Medical Equipment Auction – 5 Tips to Win

Medical Equipment Auction

Good quality ‘Pre-owned’ or used medical equipment are hard to come by. Let’s say, after months of searching, you’ve found an upcoming medical equipment auction where most of your requirements are listed. And then, when the auction starts, you find many other bidders for competition, with the same hopes of striking a good deal, as you.

How to win in a medical equipment auction when the competition is stiff? Here are 5 key tips for buyers bidding in a competitive auction scenario.

1.   Do your homework, Prepare well and have a Plan

Many auctions today have moved online. Auctions are not where you just decide to login at the appropriate time and simply wait to see what happens. Do not expect you will keep responding with incremental bids and things will fall in your favour. To be successful in a medical equipment auction, it’s important to have and follow a plan.

Your plan should include,

  • Knowing your complete equipment requirement.
  • Deciding what you will buy ‘Used’ and what you will buy ‘New’ only.
  • Prioritize – If you cannot win it all, what would you like to leave out?
  • Physical inspection – Before the auction, normally an inspection of the assets is arranged. Make sure a competent person does a proper evaluation if all components and accessories are available and make an assessment of repairs if required.
  • Assess fair market price of the equipment including all accessories and after sales support from peers or by getting multiple quotations.
  • Based on the above, please decide how much to bid.
  • Decide who will bid from your side.

2. Set yourself 3 budgets in a medical equipment auction

It is advisable to have three budgets which you can put into action throughout the auction.

  1. The Sweet Deal Price: If you got the equipment for this low price, you’d consider yourself lucky to have struck a good deal.
  2. The Fair Market Price: The reasonable price you think similar equipment would be normally available in the market.
  3. The Walk-away Price:  May be, you are willing to pay a slight premium because the equipment is exactly what you want and relatively less used or in better condition than most. However, if the price goes past this point, you walk out, because from thereon it is a losing proposition.

Bidders often make the mistake of bidding the same value as a quote they received for refurbished equipment with warranty from a seller.

In arriving at the bid value, always consider the fact that the medical equipment auction is on as-is-basis. There would potentially be added cost of dismantling, transportation, re-installation, insurance and/or minor/major repairs on the equipment before you can put it to good use, not to mention the cost of warranty that sellers usually bear. You need to have a good estimate of these additional costs and reduce your bidding price accordingly.

3.   Opening & Counter-bid strategy in medical equipment auction

The bidding process itself can be an intense affair. Even if you have decided on your budget, jumping in straight with decided figure won’t help. It may mean you end up paying more than you needed to. Here is what we suggest:

a. Wait to place your first bid

Often it is best to let the bidding start and move in at a little later stage with a strong bid.  This gives you a chance to size up the competition and refine your pricing strategy.

b. Make your first bid a strong figure

If you know there’s a lot of competition, there’s no point starting off too low. Everyone at the auction will have a clear idea of what the equipment is worth and will have come prepared to pay that price, just like you. It’s advisable to start a little less than the market value. That way you knock out a lot of the not-so-serious, low bidders just looking for bargains.

Look to employ an opening bidding strategy that shakes most of the competition, especially those who are in there, only for a low price ‘deal’. May be, start at 80%-90% of your maximum price or at the ‘sweet deal price’ decided by you – because you’re not going to get it for less than that in the market, anyway.

c. Counter bid strategy – Bid with rounded figures

Often minimum increments are mentioned in the auction and online auctions do not even allow you to bid less than that. Still, it is best not to place bids of small increments or odd numbers, such as Rs 100, Rs 500 or Rs 1000, as someone will can easily go the extra few hundreds and put a counter bid. It is a total waste of time. Instead, if your opponent tries to slow down the bidding with small increments, go in above them with that extra solid increment, to immediately put yourself back into first place.

d. Move in with a counter bid quickly

Bidding quickly puts pressure back on the other bidders and creates an impression that you are serious and your budget may be big. It makes you look aggressive. It may not be a huge jump in price each time, but making a quick decision leaves other buyers feeling like they are under attack.

e. Do not wait till the last few minutes to make your move

If it is an online auction, do not wait till the last few minutes to bid, as there might some connectivity issues or technical problems that may prevent you from bidding altogether.

4. Talk with the Liquidator or Auctioneer

Don’t be shy of talking to the liquidators or auctioneers. Do not assume they should not contacted or they will not be approachable. Do not assume, reserve prices are unchangeable – cast in stone.

Putting up the highest bid need not be always the best strategy. It is important that the liquidator or auctioneer sees you and know that you’re a serious bidder. It is in their interest to close the auction successfully and for that serious bidders are important. Sometimes a liquidator may not have the best information on the actual fair market price of the used item and they will be receptive to information and feedback.

Hence, if they see you as a serious bidder, they will always be available to help you through the process and share special guidance. So you need to keep them updated on your position, give feedback on what you think is the right price for the items, without giving everything away.

Often times the reserve price turns out to be higher than anyone is willing to pay and hence there are no bidders for the item. The item then comes up for re-auction. When the process reaches this point the auctioneer or liquidator would confer with the party who is willing to pay the most or hold private negotiations.

5. Stick to your Budget, Do not over-commit

One of the biggest mistakes buyers make at an auction is getting carried away and ending up bidding unreasonable price. Many often get carried away with the thrill of out-bidding, beating the competitive bidder and winning the bid. Some succumb to FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), but at what cost?

There are many cases we have seen, where equipment picked up in auctions fail to work as anticipated or need more repair than expected. Sometimes parts and accessories may be missing and hence overall the acquisition ends up being costlier than normal.

Hasty decisions made under the pressure of the auction-process often turn out bitter, if one goes overboard with the bidding ignoring thought-through budgets.

At the end of the day, as much as you may fall in love with the equipment on auction and as close as you might think you are to winning, you should never exceed your predetermined budget.


PrimedeQ is an e-Marketplace for buying, selling, renting, servicing and spares of medical equipment. We offer all types of used / refurbished medical equipment , including endoscopes, OT equipment, Laparoscopic Equipment,  Lab equipment, X-Ray, TMT, ECG, anesthesia machine, ultrasound machines etc.  We offer microdebrider,  laparoscope , endoscope and ultrasound probe repair services etc.

Contact us on +91 8971223957/ 7019759765 or [email protected]


Disclaimer : All views and information in this site and the blogs is based on secondary information available in public domain and is provided "as is", with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information. PrimedeQ is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. Readers are encouraged to independently verify all required information.