Auction Blog

On May 12th, an interesting auction took place at Smart Parts near Pittsburgh. Smart Parts used to make paintball guns, until the recession and a big miscalculation about a Wal-Mart order for its equipment put them on the road to bankruptcy.

The management of Smart Parts had been on top of the world as paintball caught fire. Wal-Mart wanted to get in on the fun and Smart Parts ordered two (CNC) Hydromat Epic machines in 2007 to meet the forecast demand. They paid well over $2 million for the two machines—then the bottom fell out and sayonara.

At the sale the two machines brought $920,000 and $550,000, including buyer’s premium.

Hilco Industrial auctioned off the machinery. They sold seven Star Ecas 32 mm machines, as new as 2006, for prices ranging from $255,000 for the newest to $145,000 for a 2003 machine. The one Star SR20II brought $140,000 including buyer’s premium.

The sale highlighted the rising cost and scarcity of 32 mm Swiss-type lathes. An E32 Citizen from the ‘90s brought $80,000 and another brought $40,000, very high for older style machines.

The Smart Parts sale was the right machinery at the right time. On the same day, multi-spindle screw machines were auctioned off at Whirlpool in Benton Harbor, Michigan. RAN6 and 2 RB6 Acmes fetched under $5000 each, and New Britain Model 62 machines in the 1980s with pickoff attachments sold for $15,000 each. Two Hydromat Inline machines, of which very few were ever made, sold for $120,000 each, and a 10-station Pro20 brought $50,000.

Question: Judging by his past dominance and present poor play, do you believe Tiger Woods took steroids?

Paintball Gun

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