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You won your Online Auction? Now What?

Gateway Crate and Freight gets a lot of work from people who win online auctions from out of town. Most of these people are out of state and some are even in other countries. We have picked up auction items such as antiques, restaurant equipment, computers, water meter readers, and even a walk through metal detector.

Many of our clients do their due diligence BEFORE bidding or purchasing items they may win. Contacting us for a quote on picking up, packing, palletizing, crating and shipping these items gives the prospective buyer a good idea about how much of a "deal" they are actually getting after factoring in packing and transportation.

Those that buy first and figure out logistics later find out that the road to great deals online starts with understanding the costs of the entire project, not just the purchase price of the item. Lets look at a recent Gateway Crate and Freight auction purchase project.

A Security company in Baltimore, Maryland won an online auction for a walk through metal detector. You have probably walked through one of these before:


Although the Auction company for this was located in Phoenix, Arizona the actual item was at a US Customs and Border Protection facility in Yuma, Arizona. The security company got a great price on the unit but did not pre-plan the logistics.

Here is where an understanding of how most online auctions work, can reduce your logistics cost. This auction had a time limit of 72 hours for pickup once the auction was won and like most auctions the item must be picked up by the purchaser "as-is". In other words the auction company will not prepare your items for shipping in any manner.

The problem with not planning this out was that Gateway Crate and Freight was contacted by the purchaser and only had 48 hours to schedule a truck to pickup this item to meet their deadline. The client ended up having to pay for us to send a dedicated driver and truck to pickup the item in Yuma, which is a round trip of over 400 miles. In this case the pickup charge was more then the shipping of the packaged unit from Arizona to Maryland.

Had this customer pre-planned or quoted this item prior to the purchase, this company could have cut the pickup cost in half. The day prior to being contacted and in the first 24 hours it had been available for pickup, we had a 26' padded van returning from San Diego that could have picked this item up for less than half the dedicated van charge.

Understanding the time limits for an "as-is" pickup given by an online auction is paramount to getting a good "deal".  

Another important step in getting your product, if you can't pick it up your self, is providing the auction site with a release. You must provide "authorization" to the auction house to release the product to a 3rd party who is picking it up.

Providing the purchase ticket and lot number to the third party to be picked up is essential as well, to ensure you get the items you purchased. After picking up your items, the rest is a piece of cake for us. After palletizing, packing and shipping this metal detector the customer was extremely happy with their new purchase and has let us know they are looking for more of these in Arizona because they know we can handle their needs, and with better planning, save them money.

If you need more information about the logistics involved in making your first online auction purchase, contact our experienced staff, we would be happy to give you a free estimate on what it would take to get your items picked up, packed and shipped safely to you. Toll Free 855-474-4685


Steven Tittle is owner of Gateway Optimum Transportation and Gateway Crate and Freight a 3PL located in Tempe, Arizona that provides warehousing, custom crating, packing and transportation management services. or
MC917143 DOT2638954 Gateway Optimum Transportation is federally licensed as both a Motor Carrier and a Broker(Property).


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