California YM240 sale

   / California YM240 sale #2  
Man that one is rough! Gearshift knob, headlight switch knob, fuel cap gone. Hydraulic check/fill cap looks like it hasn't been opened for years.

But it seems to run like new. It sounds great and I don't see any smoke.

I think that's one where you make minor repairs such as fix the fuel leak then just put it in service for another ten years. Recondition and replace any missing parts to make it look pretty? I wouldn't, its too beat up. That thing's already seen 30+ hard years of use, presumably full throttle/full load running a big finish mower.

La Mesa is east of the Los Angeles metro area, by the way. 18 million people + or -. He has lots of potential bidders.
   / California YM240 sale #3  
Wow, that seller has got some good stuff right now. Still early on their auctions but there may be some deals to be had.
   / California YM240 sale #4  
Wow, that seller has got some good stuff right now. Still early on their auctions but there may be some deals to be had.
Uh - auctions of government surplus stuff are rarely a good deal. If there was ever any Federal money contributed to the pot for purchase, operation, maintenance of the equipment then there are complex rules in the CFR's (Code of Federal Regulations) to recover as much of the value as possible. (And this tractor is school-owned property so is likely within that rule). The equipment has to be offered to all other government funds recipients - schools, counties, state and all state grantees, Indian reservations, everybody using taxpayer funds - before it can go to public auction. So the stuff at auction has first been considered valueless by several impoverished government agencies. Then the CFR's require advertising the auction broadly - to prevent an insider's auction that nobody heard of. So you'll always see enough bidders to recover full value of the equipment.

As part of a formal review (I was an internal auditor) to verify that disposal rules are followed and that the process is honest, I reviewed the paperwork and watched an auction for surplus highway department equipment. I concluded the stuff all went for more than a low-information bidder should bid. Employees who had operated or maintained the equipment knew which pieces were good and which were junk and counseled their friends to bid up the prices on everything just enough to outbid the public and pay a fair price. Anything that went for more than that - most of the stuff - was bid by the general public at prices more than any knowledgeable person thought it was worth. Caveat Emptor! ... I wrote up a clean report on that auction process, no problems noted.
   / California YM240 sale #5  
California, I hear where you're coming from and you are absolutely correct on how all federal, most state and some municipal items reach public auction. I do want to make a point though, just because an agency doesn't procure an item when offered and it moves on to public liquidation does not always mean it was deemed "valueless". I agree the term valueless could simply mean they didn't need item "X". However, If they have no need, justification, approval or funds, they aren't going to ( can't by most established procedures ) procure it.

I work for the state and see the buying/liquidation process all the time. Here is a good example: Last year, ten, new-on-crate Yanmar and Kubota various 30-40 hp engines were offered to all available agencies and were not procured. They moved to public liquidation. They sold in small lots for an average of just over $400 each. I can only say that any agency procurement representative that thought a new 35 HP diesel engine had no ( monetary) value was indeed completely incompetent. However, apparently no participating agency at that time had a need, funds or approval for one. I truly believe not one person who saw them viewed them as "valueless", they simply had no immediate need or means to procure one. I assure you, in the end I did and they were resold immediately to another TBN member and I never even had to touch them! I personally count on the premise that most people feel watching 95% of personally useless auction items is not worth the 5% chance of getting the "rare good deal". I also think a lot of people are uninformed buyers and get screwed once or twice and label the whole thing as a waist of time.

I made a substantial monetary return ( 500% ) on my first federal auction in 1985 (real estate). Very good dollar amount even today. 29 yrs. later of auction participation, I've yet to duplicated that profit amount from an auction. However, after approx. 300 auction wins, I've never "lost" money. Thought I had several times but just like dedicated, patient auction watching, patience in reselling can sometimes be the necessary key to making money. I once held onto a purchased item for 20 years but when I sold it I realized a net profit of $2k for every year I held onto it. I have bought many items and a lot of them were generally termed "scrap or salvage"...even they have value. It may be for the good parts to resell, may be for my personal use and it may be to our local recycler.

Many are (I believe) intentionally misdescribed so an associate has a chance at a good deal. A lot of them end up selling at/or excess value. I think a lot are overlooked/ uninspected and when the bid starts to climb above what they have been for months envisioning they will "steal" it for, balk in the end. I once bid on a lot of 3 Polaris rangers that were listed as non running and had frame, body and suspension pics available. When I inspected them, they all had missing key ( wouldn't run), plastic removed, bolts removed from a shock and a subframe had been cut by a hacksaw on each one. They were actually in great shape with low hours but looked like a mess. It took about an 2 hours to reweld, replace bolts and get new keys. There was no doubt the site superintendent was flat irate when I showed up to preview them. Gave me the run around "looking" for them for an hour.....we finally "found" them behind what appeared to be the main garage right behind the office. Bidding got to $1000 and my main nameless competitor stopped bidding.......I'd bet because he had told his wife he was getting some money makers and had the bosses approval to spend a $1000 max. Maybe that's all he had to spend.... who know but he obviously thought they weren't going to sell for that much.

Most items are available for inspection and have a contact person who can give at least a little information. Many of the smaller agency disposals like colleges or municipalities have individuals that have direct knowledge of the item.

All I can say is keep spreading the news....good Gov. auctions deals are too rare to bother with!! I'd love to thin the competition :) it's gotten a lot worse since the advent of this new fangled "interweb" :D

There may not be a single "deal" in this sellers lot but I like industrial items and they've got them. If I lived in the L.A. area, I'd be watching the close on about 10 of those items.
   / California YM240 sale #6  
You did good! I wish I could find deals like that. I never have.

Agreed, 'valueless' to another agency might be a little overstated. But I and others went - as state insiders - to a number of pre-auction showings where we could have brought state property back to our own state agency. It was extremely rare to find anything we could use. We shared a common joke re computer gear: First it has to be seriously obsolete. Second, the disposing agency seems to have to (and most did) strap the items to a pallet and leave them outdoors for a year to rust before they could be declared surplus. Then they went on a disposal list circulated internally before they were finally sent to auction.

Not everything was that bad - some good items appeared occasionally if there was some discontinued program - but I think schools had first dibs before we ever saw them. I've never seen anything like your tractor engines.

I did have some luck after I retired, buying Y2K-surplussed SCSI tape backup drives and multi-drive libraries from a friend who bid surplus auctions, both government and business. I made about $14k on Ebay with these before the supply dried up. Tape drives had no sensitivity to Y2K issues; they were a bargain at around $200 per drive to customers who could actually use them. I set my Buy-it Now price at the 90th percentile in the range of what others were selling them for and they flew out of here as fast as I could obtain them. I wish could do that again.

"Many are (I believe) intentionally misdescribed so an associate has a chance at a good deal." Yes, I think that's common. You have to know enough to bid ignoring the provided description. I think sometimes misrepresentation is intentional and sometimes, someone is forced into the disposal specialist role who is grossly ignorant of the material to be disposed. This YM240 is an example of this - his auction title was whatever he found on the engine tag, not 'YM240' that most people would know this model by.

And you are right, it is a good idea to ask around and find the employee who was responsible for maintaining that equipment. In many cases you can get a good description of condition, upgrades, etc that gives you an edge for bidding.
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   / California YM240 sale #7  
You did pretty good yourself, $14K is good money in my book!

We shared a common joke .......... the disposing agency seems to have to (and most did) strap the items to a pallet and leave them outdoors for a year to rust before they could be declared surplus. QUOTE]

I have to admit, the old saying "many a truth is told in jest" applies. My work place sends nothing back to Central Management Services until it is worth 1/10th of what is was when it was originally tagged as surplus and put on a pallet. I have definitely seen that some of our Departments/Agencies and even more specifically which institutions are better about maintaining and properly storing their surplus property. I have also found 2 of our local municipalities liquidate properly through auctions almost ( literally) continually. They have proven to be the most reliable source of "good items" at a decent price. You can always inspect the items and they are usually stored at the site where they were used/maintained so you can usually talk directly to the people that know the life history of the items . There is a huge advantage to bidding on items that are close and allow inspection ( especially at the site where the item was used).
   / California YM240 sale #8  
Results on the YM240 auction:

Winning bid: US $1,646.00 [ 39 bids ]

I think it's about a 50/50 gamble whether it is worth more/less, considering condition. That might be a little high considering total delivered cost.