Toolguyd had a post on this topic:
I commented about my - now very dated - experience buying a drill press at an auction:
"I bought my home shop Walker Turner Radial Arm drill press in 1977 at an auction – no Craigslist or eBay back then. Brought a dial indicator and a known true drill rod with me to check runout – which was a bit out as I recall. I also had a straightedge with me (was looking at other machinery too) and checked the table for flatness.The motor starter was also a bit sketchy – but the belts and pulleys (16 speed) were good – motor had been replaced a few years back to run on single phase 220, The cast iron base was really rusted but otherwise in good shape and there was no play in the radial arm – and I got it with the opening bid of $100. Once loaded in a truck and home – pulling the “Jacobs chuck” – cleaning the chuck, spindle, Morse taper and doing some fiddling with the orientation when remounting the chuck I got it to run pretty damn near true. The starter was a different issue and I ended up replacing it – I Think it cost me more than the $100 I paid for the drill press- but it was still a bargain. Considering that this WWII vintage drill press is older than me, it still runs pretty good – certainly not as well as a new Claussing – but great for a home shop woodworker".
My dated experience seconds what Napalm says - but you need to be prepared to check out what you buy at a private sale. As Napalm also commented you need a truck, maybe hand-truck or rigger's dolly too plus some helpers to load a heavy piece of machinery. When I bought the WT - I brought along a box truck with a lift gate plus a few buddies - and I recall we still did a batch of swearing. We were all glad that I did not bid on some of the other machinery that was being auctioned off.
I also think that eBay and Craigslist have changed the landscape of buying. You may still find some bargains - but sellers are often more savvy about prices having searched the internet to find what they think may be comparable tools and prices - sometimes inflating both their expectations and asking prices.
Reading some of the reviews of inexpensive drill presses with names like Porter Cable, Jet, Wen, Skil etc. - and even more costly new Delta machines, there seems to be lots of variability. That may suggest that the reviewers may have very different expectations - or possibly that QA/QC at the factories in China or Taiwan may not be what they need to be to turn out a consistent product.
If you want to buy new, maybe you can take a look at the $379 Porter Cable if you have a Lowes nearby - and see if you can return it if yours has a vibration/runout problem: