Auction Action

I attended the auction of Caire Medical’s surplus machinery Nov. 4, in Indianapolis. The auctioneer, Asset Sales Inc. of Indian Trail, North Carolina, had a financial interest in the sale. There was an 18% buyer’s premium tacked onto the bid prices. The equipment was superb and the bidding was spirited.

The hottest piece in the sale was a Citizen M32 Type V, new in 2007, with a FMB barloader. The bid price was $262,500 plus 18%, taking it over $300,000. There were (2) M32 Type III machines (new in 2003) which fetched $160,000 and $140,000 plus BP. An A-16 VIP Citizen (new in 2006) sold for $50,000 plus BP.

Two Mori Seiki vertical machining centers (new in 2007) fetched $73,000 each. A similar machine in Seattle three months ago brought 65K. A nine-year-old Tsugami 10 pallet vertical machining center brought $140,000. A Nakamura TW-20, (new in 1992) fetched $95,000, and a similar machine (new in 1995) brought $65,000—don’t know why the difference.

I talked to a lot of people at the sale and a recurring theme was “business is good and I want to get the year end tax break.”

Another reason may be that the Japanese machine tool importers are low on inventory now. With the dollar dropping like a stone verses the yen, there is an expectation of price increases when the new machines come in.

Citizen and Nakamura tooling and accessories were also keenly bid on. One Citizen lot of tooling fetched $9,000. This was particularly interesting because conventional CAT 40 machining center holders brought modest prices.

What I gleaned from this sale is that “cream” machinery is escalating rapidly in price because of strong demand and the desire of successful entrepreneurs to capitalize on the raised expensing tax break in 2010.

Question: Do you think the machinery market will soften after the first of the year?

Citizen M32 Type V from the Caire Medical auction

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