Should I Sell Steel Plates at an Auction?

Steel plates are large, flat sheets of steel used to cover road hazards like potholes, excavation sites and damaged walkways. They are also used over trench boxes during excavation for utility construction and repair. The purpose of a steel plate is to provide a temporary surface for traffic to pass over while construction is underway, or to provide a temporary wall during excavation.

Because steel plates are durable, they hold up well over time and can be uninstalled after a project and resold once the project is complete. Though auctions are a popular choice for selling steel road plates, if you choose to sell your plates at auction, you’ll make less money and miss out on many of the benefits of selling directly to the consumer.

Eiffel Trading’s online marketplace makes selling steel plates easy and hassle-free. Here, we cover some of the main reasons why you should avoid selling your steel plates at auction, and why you’ll make more money with less hassle listing your plates on Eiffel Trading instead.

Used steel plates for sale

Why You Shouldn’t Sell Steel plates at Auction

1. When you sell steel plates at auction, you don’t get to set the price.

If you choose to sell your steel plates at an unreserved auction, the plates will go to the “highest bidder,” regardless of how low their bid is. If a low bidder wins the auction for your steel plates, there’s nothing you can do to reverse the outcome—you will still be forced to go forward with the sale. In reserved auctions, you have more say over the price, but there may not be any bidders willing to pay as much as you’d like. In this case, your steel plates could be up for auction for much longer than you’d intended, and you’ll have no options for pursuing other selling avenues.

2. When you sell used steel plates at auction, you don’t get to keep your selling rights.

If you put your steel plates up for auction, you’ll be giving up the opportunity to advertise the plates to a wider market. This lowers your odds of finding a buyer who’s willing to pay a fair price based on the condition of your plates, and you risk losing out on potential profits when you could have instead kept your selling rights by listing your steel plates for sale directly to the consumer.

3. When you sell used steel plates at auction, you’ll pay a fee.

Auction houses charge a fee to sell plates, which will cut into your profits. Many sellers pay this fee either because it’s what they’ve always done or because they don’t realize there are options that allow you to sell your steel plates for free. When you list your plates on Eiffel Trading’s online marketplace, we never charge a listing fee.

Brand new steel plates for sale

4. When you sell steel plates at auction, the materials often go to a buyer looking for a deal.

Many auction attendees are looking to get a good deal on steel plates because they plan to later flip and resell the plates for a profit themselves. These types of buyers are not willing to pay full price for materials, and yet they often win auctions.

At Eiffel Trading, we optimize our search features to target large-project contractors looking for steel plates just like yours. This enables you to earn more for your plates, since interested buyers who “match” with your equipment are contractors who need the materials for a project.

Sell Your Used Steel Plates on Eiffel Trading

Though auctions may seem like a popular choice for selling materials, there are many downsides that will earn you less money. Rather than selling at auction, consider listing your steel plates on Eiffel Trading’s online marketplace. When you sell through Eiffel Trading, you’re joining ENR Top 400 companies, rental companies, dealers, brokers and suppliers from all 50 states, plus Canada and Mexico. Listing your steel plates requires no obligation and is 100% free. Our enhanced search tools and niche market ensures every listing gets the attention it deserves, leading to faster sales and larger profits.

Sell your steel plates

Buy and Sell with Eiffel Trading

Eiffel Trading is a one-stop-shop for your heavy civil material needs. In addition to used steel plates, our inventory also offers used sheet pile, used pipe pile, used crane access trestle, used h-pile beams, and so much more.

All of our listings are constantly being updated, but if you don’t see what you’re looking for, create a wanted listing for free.

Ready to sell your used heavy equipment or construction material? List your products today for free on Eiffel Trading’s online marketplace.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please call us at 1-800-541-7998 or email