When you're ready to sell your equipment, you may think a private sale is the way to go. You might be tempted to go through the sales process on your own. Unfortunately, this process rarely goes smoothly with a positive outcome for the seller. The online sales process has several moving parts, and it doesn't take much for things to go sideways. There are always risks involved in selling heavy equipment privately. Let's talk about the biggest risks and what you can do to protect yourself and your equipment.
Many sellers find that they are dealing with time sensitivity when selling their heavy equipment, whether self-imposed or due to external factors. Whether you have upcoming projects, need to move locations, or need to allocate more money elsewhere in your business, you may realize that the clock is ticking. When selling equipment privately, you don't have a guaranteed sale date. You are at the mercy of buyers and marketplaces, and if you still owe money on your equipment, you may still have to deal with bank deadlines and payments.
Many sellers overlook the liability aspect of selling their equipment privately. If you are holding the equipment on your own property where potential buyers will be testing and inspecting the equipment, you are liable for any injuries that could happen on the property. Some businesses have insurance to handle such a scenario. However, dealing with insurance companies can be stressful and time-consuming. Worst-case scenario, you could face injury or property claims against you, setting you up for a long and arduous legal process.
When selling your heavy equipment privately, you are at the mercy of many external factors. Unfortunately, one of these factors is the potentially extensive time it takes you to get paid. Chances are you're looking to sell your equipment quickly. But, buyers may not be prepared to make their purchase and hand over cash immediately. You may need to wait for them to set up financing options, adjust their budget, or move money around in their business to accommodate their new investment. This could leave you in a tight spot and affect your business operations.
Scheduling visits with potential buyers is risky, frustrating, and time-consuming. Not only are you at risk of being responsible for any potential injuries on site, but you're also taking time out of your busy day to meet with potential buyers until you find one who makes a purchase. Your time could be better spent on things like focusing on revenue-producing activities instead of scheduling meetings with buyers and being responsible for virtual walkarounds, sending photos, and recording videos requested by the buyer.
Selling heavy equipment privately means you'll be tied to your phone at all hours of the day, going back-and-forth with multiple interested buyers. You'll be answering questions, sending photos, and providing details and information about the equipment over and over again. This frustrating part of the process takes up too much of your precious time and leaves you burnt out at the end of what is likely already a long and busy day at work.
One of the major risks of private selling is the financial risk of potentially not getting paid for your equipment. A buyer could change their mind and back out at the last second or disappear before the transaction is complete. A private sale could also result in exchanging the equipment but never receiving payment. Heavy equipment is often worth tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes even more, which poses a serious financial risk if you never receive payment for the machine you've sold.
Although selling privately can be risky, there are ways to avoid potential pitfalls, risks, and bad transactions. Let's talk about the top three ways to improve your chances of having a successful sales process.
1. Choose a Trustworthy Buyer
Choosing a trustworthy buyer is one of the most important steps in successfully selling your heavy equipment. The demand for used equipment has skyrocketed, meaning your machine is likely in high demand. This means you'll have numerous buyers approaching you to show their interest; however, not all buyers are created equally. You may want to accept the first offer that rolls in, but not choosing your buyer wisely could create a chain reaction of unfortunate events.
It usually takes a bit of communication and effort to manage your potential buyers, especially when selling online. Buying heavy equipment is a large investment, and buyers do not take the decision lightly. Most of them will ask detailed questions, try to negotiate, and demand a bit of your time and energy.
Additionally, you'll be expecting a valid and timely payment in the end. To make for a smooth transition and avoid any delays, you'll want to work with a buyer with their financing option already set up ahead of time. Failing to set up financing beforehand could cause barriers and force the buyer to cancel the transaction altogether. This means that as the seller, you'll have to start over again from square one.
2. Choose a Great Platform
While some sellers choose to go the traditional route of selling their equipment at a local auction, many opt to utilize technology to open and explore their options. Selling your heavy equipment online helps you reach a wider audience and potentially higher-quality buyers than you'd find locally.
Once you've determined the value of your machine and are ready to begin the sales process, you'll want to choose a reliable online marketplace to list your equipment. Since construction equipment is a niche market, finding the right marketplace can feel overwhelming. Some sellers have even attempted to sell equipment in the past without success, leaving them frustrated and defeated, and sometimes even in a tight financial situation.
Unfortunately, selling used heavy equipment is not as simple as selling a used car. It takes time and energy to find buyers who need the piece of machinery you're selling. To help speed up the process, it's best to choose a marketplace that removes most of the burden from your shoulders and does the work for you. A site like Boom & Bucket will help you reach your niche audience and will handle the inspections, photographs, shipping, financing, and warranties.
3. Select a Buyer Who Can Pay Up Front\ One of the ideal ways to sell your heavy equipment to reduce your risks is to find a buyer who can pay in cash upfront. Getting payment upfront reduces your time to get paid, removes the burden of being at the mercy of financial institutions, and prevents bounced checks or invalid payments.
At Boom & Bucket, we help take the hassle out of selling your used heavy equipment. We offer a buyer guarantee, 150+ point, third-party inspections, oil analysis, maintenance records, extensive high-quality photos and video, and we cover shipping, financing, and warranties. What was once a complex, time-consuming, and stressful experience is now quick, easy, and hassle-free.