Top 10 tips for selling heavy equipment and trucks
You have heavy equipment or trucks to sell, and, like most equipment sellers, you want top dollar. Considering most heavy equipment demands a significant outlay of cash to purchase initially and to maintain indefinitely, who wouldn't? So it only seems reasonable to want to recoup a fair amount of your investment when it comes time to sell.
Whether you are selling one item or a fleet of equipment, take some advice from us. We've been selling equipment at our unreserved auctions since the late 1950s and now sell more than US$3.8 billion of equipment and trucks each year. We know equipment, we know equipment buyers and we know what it takes to strike the best deal. Take a look at our top 10 list of tips for selling heavy equipment and trucks.
1. Know what your equipment is worth
Do your homework and research equipment pricing and industry trends for comparable equipment. Use the most current information you can find and establish a price range for your equipment. Having a price range will help you negotiate confidently and set realistic price expectations.
2. Research selling methods
No matter your situation, the type of equipment you are selling, its condition and how quickly you need to complete the sale, there is a selling method best fit for your equipment and situation. To know what selling method would work best for you, educate yourself on the pros and cons of common equipment selling methods, including unreserved auctions, reserved auctions, private sale, equipment dealers and equipment brokers.
3. Go to a pro
As tempting as it may be to go it alone, consider the amount of time and effort you will need to put into the selling process - and the number of potential buyers you can reach without the help of an expert in sales and marketing. You can save a lot of time and money with a full-service solution, especially if you're selling a lot of items, don't have a dedicated asset manager or work in a region with high supply/low demand for used equipment. Talk to an experienced salespersonabout developing a selling strategy designed to get you the best return on your investment.
4. Show the value of your equipment
The way your equipment looks can either deter buyers or attract higher offers. Before you sell, consider heavy equipment refurbishing. Refurbishing can include cleaning, glasswork, upholstery repair, painting, decal replacement or everything in the refurbishing menu. Typically, refurbishing is a small investment that nets big returns.
5. Target buyers wisely
Try to target the most equipment buyers you can, but don't sacrifice quality for quantity. Work with an equipment seller that not only actively markets to a large population of equipment buyers, but targets its marketing efforts based on the industry your equipment is best suited towards and the region in which there is the most demand. Marketing your equipment can be the most time consuming and costly step in the sale process, so make sure you choose an equipment seller with proven marketing expertise.
6. Be transparent
Provide detailed photos and information about your equipment. Include photos documenting the condition of the undercarriage, engine compartment, cab interior, etc. Remember: buyers appreciate convenient online access to equipment information. Still, some buyers are weary of purchasing equipment they are unable to view and test first hand. If you are using a selling agent or auction company, choose one that publishes detailed equipment information online and also accommodates on-site inspections.
7. Screen buyers
When you receive an agreeable offer, the last thing you want is for the deal to fall through. Screen potential buyers before you accept an offer or work with a selling agent who verifies the legitimacy of potential buyers on your behalf. At Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers, we qualify potential buyers before the auction to prevent deals falling through and ensure that sellers get paid. To help buyers close the deal, Ritchie Bros. also offers affordable equipment financing.
8. Take advantage of tax breaks
If you have a business in the U.S. or are a U.S. taxpayer, you may be able to defer taxes through a Like-Kind Exchange. A Like-Kind Exchange allows you to defer taxes by re-investing the gains made from the sale of your old equipment into replacement models or similar gear. Learn more about Like-Kind Exchanges.
9. Minimize uncertainty
When you sell your heavy equipment, don't wait too long for payment, especially if you are planning on replacing your sold equipment with a newer model. The equipment market can change from week to week. Prices can go down and supply can go up. If you want money in hand quickly so you are ready to act on a good deal and minimize disruption to your operations, choose a selling method that offers certainty of sale. Knowing the exact date of sale for your equipment takes some of the guesswork out of the equipment selling equation.
10. Establish a relationship for future deals
If you have a fleet that you will be turning over every 3-5 years, or foresee the need to upgrade equipment in 5-10 years, find a sales rep you can trust. The more you work together, the better your representative will understand your business and be able to get you the best results.