I attended the auction of Hewlett-Packard’s Corvallis “Model Shop” yesterday, and it got me wondering whether going to industrial auctions is worth it. This particular auction had sky-high bidding and although there were a few things that my buddy and I wanted, we ended up buying nothing. That said, I’ve found great deals and bought many of my tools at other auctions.
So, the Hot: Sometimes you find great, pennies-on-the-dollar deals. You meet many like-minded tool junkies and local shop owners, so it’s a good place to network. You get to take a look inside a shop and see how the owner set up their tools, stored their tooling, etc.
The Not: Depending on the local economy and the auctioneer you may end up with prices that are the inverse of pennies-on-the-dollar. Auctions take a good deal of time, upwards of 6-10 hours in some cases. You often find yourself standing on a cold concrete slab in a dirty building. The amenities are often poor.
Possibly the worst thing: You get some good deals on stuff you really don’t need, and your shop ends up cluttered with all these piles of weird crap that might be “useful” someday. (This could also be seen as “Hot” if you have an understanding spouse.)
Let us know what you think in comments.
Thanks to killbox for the great CC-licensed photo.