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Affordable Auctions: Purchasing Commercial Restaurant Equipment

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

Purchasing commercial restaurant equipment at auctions is cost-effective and convenient. Before placing your bids, there are several important factors to consider. First, you will need to do some research on the equipment you are interested in buying. Second, it is advisable to ask any necessary questions before bidding on these items. Finally, ensure you thoroughly inspect the equipment and make necessary arrangements for transportation.

Research the used restaurant equipment before the auction

A wide variety of restaurant items are frequently auctioned off, with some of the most sought-after pieces being commercial refrigerators, gas cooking equipment, and commercial sinks. To increase your chances of winning an auction, it is crucial to thoroughly research these products. Keep in mind that seasoned restaurant owners who are well-versed in purchasing equipment may outbid you. It’s important to be prepared and knowledgeable when participating in these auctions.

Though older commercial restaurant pieces may be tempting due to their affordable prices, avoid buying something that is out of date. These pieces will have more problems and need more repairs than a newer one that is still in good condition.

Ask questions before you bid at the auction

You need to ask many important questions before you buy used restaurant equipment at an auction. Here are just some of the most common to keep in mind.

  • Why are the items on sale? Was the sale due to a restaurant failing?
  • What kind of shape are the auction items in?
  • How old is each item?
  • Is the equipment up to today’s current safety codes?
  • What are the potential risks?
  • Are there any known issues with each piece of equipment?

Examine your equipment carefully

It may seem obvious, but you must carefully examine and inspect the commercial restaurant equipment before bidding. This inspection is where your research comes in.
Check to see what problems the items may have. Since there is no warranty, all commercial restaurant items are sold “as is” at an auction. This means you will be responsible for any necessary repairs. Try to determine if the cost of the equipment repairs will be worth it before the auction starts.

Next, consider the voltage of the items and make sure your space is comparable with that voltage. Sometimes commercial restaurant pieces are sold that have a higher amount of voltage than most restaurants need. You may be unable to use equipment that works at 440 volts instead of the more common 240 volts, for example.

Other tips to help you succeed at auctions

Skip electric cooking equipment. Generally, electric items have more problems than gas options. These problems are due to the large number of pieces and parts that can have issues and need repair. Purchasing gas equipment is a better deal. Gas pieces last longer and have fewer problems in the long run.

Avoid purchasing deep-fat fryers as well. These fryers have a higher failure rate than other types of commercial kitchen equipment.

Make sure when you arrive for auction that you have sufficient means to get your commercial restaurant equipment back to your space. You will be responsible for hauling your items, so you will need a trailer, truck, or other large vehicle to leave with the restaurant equipment you have purchased.

Always take your time and be patient when bidding. Don’t get caught up in the excitement and bid more than you can afford. Stick to your budget and only bid on items that you have researched, inspected, and determined are worth the investment. With these tips in mind, you can successfully purchase commercial restaurant equipment at auctions and save yourself both time and money.

If you’re interested in attending an auction, check out our Upcoming Auctions at High Plains Auctioneers! You can also contact us at (806) 244-6776 or Send us an Email if you have questions about auctions or the items we are auctioning.