By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
This postcard appeared at my chiropractic office and I thought it provided a good opportunity to share some information about auctions as they relate to furnishing new practices on a recent graduate start up budget.
First off, I’m not acquainted with the business hosting this auction, and I’m not familiar with the chiropractic medical office that is being liquidated. According to the other side of the postcard, it appears that the office was abandoned (card reads: Abandoned Personal Property Ordered Sold By Landlord) and the landlord is seeking to recoup costs.
I’m listing details related to this auction (since it’s real and doesn’t take place until July 30) and then I will add some points from my experiences of attending many auctions in the past (although I haven’t been to one in quite a few years now).
Following information is from the postcard…
—Public Auction Chiropractic Medical Office—
Abandoned Personal Properly
Ordered Sold By Landlord
Wed July 30 1:00pm
21150 Hawthorne Blvd. #200, Torrance, CA 90503
Inspect: Noon Sale Day
X-RAY MACHINE – Eureka Linear MC-150, Toshiba Rotanode, Bucky Stand & Tingle Transformer
ACUSON 128 COMPUTED SONOGRAPHY ULTRASOUND – Sony Video Printer, Sony Video Graphic Printer & VCR
BALLARD LIQUID SCINTILLATION COUNTER * EXAM TABLE * SCALE
MASSAGE TABLES * CENTERFUGE * THERMALATOR * SPIROBANK
CHATTANOOGA HYDROCOLLATOR * HOPE MICRO-MAX AUTO PROCESSOR
COLLIMATOR * REHAB STAIRCASE * PHYSICAL THERAPY WHIRLPOOL
Conference Table & Chairs * Water Dispenser * Tables * Fax * Printer * Carts
Credit Card Machine * Office Chairs * File Cabinet * Office Supplies * Towels
Canon Copier * Computer * Bookcase * Wheelchairs * Canes * Braces * Walkers
Absentee Bids accepted prior to sale * CASH ONLY * “As Is” * 10% Buyers Premium
$60 Cash Refalldable Deposit to Bid * FOR FUTURE SALE NOTICES allstates [at] earthlink.net
—Public Auction Chiropractic Medical Office—
OK, all the stuff listed above is what was on the postcard. If you are in the Torrance, California area and are seeking this kind of equipment you may want to check it out on Wednesday, July 30, 2008. I don’t know if tables really means adjusting tables or traditional office tables.
From the type of equipment listed, we can see this is not what one would expect from a traditional chiropractic office. There is lots of medical and rehab equipment being offered as well. My thoughts are that this Southern California auction could be a great opportunity for chiropractors, manual therapists (pain management medical doctors), physical therapists, work comp clinics, some massage therapists, and maybe even orthopedic doctors.
There is no guarantee on the x-ray equipment (or anything else) but my experience of going to auctions like this in the past has shown that offices don’t typically have broken equipment (important to have a working x-ray unit).
One won’t know until they get to the location if things like calipers, film cassettes, x-ray storage containers, ID printers, lead shielding, and other related equipment is available for purchase or bidding. I once went to view an x-ray unit at a closed down medical rehab facility in Long Beach only to discover that most of these items were on the premises and left behind by the previous owner. The landlord was happy for me to take the equipment off his hands. When we pulled around the back of the building to load some of the equipment we discovered 4′ x 8′ sheets of lead attached to wall panels. It was going to be thrown out. Anyone want to guess how much a 4′ x 8′ sheet of 6mm leaded wall panel costs?
In the 1990s and at the end of the first .com boom (I believe we are in Web 2.0 boom now) I attended more auctions than I can remember. Almost all were for computer equipment (much of which helped raise funds for Planet Chiropractic). I learned a lot about what to buy (and not to buy) when attending auctions like these.
If I were a chiropractic student about to graduate (or a new doctor in practice or about to begin) I’d make efforts to attend auctions like this (they probably exist nationwide). Looking at the list of items being sold, the most basic stuff I can see most chiropractors using include: x-ray machine, bucky stand, micromax auto processor (for developing x-rays), water dispenser, fax machine, printer, credit card machine, office chairs, file cabinet, office supplies, copier, and the computer. That is for a non-mixing chiropractic office that doesn’t offer massage, physical therapy, or rehabilitation services.
A new doctor could save a lot of money going this route. Biggest problem is it requires cash (sometimes a lot of it), an understanding of what’s of value, a big enough vehicle to haul away equipment that day (and a strong back), and the ability to invest nearly half your day at the auction.
One way I would make this work (assuming I have the cash) would be to purchase things I knew could sell quickly (and likely for a profit) if not used in my office. Small items can be listed on any number of online auction and classified sites, and nearly every item could be listed for sale through chiropracticclassifieds.
Personally, the less I was really sure I could move an item quickly, I wouldn’t pick up bulky items, as you’ve got to load them into your vehicle, transport them, and store them until used or sold.
Who knows, you may just see me there on the auction date, this one’s only 15 miles from my practice.