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If you are a contractor or a DIYer who is looking to remodel your home on a budget, you may consider attending building materials auctions, also commonly known as building supply auctions. At first, these building materials auctions do sound like a wise idea. As a DIYer who is remodeling a home on a tight budget, they aren’t as ideal as they sound.
Personally, one of the best ways to get your hands on discount building materials is to search online. With the Leads Finder for Windows PC or Building Materials for Sale for Android, you search 100s of online marketplaces and classified websites at once to find a large selection of building materials and supplies. Results are often better than attending building materials auctions. Why? Here are 5 reasons why I recommend you avoid building materials auctions. Please note this is based on my own personal experience, as I have attended a number of building materials auctions and building supply auctions over a two-year time frame.
Avoid Building Materials Auctions #1: Difficult to Find
Building materials auctions aren’t as common as car auctions. It takes a lot of planning and research to gain access to the latest auctions. Construction is a popular industry in my neck of the woods. Even still, there are only two auction houses that regularly hold building materials auctions. And by regularly, I mean about once every 6 months.
To find building materials auctions, you need to familiarize yourself with local auction houses, determine if they specialize in building materials and supplies, monitor your classified ads, and so forth. Doing a search online for actual supplies, as opposed to auction listings requires less time and produces the best results.
Avoid Building Materials Auctions #2: Time Consuming
The two auction houses I mentioned above who specialize in building supplies auctions like to scatter their auctions across the state so everyone and everyone has easy access to their auctions. I have personally traveled anywhere from 1 hour to 4 hours to attend an auction.
In addition to the travel costs and time, consider the length of the actual auction. One building materials auction, I was focused on bathroom vanities. Unfortunately, they were one of the last items auctioned off for the day. I had to sit through a 5 hour auction.
Avoid Building Materials Auctions #3: Increased Competition
You can tell that more contractors and DIYers are looking to save money. The first couple of building materials auctions I attended had around 800 guests. After that, the total reached well into the thousands. As you can imagine, an increase in competition at a building materials auction does not result in good deals. In fact, that leads us to our next point.
Avoid Building Materials Auctions #4: Varying Prices
You will find varying prices at building supply auctions. Some deals are amazing. Some deals aren’t worth the time. As previously mentioned, I was in the market for a bathroom vanity. Purchased at my second auction, I paid $85. The exact same vanity set later sold at another auction (with about 1,000 more participants) for $150. An increase in competition results in higher prices.
Never attend building materials auctions without doing the proper research. I personally saw a number of homeowners excited to buy X tool for $100, but with research I knew that same tool sold new at Home Depot or Lowe’s for only $80.
Avoid Building Materials Auctions #5: No Guarantees
You always take a risk when attending auctions. Whether it is a home improvement auction, a car auction, or an estate sale auction, there is always the possibility that you will walk away empty handed. For some contractors and DIYers, the risk is too great. When you take into account travel costs, time to travel to building supply auctions and sit-through time, you may every well have wasted an entire day for nothing!
I’m not necessarily saying you need to without-a-doubt stay away from building materials auctions. Rather, you should do the research. Also, realize that you do have alternative methods of finding cheap building supplies and cheap home improvement materials.