• 9 . Great Savings on Catering Equipment

  • When there is a need to purchase new equipment the prospect for any hotel, pub or restaurant can be quite daunting. In this economic climate replacing a broken oven or fridge for example can be a costly exercise, or not?
    There is an alternative buying route which provides access to various types of catering equipment at much reduced prices.
    Catering equipment auctioneers, Wiltshire based Hilditch group, approximately twice a month put up to 2,000 lots under the hammer at its warehouse in Malmesbury. However, if you have done your homework and know what you are looking for you can also bid online for their lots. Whilst much of the auction lots will go to dealers there are always plenty of restaurateurs, hoteliers and pub owners who walk away with catering equipment at well below showroom prices.
    So what do you need to know to make the best of an auction?
    1) Do your research – look at the catalogue prior to the auction. If you find a particular item of interest then research it on line to find out the price for a new one and through dealers. There is no point buying at an auction if you can buy for the same price plus get a three-month guarantee from a local dealer.
    2) View, view and view - Check out the items at the viewing and don’t be afraid to contact the auction house and ask questions. The downside of buying at auction is that there is no guarantee. Wherever possible Hilditch will check equipment and it can be arranged for an engineer to look over an item (at a small fee) or bring your own, but on the whole buyer beware.
    3) Be prepared – Auctions can be exciting and very fast paced. Often it is hard to keep track of what is going on as a huddle of buyers move around the warehouse in a pack as the auctioneer progresses from lot to lot. If possible visit an auction first and learn by watching. Then when the next auction comes up you can go along confident in how you wish to go about it.
    4) Don’t get carried away - The speed at which the bidding moves makes clear why it is important to set yourself clear limits. There is no time to hesitate and only the real pros can think on the spot.
    5) Sold is not the final cost! – It is important to remember that there is a buyer’s premium of 12.5% plus VAT to be paid on everything. Do your maths before you start bidding
    6) On arrival – potential customers are given a bidder number, a catalogue of the lots and a guide to buying which lists some of the pitfalls.
    7) Have your money and transport ready – all items must be paid for on the sale day so make sure you have checked what forms of payment are acceptable. In addition check when the items have to be collected by and think about how you will transport your items as a large heavy duty Fridge may not fit in the back of your little Renault!
    Managing Director and auctioneer Mike Hilditch aims to keep the standard of the equipment he sells high. Much of his stock is manufacturers’ seconds, dealers’ liquidation stock or nearly new equipment bought from outlets which have gone bust. Not all auction houses are so selective about their goods however, so beware of equipment that may be well past its best. “Auctions really are a great way to save money and an exhilarating experience, however, I can’t stress enough how important it is for people to do their homework and to be prepared on the day.”
  • Hilditch are specialists in the sale of medical and catering equipment, commercial plant and machinery, office equipment and antiques.
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    • Great Savings on Catering Equipment