First of Its Kind Auction

March 24, 2010 10:54 AM

One man's upgrade is another's opportunity. In response to a growing amount of good quality used precision ag equipment available, Kentucky-based auctioneer Chris Tucker assembled an absolute auction dedicated to precision ag.


A first of its kind, Tucker's auction took place March 18 in Effingham, Ill., and also offered online bidding using Proxibid.


"I've been in the precision ag business for 10 years, and I've been working in auctions for two years. In the last few years, there's been a building market for used precision ag equipment," Tucker says. "I've noticed a trend in farm auctions that when used precision ag equipment is included, it's one of the hottest items for sale."


He says that often when a farmer upgrades a precision ag system, they're mistaken to think that it's obsolete. His goal is to provide auctions that serve as another alternative when the farmer trades in equpiment.


"These used items sold near the price of the item as if it were new," Tucker reports. "A lot of sales saved the buyer a few hundred dollars on a product, and these are very solid and reliable used products."


The event attracted more than a dozen attendees on site and almost 100 bidders online. Tucker was impressed by the high-level of interest of those who attended the auction in person as they totaled 1/5 of the gross dollar volume. Although 88% of the lots were sold through online bids.


With 107 lots, he explains most of the equipment was Trimble or Ag Leader, and products ranged from complete combine yield monitoring kits, individual monitors, steering systems, application control systems, and TruCount clutch kits. One-fourth of his lots were eight to 10 years old.


 "This was a good way for people to get into some entry-level systems or expand current line of equipment," Tucker says. "I've targeted the Midwest, but equipment came from more than a dozen dealers as well as farmers and was sourced from Ohio to Texas to Minnesota."


Moving forward with his precision ag auctions, Tucker says he is trying to pull together his next event either for this summer or post-harvest. He's already received interest from dealers and farmers, who he says appreciate having another alternative to find precision ag equipment.


"Unlike discussion boards and other online bidding programs, this auction proved to be a more reliable place to find high quality equipment," he says. "There wasn't a need for buyers to search through long lists of classifieds or have a hit-and-miss experience."


Since more than two-thirds of the lots were sold via ProxiBid, Tucker says there is a better way to offer precision ag products online and values the reach that the online venue provided the event.


"The big advantage to having the online audience with ProxiBid is there large number of pre-approved buyers. We had buyers for this auction from Canada to California," Tucker says. "In the future I may limit the event to only being online."


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