By Emily Newton, Revolutionized
6 Strategies For Selling Heavy Equipment
Selling heavy equipment is a practical way to make some money that could go toward your next fleet investments. Here are some practical suggestions for getting the most from your efforts.
1. Evaluate Whether The Equipment Is Ready To Sell
Begin by surveying all the equipment in your fleet and selecting what’s most appropriate for selling soon. Since machinery depreciates with age, confirming when you purchased it is a good start.
However, the way you take care of equipment also plays a significant role in how sellable it is compared to other options in the marketplace. If you have detailed and ongoing maintenance records, that content will help potential customers see your item as a viable option.
Keeping an eye on the market conditions also will help you understand when a piece of equipment you have is in particularly high demand, which may make it particularly worthwhile to sell quickly.
Determine when your business last used the equipment, too. If you can look at recent history and see low utilization and high maintenance patterns, those are strong signs you should consider selling soon. Remember that newer equipment may raise productivity and profitability for your business, but there’s little point in holding onto machines or vehicles that are only rarely used.
2. Advertise The Equipment Via Specialty Groups Or Publications
Depending on the type of equipment you want to sell, it could be easier to generate interest by targeting places where people are most likely to need the items you sell. The construction industry regularly uses heavy equipment for various tasks and often uses several types simultaneously. For example, a paver transfers asphalt from a dump truck to the necessary surfaces.
If you’re in Facebook groups of professionals who frequently use the equipment you have available, it’s worth posting there to get some traction for your item. This strategy works particularly well if you’re in groups of people in the same city, state, or region as you reduce the distance traveled as someone comes to assess the equipment or transport it away after purchase.
Outside of social media groups of professionals with similar needs or professions to yours, consider advertising on an industry site that has an advertising section. Put yourself in the position of a potential buyer when writing the ad, calling attention to the most desirable features.
Post pictures of the equipment from various angles to give people accurate expectations. If the item has a blemish, snap a photo of that, too, so that potential buyers can see the flaw in advance rather than showing up in person and seeing it for the first time then. Think about how minor improvements, such as a power wash or a fresh coat of paint, could impress viewers.
3. Consider Selling Your Item At An Auction
An auction is ideal if you want to sell off numerous pieces of heavy equipment at once, such as when upgrading all or most of what a fleet contains.
When deciding whether to pursue the auction route, keep in mind that these events can take place in person, online, or both formats. More specifically, timed auctions are exclusively online, and people can place their bids across the stated period. The seller may also set certain parameters, such as minimum starting bids and reserve prices. In the latter case, the equipment won’t get auctioned unless interested parties meet a threshold.
There are also live auctions that may have people bidding in person and online. Those events often have a greater sense of urgency associated with them than timed auctions, which may last for several days.
Think about whether you want professional help with your auction or want to do it independently, too. Some providers specializing in equipment auctions help clients sell millions of dollars worth of items every year. They’re good choices if you have limited time or experience with running previous auctions. If you decide to use an auction site such as eBay, take a look at the listings for similar products to see what kind of interest they get and how sellers describe the items.
4. Think About Using Technology To Streamline The Sales Process
Selecting the right tech tools could also help you sell heavy equipment easier than you might without it. For example, if you store maintenance records in a cloud-based tool, it’s simple to retrieve them for a potential buyer.
Smartphone apps could also help you reach a larger potential market and keep track of the overall interest. Equipdom and Machinery Trader are two examples of the possibilities.
When you’re at the point of needing to inspect equipment before putting it up for sale, Tractable offers a tool powered by artificial intelligence (AI). The app got trained on hundreds of millions of images. Such preparations equipped it to perform assessments similar to how humans do.
Applying tech to your equipment sales efforts may also mean relying on other professionals. For example, hiring a professional photographer who knows how to use the latest cameras and accessories could show your items more effectively than whatever you can capture with a smartphone.
5. Refer To The Equipment’s Manual
The owner’s manual for the equipment you want to sell will be a great resource as you work on the specifics of describing the item and getting people interested. Remember that the things people most want to know depend on the item and how it functions.
For example, someone buying a skid steer will care about aspects such as its lifting capacity and dump height. However, if they’re in the market for boom trucks, they’ll need details about the upfit type and the working radius.
Having the manual nearby as you write an ad or have a conversation with someone who might buy your item will ensure you always provide accurate information rather than guessing or assuming things. Giving the correct details is an excellent way to establish trust with your potential buyer.
That’s a critical aim, particularly if you want to sell items regularly and open opportunities to do business with repeat buyers. If you no longer have the physical manual, look for a digital one. Many manufacturers have databases containing PDF versions, making them easily accessible when needed.
6. Research Your Buyers
In a perfect world, each buyer would be genuinely interested in your item and have no desire to waste your time. Unfortunately, the reality is that it makes good business sense to research your buyers. If doing that makes you feel a little uncomfortable, they’re almost certainly researching you throughout your communications.
However, if you don’t see evidence that the person has previously bought a lot of used heavy equipment before, that does not necessarily cause concern. Numerous factors, including the COVID-19 pandemic, have raised the overall demand for previously owned items.
Karl Werner, an executive at Ritchie Bros., which handles asset management, said, “We’ve seen tremendous global demand for used machinery. In times of uncertainty, businesses tend to buy used machinery rather than new equipment to avoid big financial commitments.”
That trend could mean a potential buyer who previously bought new equipment is now looking at used options to fulfill their needs while paying lower up-front costs. In any case, it’s wise to have in-depth conversations via phone, email, or both, before planning to meet in person and proceed with a potential sale.
Thorough Planning Increases The Likelihood Of Successful Sales
These tips will get you off to a good start while selling heavy equipment. Besides applying them to your process, remember it’s always better to take your time with the process rather than trying to rush through it and hoping for the best.
About The Author
Emily Newton is the Editor-in-Chief of Revolutionized. She regularly explores the impact technology has on the industrial sector.