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Peak Auctions - A beginner's Q


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By Mary in PA on 11/13/2009


Thanks much to Faye for mentioning in a previous thread on Andersen Windows the company Peak Auctioneering as a possible source for materials. A while back I checked into Peak and found they have auctions near me, so I marked it on my calendar and plan to attend (tomorrow!). To Faye or anyone else familiar with these types of auctions, can you share any tips from your personal experience? I've read the notes on their auction's website but wondered if there might be some gems of input from those who've been there, done that. I'm familiar with real estate auctions where there is a set time and no risk of someone stealing the bid-upon item :-) , but I'm a newbie for building material auctions.

Is there a way to tell when, or about when, a particular item might come up for bid?

How closely did you feel you had to stay to your merchandise once you bought it? For example, did you escort it (assume it is a big item, on a pallet) from the purchase location to the loading dock and then wait with it while someone else got the truck and brought it to the item?

Would you do this alone? Or is another person (or two?) a must to make sure you don't get ripped off? (or for some other reason?)

Is it really true they'll help you load with a forklift or do you find out you're pretty much on your own after the purchase? My husband has a homemade winch for his truck, but I don't know how to use it and it is not that easy to use.

Thanks!
Mary


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By Mary in PA on 11/16/2009


Replying to my own post  ;-)  in case this might be useful to other beginners at building auctions.

This Peak Auction (York, PA) had good-quality material - in that it hadn't sat out in the rain and wasn't just remnants. For example, they had large quantities of new flooring, pre-finished and unfinished wood floors, tile, etc. They had a decent selection of kitchen cabinets, interior doors and windows. There were only a couple of Andersens though. And then mixed in there were smaller items; toilets, sinks, and few light fixtures.

It wasn't that much material, so I think going the day before to preview was a waste of time. You could go the day of at 7:30, preview it all by 9:00 and decide if you're going to buy. I think for large pallets of flooring, theft isn't too much of a problem after your purchase - it's just too hard to move it all. For smaller items, of course you want to keep track of those. They offer forklift service for $5 a lift but I didn't seen any running even after noon so maybe you have to wait quite a while to get your stuff loaded.

I'm thinking it's a good place to get flooring, especially if you want quantities large enough to do an entire house. Same with tile if you need it. But fair warning; it seemed to me that while some of the flooring had a label that indicated quality (clear, select, common) other pallets did not have a label. So I guess a visit to a standard store to learn more about quality and retail prices would be useful pre-auction research. Or you can just bid and take your chances, I guess. For the unfinished, which is what I was interested in, hardwood flooring was going for $1.50/sq ft down to $.70 a sq. ft.

After seeing the windows, I'm not sure how I would buy them for a house. I could see buying them for a shop or outbuilding where size of the window wasn't as critical. But I would be nervous about making a purchase for the house that way, unless I was sure I could complete the package with a local dealer... and many of the windows that 'looked nice' didn't have the low-E, or the screens or such. Most windows were still in packaging, but it did cross my mind that if they had been dropped or something, maybe they would fog up after installation and that would be a major bummer. Compared to flooring, the windows seemed a more difficult buy for me.

Good luck shoppers!


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By Faye in Marseilles, IL on 11/23/2009


Mary,


      I'm sorry I didn't see your post until now.  It sounds like your area just had the items that the auctioneer himself brings. In my area we get literally hundreds of Andersen windows at the auction but I believe they may be manufactured nearby. I have been to Peak auctions in Illinois (where I live), Indiana and Ohio. Ours has by far the most and best materials.  I should have mentioned that I bought quite a few windows and stored them - then designed my homes (I have built two so far).  So I did not have to look for very specific sizes like most would after plans are drawn. This worked out very well for me, but may be difficult for others.  One of the other items we sometimes get here is Trex decking. I bought some for my brother at the auction last year. We bought enough to do a 500 sf deck for $120; he was thrilled.  I recommend going the day before so you can see what they have and then do your research. You can't bid if you don't know what the item is worth.  I usually try to take two people with me to help load smaller items and watch the purchases until I can load them.  Below is a photo of a window in my pool area. As you can see, it is very large. I purchased this window for $200. This would have cost me $2,000 had I bought it through a dealer. 

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By Mary in PA on 11/29/2009


Faye, Thanks for the info. I can see you know how to shop!
I agree knowing what a item is worth is essential when bidding at auctions.


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