Fleet upgrades can be expensive, but selling old equipment helps mitigate these costs. Many businesses also prefer to buy used items for their lower prices, creating a ready and willing market. However, a sale’s success depends on more than just supply and demand.
Businesses may struggle to find buyers or make sales that meet their financial needs without the right strategy. Thankfully, methods exist to make these dealings easier for all parties. Here are seven tips for selling used equipment to make the most of these transactions.
1. Determine an Appropriate Price Range
Once businesses decide to sell some of their old equipment, they must determine how much to sell it for. That decision may seem simple, but it’s more complex than it initially seems.
Sellers want to get all they can out of a sale, but the higher the price, the lower the chances of success. Used equipment buyers also often knock prices down a few thousand dollars, so businesses should set an ideal range, not just a fixed asking price. Leaving room for negotiation can help meet buyers’ needs, and a predetermined minimum can prevent loss.
Businesses should look through similar listings to see current market prices. These averages show what companies can confidently ask for and still expect a sale. It can also help to get a professional appraisal to know what the equipment’s worth.
2. Find the Ideal Market
Next, sellers should decide who they want to sell their equipment to. Potential markets may be limited depending on the type of machinery in question, but some tools can meet various companies’ and industries’ needs. Businesses should compare these markets to determine which will work best for them.
Some companies have more need for certain equipment, raising the chances of a successful sale. Businesses that find their ideal market can create buyer personas, helping them understand what potential customers need and want. Studies show that 82% of firms using personas have seen an improved value proposition.
Used equipment’s repair status, price, brand and best use cases influence which markets it’s best suited for. The ideal market is likely businesses that need the equipment for the same reasons the original owners did.
3. Compare Sales Channels
It’s important to decide the best route to get used equipment to buyers. Two of the most popular options are to sell directly to the end-user or a dealer. Which of these is best depends on what companies want out of their sales.
Dealers may be more likely to buy whatever equipment businesses have, but they may offer lower prices. Conversely, selling directly to end-users can make it harder to find a willing buyer, but sellers may be able to get a better price since it isn’t being resold. High-demand equipment in good condition is an ideal fit for this latter audience, while more heavily used or lower-demand machines may require sale to a dealer.
Businesses may also consider equipment auctions. Auctions are ideal for selling multiple machines simultaneously but may not fetch higher prices for some items.
4. Advertise in Multiple Locations
Businesses need to advertise their listings when selling directly to end-users. They should promote across multiple channels to maximize the chances of making a sale. That includes social media, special interest or industry groups, online sales platforms and industry publications.
These listings should feature more than just the item and its price. It’s important to post plenty of pictures of the equipment to catch potential buyers’ eyes and provide a closer look at the item’s condition. But what if you have a large, unwieldy vehicle like a truck?
You have different strategies to make that kind of equipment look its best. For example, equipment pictures look better in natural light, so move the machines outside and take photos from multiple angles.
Remember to keep everything consistent across listings on different platforms. Any updates, including price changes or listing something as sold, should apply across all posts around the same time.
5. Provide as Much Information as Possible
It’s important to keep potential buyers informed, regardless of which sales channel sellers choose. Buyers look for different things, and they’ll be less likely to make an offer if they can’t find the information they want. Sellers that don’t list some data may also come across as trying to hide something.
List information like the machine’s age, repair history and how many operating hours it’s seen. Mention and post pictures of any defects or signs of wear on the equipment. This data will foster a sense of honesty and help the right buyers find the listing.
Sellers that aren’t transparent about everything may receive poor reviews. Negative reviews can seriously hinder future sales, considering that 79% of web users trust online evaluations as much as personal recommendations from friends and family.
6. Use Technology to Your Advantage
Managing multiple sales listings and keeping information consistent can be challenging. Sellers can make this process easier by applying the right technology.
Storing equipment data on a cloud-based platform will make it easier to retrieve relevant information. These solutions also provide a single source of truth for all the listings on different sites, helping keep things consistent. Similarly, businesses can compile market information in a cloud spreadsheet to create a single resource to inform pricing and advertising decisions.
Some apps and web plugins can also adjust listings across multiple sites. Transaction platforms like PayPal can then protect sensitive financial data when businesses find buyers for their equipment.
7. Research Buyers Before Selling
Once businesses find a ready buyer, it may feel like the process is over. However, it’s important to research potential customers before finalizing the sale. This review process can help companies ensure they get their money and steer clear of suspicious activity.
Demand for used heavy equipment has skyrocketed amid the pandemic, and increases often coincide with additional fraud risk. Businesses should research their buyers to verify their legitimacy and avoid selling to scalpers or fraudsters.
This research should also include ensuring buyers will pay what they’ve agreed to. Sellers can look for past transactions and business history and request down payments to protect their transactions. Businesses must also use trustworthy sites to host all sales.
Good Sales Depend on Smart Strategies
Used equipment may be in high demand, but that doesn’t mean a good sale will happen without any effort. Businesses that decide to sell used machinery should employ these seven strategies to make the most of their sales. They can then find legitimate and trustworthy buyers and get a fair price with minimal risk.