Inspect prior to an industrial auction.
I participate in a woodworking forum primarily for NC and including SC, TN, VA and GA. A recent question was posed about an industrial auction that was going on about 1/2 miles away from my shop being conducted by IRS Auctions (Industrial Recovery Services). They asked about two double drum sanders that were being offered and since I was so close I offered to take a look. Both showed heavy use, one had a control board that had been struck by lightning and both needed a new transport belt and other minor repairs.
After I inspected them the manager I was with told me of another smaller double drum sander that had also been struck. It was out of service and stored in a semi-outside area. I was interested especially since it wasn't included in the auction.
The other two sold for $1400 to $1500 and once the auction was over I called and made a terribly low offer which the manager accepted. Rather than let moss grow on the deal I hustled over to pay for it and pick it up.
Once back in the shop I ordered the new motor controal board, three pinch rollers, new transport belt, drum drive belt and casters. All totaled I have less than $1000 in the sander which new was $4300. It works well, still needs some minor adjustments and will be a workhorse in the shop.
Sometimes it pays to inspect and be nosy!