Friday, August 05, 2005

How do you find equipment auctions ?

Like most farmers we attend a number of auctions every year, sometimes because it is a neighbor who is leaving farming through retirement or sadly in today's present farm economy, auctions are also being held for bankruptcies and other reasons. Or for particular pieces of equipment that we require in our operation. Farmers generally attend local auctions for a social event as much as they do for business reasons. But when they are seriously looking for a piece of equipment, they will travel hundreds of miles looking for that elusive "deal".

In the past, we have purchased the farm papers, and read the auction listings, but this is limiting because of time spent reading and which papers are available in your area. How do you find papers from the next state or province.

The Internet has become the great equalizer when it comes to finding information. For many people it is now a problem of information overload. It can take more time to manage and sift through websites than it takes to digest the things you were looking for in the first place. It is becoming more difficult to identify what is useful and what is not, without spending days sorting through it. There are hundreds of auctioneers who have websites to look at. Most of these are online brochures, listing the sales bills just as they are in print. It can take a long time to find what you want, especially if you have a slow connection and the auctioneers has made the mistake of using PDF files or large images as their sale bills. Time wasted can be very frustrating.

During the past couple of years a trend has developed to bring all of these auction sites together into one large fully searchable website. Where you can find what you are looking for in a matter of minutes instead of hours. Where you can enter an item in a search box and get an instant list of where it is available and when. Many auctions also have photos of items.

The best sites do this and much more. You can search by item, by state, by date, or for a specific auctioneer. When the sale that you want is found, the sale bill can be printed out. If you have a problem remembering dates, registering for an email reminder one week in advance is available. The website also will send you notification of newly listed auctions by area or auctioneer upon request, letting you know what is coming up as soon as it is listed. Our objective was to make searching for farm equipment easy for the farmer and effective for the auctioneers to bring their sale bills to you.

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