Follow these steps to maximize your online bidding experience when purchasing construction equipment.
Buying construction equipment online can positively impact your bottom line. But with more providers entering the online auction space each year, it can be difficult to know which providers will offer the best experience to meet your business needs.
Navigating the online auction world can be complicated. Bidding smart and effectively takes preparation and work, but you can reap great rewards. Follow these steps for a positive online bidding experience.
Do Your Homework
- Before bidding online, be sure your provider works with leading auction companies to guarantee that you bid on the highest quality equipment available.
- Review and understand the auction terms and conditions, including buyer’s fees and equipment removal guidelines.
- Work with a provider who offers access to auction archives, which allows bidders to research the market value of items. Research the equipment prior to the auction—speak with the auction company, or contact a third-party equipment inspector to acquire as much information as possible.
- Find out the auction company’s registration requirements. Some auction companies require bank letters, deposits or bid histories. Give yourself ample time to obtain any documents an auction company might require to ensure you can bid on auction day.
- Understand your shipping options and additional costs, including buyer’s fees. Budget accordingly before placing your online bid, and know the acceptable forms of payment, how billing will work and when payment will be required.
Take Safety Precautions
- Be sure the online provider you use has sophisticated fraud protection tools in place for both buyers and sellers.
- Before making a purchase, be sure the provider has a PCI-compliant site, and make sure the site will secure your data when making online transactions.
- Choose a provider that works with only legitimate sellers.
- After purchasing an item, stay in contact with the seller. Ask for an estimated delivery date for your item, and track your deliveries.
Consider Customer Service
- The provider should manage a vibrant marketplace with quality buyers and sellers—this shows they provide the best products and services possible. Buy from online providers who offer multiple ways to purchase online, including live auction webcasts, online-only auctions and instant purchase capabilities.
- Confirm the company has top-of-the-line customer service and that you can reach someone by phone or email if you have any questions or concerns.
- Select a provider that offers pre-bids and absentee bids in case you cannot be online during the actual event.
- Buy from a company that has live audio and video streaming.
- If the auction does not offer a live feed, be sure you can get the same experience as live bidders. You should have the opportunity to purchase times-the-money, all-one-money and in buyer’s choice lots.
- Register for events as quickly as possible to leave enough time for approvals.
- If you cannot attend an auction, leave pre-bids.
- Place your bids early and often since you will be competing with other Internet bidders as well as those in the live audience.
5 Steps to a Fraud-Free Auction
Trustworthy and dependable online fraud protection services are paramount when bidding online. Unfortunately, most fraud happens outside of legitimate platforms through private communication outlets. For a safe and secure online auction experience, follow these five steps:
1. Communicate with your seller. Make sure you buy only from sellers who provide clear, detailed descriptions and photographs of each lot. Also, look for sellers who will be easily accessible if you have questions.
2. Purchase from sellers who have a clear and reasonable return policy. Make sure you understand the return terms and conditions.
3. Ship to your billing address for an extra layer of protection.
4. Stay in the loop. Once you have made a purchase, request an estimated delivery date.
5. Track and insure your packages. Keep detailed records of all items purchased to easily reference them later.