6" cutting depth. Hard to beat!
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    North West Indiana
    Posts
    6,097
    Aspei, I don't know how your shop is set up, but remember, some of that great priced (cheap) equipment is generally 3 phase motors. If you are not set up for 3 phase, getting it converted will spend all of the savings and probably more. I have bought things sight unseen from online auctions. I set my price I would pay for that item and if I am only looking at it via their pictures, I cut my price by a 1/3. Then when the dust settles, if I have bought it, it is mine and I have no one to blame. Larry was with me one day when I picked up a three wheeled electric truck for my wife to drive around our yard when she was still on crutches. It worked out. Good luck.
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

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