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Old 11-30-2017, 12:24 PM   #1
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Conneaut, Ohio
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Year: 2004
Chassis: International CE 300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 71 passenger / 12 window
Proper way to submit a "sealed bid" for a bus?

I have my eye on a local auction where two buses are going up for sealed bid. I've never done this before, I know ZIP about it, so I want to see what y'all think about my plan. The business office said that I need to submit the bid in writing to them, but they said nothing about what I should include. It seemed as though I could include not only my bid, but also conditions.

So I was thinking about writing this:

"I bid $1,800 for bus A, and $2,500 for bus B. If I win both auctions and the District is willing to sell both buses for my winning bid prices, I reserve the right to choose only one bus to buy, or both. If I choose one, the right to the other will go to the next highest bidder if there is one. If there is no other bidder for the bus I don't select if I choose to buy only one, I will not be legally held to buy the other one."

(Really, I'd only buy both if I thought I could resell the other one for a substantial profit. I only want one bus.)

The thought is that I'll bid unusually low for one and at my highest for the other, such that if I win both, I can elect to take the one that I got for the lower price. I really don't think I could do all that well with reselling a bus. (And would I want it sitting in my back 40 until it sells? Yeah... no. But who knows. Who buys a bus around here? Even the business office guy said he'd be surprised if he gets any more bids than mine! Would he say such a thing if it weren't true?)

I want to know if, by bidding on both even if I state that I only want one, I could be legally held to buying both. (After all, I wouldn't want to have it happen where I bid on only one and get outbid, and the other didn't get any bids - meaning I could have had it - had I bid on it!)

Here are alternatives I have considered: "I bid $xxxx for my choice of one of the two buses." (I am lifting that from what I saw at an estate auction earlier this month.)

Or: "I bid $1,800 for bus A, and $2,500 for bus B. I intend to buy only one bus. If I win both auctions and the District is willing to sell both buses for my winning bid prices, I will choose which bus I will buy, for the price I bid, and will not be held in any way to buy the other."

A little help would be wonderful...
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Old 11-30-2017, 01:04 PM   #2
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I can solve the problem. Only bid on the bus you want to keep. One bus is scarcely affordable, so two might be financially painful.

Is this a blind auction? I usually get outbid on those. Most auctions don't work the way you're thinking. The runner up may turn down the option yo buy, then they have to run the auction all over again and they don't like that. They want the buses out of their yard and auctioning them again, or just a remaining bus, is something they try to avoid.

That said, I'd bid on both but lowball "A" heavily, like $1,000. The guy said he doubted he'd get any other bids so I'd pretty much lowball "B" too, but not so heavily. That's assuming both buses are in reasonable running condition. Go there and talk to the mechanic. In fact, if you don't know buses at all start looking at any buses for sale just to gain experience.

Good luck.
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Old 11-30-2017, 03:58 PM   #3
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The best way to win a sealed bid is to know what you are buying, and what it is worth.

You can easily freeze out the dealers and your only real competition is other individuals wanting to do what you want, or school districts needing a cheap bus, etc.

My advice would be to figure out a fair price for the bus you want, and offer something close to that amount.

The School District gets money to educate our children, and you get a decent bus at a fair price.

If you lowball you are likely to lose to a dealer who says "I'll take them all, for xxxx amount".

Even then, be aware that sometimes sealed bids still have to be approved by the school board, so it might take a while.
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:42 PM   #4
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Conneaut, Ohio
Posts: 180
Year: 2004
Chassis: International CE 300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 71 passenger / 12 window
I guess I was also wondering about whether or not the district would flatly reject winning bids if they aren't high enough even though nothing is said in the announcement about there being a reserve.
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Old 11-30-2017, 05:53 PM   #5
Skoolie
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Conneaut, Ohio
Posts: 180
Year: 2004
Chassis: International CE 300
Engine: DT466E
Rated Cap: 71 passenger / 12 window
Figure out a fair price? Okay, I'll run the specs by y'all and see what you think.

I only know the specs on one of the buses. 2003 IC CE300, DT466E, AD2000, ~155,000 miles, ~7,700 hours. 71 passenger. Has some rust, not the worst I've seen. (To me, the underbody looked okay and there wasn't much visible rust on the skin.) Runs & drives according to the mechanic. (I haven't heard it, but I probably will tomorrow or as soon as possible.) Hasn't been submitted for state inspection this year - he said it has to do with rust. Some obvious welds on the skin. Tires have decent tread and are 3 years old. Will have 3 batteries. (Not sure why - he said it had to do with enhancing the power available for the peripheral electrical gadgets.)

What would you bid? (And really, be nice to me here. I live in northeast Ohio, I'm nowhere near the rust-free buses in the south. It'd cost me a fortune in money and lost income to make a trip down there, just to buy a bus that costs at least twice as much and has like 100,000 more miles. If you would never buy a bus with rust, well, all I can say is that I'm glad you can handle living in the south or paying the money it'd take to go there. I tried living in the south and couldn't do those summers... and I have chosen an enjoyable profession over a well-paying one.)
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Old 11-30-2017, 06:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RomaniGypsy View Post
Figure out a fair price? Okay, I'll run the specs by y'all and see what you think.

I only know the specs on one of the buses. 2003 IC CE300, DT466E, AD2000, ~155,000 miles, ~7,700 hours. 71 passenger. Has some rust, not the worst I've seen. (To me, the underbody looked okay and there wasn't much visible rust on the skin.) Runs & drives according to the mechanic. (I haven't heard it, but I probably will tomorrow or as soon as possible.) Hasn't been submitted for state inspection this year - he said it has to do with rust. Some obvious welds on the skin. Tires have decent tread and are 3 years old. Will have 3 batteries. (Not sure why - he said it had to do with enhancing the power available for the peripheral electrical gadgets.)

What would you bid? (And really, be nice to me here. I live in northeast Ohio, I'm nowhere near the rust-free buses in the south. It'd cost me a fortune in money and lost income to make a trip down there, just to buy a bus that costs at least twice as much and has like 100,000 more miles. If you would never buy a bus with rust, well, all I can say is that I'm glad you can handle living in the south or paying the money it'd take to go there. I tried living in the south and couldn't do those summers... and I have chosen an enjoyable profession over a well-paying one.)
I was prepared to buy the rusty '96 in yesterday's auction, but it went for the same price as the rust-free one I did buy. I wasn't prepared to pay that money for a bus with significant rust and bald tires. Someone paid too much.

If yours has not been subjected to inspection, it means that there is significant surface rust and some perforation, either visible or underneath. If the frame has flaking rust, walk away. The rest is down to your ability and willingness to fix it. It's not hard but it is time-consuming.

For that reason the dealers will not want it. The shop time would eat all of their profit.

A bus that might fetch 4-6k with minimal prep probably isn't worth much more than half of that if it's repairable, but with hours of work to do.

I'd be offering $1500 to $2000 If everything else about the bus was the spec I wanted.
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