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Equipment Auction Sites?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Has anyone on these boards had much experience buying equipment from restaurant equipment auction sites? I've gotten some great deals on small wares from these sites, but never been brave enough to bid and purchase large refrigeration or cooking equipment.
Do you have any advice?
Are there any auction sites that you visit frequently and/or could recommend?

The two I visit seem to be located in Ohio. I would love to find one that works in the NY Metro area. Any suggestions?

We're moving on our own location after years renting space and now need to find equipment on a shoestring.
post #2 of 5
When I lived in NY I used to buy a lot of equipment on the Bowery they were usually better then auctions, and you new the things worked. At auction you have no recourse if something doesn't work.
post #3 of 5
Like Ed said, auctions are "Caveat emporium". You don't get the opportunity to plug the thing in to see if it works.......

Restaurant equipment can be broken down into 3 distinct sections:

1) Smallwares. By all means, buy all you can used in this category, if it's broke, you can see it clearly. Most of my smallwares were bought used, and I always try to find used before buying new.

2) Simple electric/mechanical devices. This includes mixers, meat slicers, and most gas equipment like ranges and broilers. While this stuff needs occcasional maintainence, it's not all that difficult to repair or that expensive. That being said, there are lemons out there, and otherwise good equipment that has had the crap beat out of it. These are generally a decent deal, but you have to know what you're buying.

3) Electro-mechanical/electronic equipment. This includes ALL refrigeration equipment, dishwashers, espresso machines, and sophisticated stuff like Rational-type ovens.
Next time you're at an auction look to see who buys this type of stuff, there are only two categories: The noobs, who assume that by buying it, you simply plug it in and expect 15 years trouble free service from it, or the old pro's, who automatically assume that there are issues with it and have already budgeted X dollars or time to fix the thing before they even bid on it.

Unless you have a refrigeration ticket, or good electrical/electronic knowledge, time to adress the issues that crop up, or access to someone who does, stay far, far away from this category. A decent refrigeration guy will charge $70 per hour, not including parts or truck/driving time.

There is no worse feeling than coming in to work, only to find a puddle at the base of a fridge or freezer............
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
post #4 of 5
I'm curious about this too. I'd love to find out what people think about used True Refrigeration units that have been owed prior. I that some of these come from restaurants that have gone out of business. I'm frankly concerned about buying anything used, what do you all think? Any other recommendations regarding refrigeration units? 
post #5 of 5

If you buy them through a dealer that will give you a 90 or even 120 day guarantee, then it can be a good deal.  True is a decent brand, but then again, so is BMW. No one says I can beat the crap out of a BMW, hot wax it,  and sell it before it starts to cost me major repair bills, right?


Here are two major problems with used refrigeration equipment:


1) Insufficient amperage.  Generally problems concerning this are found with smaller units.  Say the max. draw for the unit is 12.5 amps, and you have one or two other appliances plugged in to the same 15 amp circuit.  This puts considerable stress on the compressor when it starts up.  After a year or two of this, the compressor motor starts to weaken. Major repair bill.


2) Corroding coil. Compressed refrigeration gas is allowed to expand in a coil, or radiator inside of the fridge cabinet.  This is generally made of aluminum, better ones with copper and aluminum, and best with copper and teflon coated s/s.  A lot of things will corrode aluminum, copper, and even s/s.  Major culprits are:

a Vinegars, salad dressings, citrus juices stored without any coverings

b tomato products stored without any coverings

c Spicy and chilli based products stored without any coverings

d The worst: Yeast doughs and fresh cake yeast.  A lot of cooks and bakers will allow dough to ferment/ripen/proof in the fridge.  On a cheap fridge with aluminum coils, it will eat the coil within a year.


Once there are tiny, pin-prick holes in the coil, gas escapes, the fridge can't keep temp., the compressor runs constantly and you are faced with replacing the coil or tossing the fridge.


If there are problems with a used fridge, they generally will show up before the 3 month guarantee.  Never buy used from a dealer who can't give you a minimum of 90 days.


After 35 years in this business, my first response to buying refrigeration is to always buy new..................

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
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