View Full Version : Anyone used "IRS" equipment auctions?

curtis rosche
03-19-2013, 2:05 AM
Has anyone used the "IRS" equipment auction site? I noticed a local place near me listed on their with some decent machines, but I don't understand their payment methods. I understand a wire transfer, but how does a Bank check or cashiers check work and how would you make your payment within the 48 hrs? Would that mean it would have to be overnight mailed or something?
Anyone use this site before, how was your experience with them?

Rich Riddle
03-19-2013, 6:09 AM
To me, it's not worth the effort or rarely worth the effort. To get them a cashier's or bank check, you have to use overnight delivery. I have called them on several occasions in the past. Chuck never returns calls or e-mail, and customer service lacks. They clearly only care about their money, nothing else.

I considered an auction and called to determine who would be the rigger. The secretary gave the name. Called the rigger who said the auction wasn't worth his time and/or effort so he decided not to rig. Called IRS again and secretary said the buyer would have to find a local rigger. Asked how to find one and she said, "How would I know? Look one up in the phone book." No "riggers" were listed in the phone book (online). She said riggers frequently back out of rigging. That would leave me stranded on getting an item picked up hundreds of miles away from home. She did recommend purchasing an insurance policy so a rigger wasn't needed. She didn't know of any insurance company that would insure a person, not a business, that met IRS requirements.

Perry Holbrook
03-19-2013, 8:00 AM
I've bought several items from them. None needed rigging, however. I just look at the auctions I know I can drive to easily. Never had a problem.

Do keep in mind that there is a 10% fee added to your final bid. Auctions tend to start showing activity about an hour before they end. Also they extend the end time by 5 minutes everytime someone bids within 5 minutes of the end time and continue to do so until it has been 5 minutes since someone has bid.

Wire transfers are easy. Although they do have a fee with them, they are not much different than the overnight package cost.


Stephen Cherry
03-19-2013, 8:57 AM
I have not bought but I have bid, and I know someone who has bought often from them. From what I understand, they are OK. At one point, I called with some questions, and they were very friendly and open about the process.

As for the rigging and insurance, what I was told is that hand carried items, as in hand carried out of the door on a pallet jack, needed no insurance.

I think that they are very well followed, and prices can be high. The wire transfer is something you do with the bank, there is a fee, but it is very easy to do. Of fedex the check.

curtis rosche
03-19-2013, 12:25 PM
As for the rigging and insurance, what I was told is that hand carried items, as in hand carried out of the door on a pallet jack, needed no insurance. .

So say a bandsaw on a pallet jack, and I drive to pick it up wouldn't need the insurance?

curtis rosche
03-19-2013, 12:27 PM
Perry, I assume they don't help load or have pallet jacks and such to use, I'd have to bring my own pallet jack?

Stephen Cherry
03-19-2013, 12:57 PM
So say a bandsaw on a pallet jack, and I drive to pick it up wouldn't need the insurance?

That's what I understand, Hand carried is hand carried on a cart, etc. You may want to double check this with them though. I've also seen some of their auctions include a loading fee.

Perry Holbrook
03-19-2013, 7:52 PM
Perry, I assume they don't help load or have pallet jacks and such to use, I'd have to bring my own pallet jack?

In all my purchases, they had a fork lift and operator to help load. The auctions will usually say something like "a loading fee of $25 will be charged for this lot". The last time I picked up, I just gave the fork lift guy $20 I think and he loaded 2 pallets of wood stock.


Rich Riddle
03-20-2013, 10:39 PM
When I talked to the secretary a few weeks ago she indicated "hand carried" meant a person was able to hand carry the item, not use a mechanical means to move it. Here is a link to one SMC discussion where many members have purchased from them:


Kevin Nathanson
03-21-2013, 5:18 AM
I have bought many items from many IRS auctions. Biggest items include a 3ph Jet sliding table tilting spindle 5hp shaper. Just in case there are any misconceptions among the reading public: The shaper was not able to be hand carried. I moved it with my forklift that I brought with me by rigging straps around the forks and suspending it, then putting it on dollies and rolling it into my truck. Luckily they had a loading dock, so it was actually pretty easy. And yes, I have a big truck. (C4500 12' box truck with a 2,200lb liftgate.)

I have picked up items in at least eight auctions, and I have never been asked for the insurance rider. (BTW, the rider is not hard to get if you have a personal liability umbrella policy; your agent can just print out your binder/policy. I carry a $2m liability umbrella for about $400 a year.)

The reason I have never been asked is because IRS Auctions doesn't actually staff the auctions after they conclude. For every auction I have been to, the people managing the pickup process were employees (many about to be ex-employees) of the company that possessed the sold items. They manage the process. Some people are pretty lax about checking paperwork; others are meticulous. Some people are EXTREMELY lax AFTER they check your paperwork and let you have the run of the plant to move your stuff onto your vehicle. I have NEVER had anyone check my vehicle after that process, so I guess they are just trusting sorts. I will say that I try to get to the pickup site as early as possible in the pickup "window", especially if I bought a lot that consists of a bunch of small, miscellaneous stuff. I can't say I've ever seen it happen, but it would be very easy in almost all the sites I've been to for someone to cherry pick a valuable item or two out of such a lot.

In general though, the same spirit of camaraderie that you see at most woodworker's gatherings exists among the various people picking stuff up. I can't tell you how many times someone has helped me with something awkward or heavy, and I've done the same. Many times there is, still, a forklift on site that is driven by one of the company employees, but that's a crapshoot. I bring my own (if I think I'll need it), as well as a pallet jack, dollys, lifting straps, tools, gloves, dust mask, tiedown straps, moving blankets, and anything else I think I'll need.

I've done VERY well in these auctions. Many things are over-priced, but patience often pays off, and there are some great bargains to be had. (BTW, that shaper, with about $600 worth of tooling, cost me $1,100. The equivalent Powermatic model with all the exact same parts made in the same factory, sells for ~$8k).


Tony Zaffuto
03-21-2013, 3:24 PM
Very well said Kevin, and pretty much spot on for the auction I participated in. Prices ran much higher on some items and some appeared almost give away. I only won one item out of about a dozen I was bidding on, and that was because I had formulated my "stop" point before the auction.

The auctions are set up more for business/professional purchasers than for the home shop guy. When I picked up the item I one, I had to use their rigger to load my truck, in spite of it being a simple 5 minute lift with a Hyster, and for that I had to pay $200 in cash (doubt if that was ever turned in!!). I also was not asked to provide proof of insurance.