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Machinery Pete

RSS By: Greg Peterson,

Learn how to better manage your machinery investments from Greg Peterson, a.k.a. "Machinery Pete." He's been researching and analyzing machinery auction prices for more than 20 years.

Absolute Auction

Aug 18, 2013

Machinery Pete has always been a HUGE fan of the "absolute" auction. Here's what Merriam-Webster Dictionary has to say about the word "Absolute": 


adjective \'ab-s?-?lüt, ?ab-s?-'\


Definition of ABSOLUTE

1a : free from imperfection : perfect
b : free or relatively free from mixture : pure
c : outright, unmitigated
4: having no restriction, exception, or qualification


8: perfectly embodying the nature of a thing
9: being self-sufficient and free of external references or relationships
Put a piece of used equipment up for sale and see what it's worth. Simple. Honest. The bidders decide what  that thing is worth, on that day, in that area. The true auction method at work. But of course we know that many consignment auctions are not absolute. That's ok too, just a different animal for potential bidders. There can be hesitation. Who am I bidding against? At what price will the seller let it go? As long as bidders know their current values on the items they are bidding on, every auction is an opportunity.
But "absolute" auctions are the truest barometer of actual value. Put it up for sale, gavel falls, boom...we all know how much $$ that thing is worth.
This Tuesday (August 20, 2013) I will be covering a large absolute consignment auction in Hamilton, IL by Sullivan Auctioneers. We will be filming the sale for upcoming episodes of our new Machinery Pete's "Auction of the Week" show coming to RFD-TV this November. Should be a fun day at the sale. Stop on out if you're in the area of southeast Iowa, northeast Missouri or west-central Illinois. Auctioneer Dan Sullivan reported to me yesterday that this may be the largest consignment auction Sullivan Auctioneers ( ) has ever had. The sale will start at 8AM CST and run 4 rings. Wow. "Live" internet bidding will be available via
Did I mention this consignement auction is "absolute"?
The beautiful thing Sullivan Auctioneers has done over the years building their business is training their extensive customer base in the 3-state area and beyond that all their auctions are "absolute", yes even their HUGE consignment auctions they hold throughout the year on their Hamilton, IL auction lot. These guys don't mess around. Buyers know it. Sellers know it. Everyone benefits. I'm guessing (not guessing actually) that's why their consignment auctions continue to grow. Trust is a powerful thing.
One of the tractors up for sale Tuesday is a 1997 MF 6180 with 3,066 hours. It will sell with a MF 948 loader. Here's a picture of the tractor & loader:
MF6180 IL Sullivans8 20 13
This tractor is part of the Jerry Gross estate selling on Tuesday's a farm sale within a consignment sale. There are 6 farm estate lines of equipment selling on the auction Tuesday. Sullivan Auctioneers is very smart how they advertise these farm estate lines of equipment, list the seller's entire line of equipment together, list Fred's equipment items together, Bob's equipment stuff together, Bill, John, Mike, Ed, etc. Quite often come auction day at a Sullivan Auctioneers consignement sale the sellers will be right there in front of the auction truck to quickly represent their item for sale. If she needs a little work, they'll just say it true.
Very smart.
The highest auction sale price I've seen the past few years on a MF 6180 tractor is $44,000 on a July 26, 2007 farm auction up in west-central Saskatchewan. It was a 1997 model with only 1,622 hours (no loader). That was only $2,000 behind the record auction price on MF 6180's of $46,000 set way back on a December 9, 2000 farm auction in northeast Ohio...a 1997 model 6180 with just 185 hours (no loader).
What will the 1997 MF 6180 tractor & loader and the 1,000+ other items sell for on Tuesday's Hamilton, IL consignment auction? Stay tuned....I'll have the absolute answers for you soon, and also some fun Yotuube video highlights after Tuesday's sale.
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