5 tips to help you get the best price when you sell equipment and trucks

Advice for sellers Comments

What buyers look for – and want – when buying used heavy equipment

Potential buyers inspecting excavators in Mexico

Getting the best price when you sell used heavy equipment depends on many factors. One of the most important factors is making your equipment appealing to prospective buyers.

Those buyers look for certain things in the used equipment they’re considering purchasing – beyond whether it’s the right machine for the job. And if you can give them what they’re looking for, chances are you’ll be able to get a better price for your equipment.

Here are 5 steps to help you maintain the resale value of your heavy equipment, make it stand out to buyers, and get you the best price possible.

1. Schedule regular and preventive maintenance

Buyers want equipment they can rely on, so keeping it properly and regularly maintained will go a long way in getting you the price you want.

Maintenance is a small investment that can have a big payoff when it’s time to sell. Even an older machine that’s been well-looked after can get a higher price than a newer one that’s been neglected.

Tip: stick to a regular, recommended maintenance schedule, and document all maintenance, service and repairs in a log book. When it comes time to sell, make the records readily available to the buyer.

The more buyers know about the maintenance and usage history of the machine, the more willing they will be to spend top dollar on a machine that has been properly looked after.

Schedule regular and preventive maintenance

2. Buy equipment from reputable manufacturers

Buyers like well-known brand names. Equipment from reputable, top-tier manufacturers, such as Bobcat and Caterpillar, will always be more attractive, both in a weak and strong market.

Even if the market softens in your region, your top-tier equipment will still have appeal in another region where demand is stronger. Sellers of equipment with only local brand recognition may have a harder time getting a good price.

Tip: Keep literature from the original manufacturer organized in a protective binder or cover, including manuals, guides and even the original invoice of sale. Make that information available to prospective buyers.

Buy equipment from reputable manufacturers

3. Respect the equipment and its intended purpose

In other words, use the machine for the job it was designed. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines, including load capacity, and limits of use in extreme conditions.

Confirm that only properly-trained operators use your equipment, and make sure they’re familiar with and will adhere to manufacturer guidelines.

Misuse and abuse are two reoccurring players in rapid equipment depreciation – and low selling prices.

Tip: Invest in a cover to protect the operator’s seat from grease or sharp items that could tear the seat. Seats are not the most expensive component to replace, but seats in poor condition may send a message about the equipment’s overall upkeep. If the seat is damaged, have it recovered or order a replacement.

Buyers of heavy equipment, particularly owners/operators, will hesitate to make offers on equipment promising 8-12 hours of discomfort.

4. Let the experts take care of your equipment

If you have a reputation for looking after your equipment, make sure prospective buyers are aware of this. Swift Transportation and retail giant Walmart make it widely known that their heavy trucks are only repaired at authorized service centers by factory-trained technicians using only OEM parts.

Buyers will likely pay more for equipment from an owner with a solid reputation for good maintenance habits, rather than buying from sellers with a reputation for spotty care.

Tip: Keep a record of all work orders for each vehicle. When it comes time to sell, make the documents available to the prospective buyer.

5. Make sure your equipment looks as valuable as it is

It’s no secret - buyers like equipment that looks good. When given the choice between two similar machines, buyers will typically choose (and pay more for) a well-maintained, freshly-painted piece of equipment.

A dirty exterior and worn interior can knock thousands off the value of a piece of heavy equipment. Make sure a machine is regularly cleaned inside and out, not only to keep it looking good, but to make it easy to see any damage in need of attention.

Tip: If you’re selling through Ritchie Bros., consider having your equipment painted, repaired and refurbished before it’s listed in the auction, or posted for sale on EquipmentOne.com.

Painting heavy equipment before it’s sold

Planning to sell used equipment?

If you have used equipment or trucks to sell, talk to the experts at Ritchie Bros. Our unreserved equipment & truck auctions connect sellers with buyers located around the world, ensuring sellers get global market value for their equipment.

Equipment owners in the USA can also list their equipment for sale on Ritchie Bros. EquipmentOne, our online auction marketplace.

Contact us about selling

Related articles:
When to sell used heavy equipment and trucks
VIDEO: Two ways to sell equipment and trucks with Ritchie Bros.

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