Machinery Pete: Eyes Wide Open

August 25, 2015 12:48 PM

Afarmer and a dealer were negotiating the price for a large, late-model used tractor on the lot. They couldn’t agree, so the dealer suggested the farmer take a crack at buying the tractor at the dealer’s auction coming up.

The sale came and went, but the farmer didn’t bid. The farmer asked the dealer, “Seriously, you didn’t let it go for that, did you?” Sure enough, the dealer did. The farmer replied, “Well, I would have paid that for the tractor, or a bit more.”

This is just one example of a missed opportunity, for both the buyer and the seller. I’ve seen the scenario play out numerous times, especially in recent years as dealers have aggressively pared down the excess inventory of large, late-model used equipment.

The farmer was hesitant to bid because he was curious if the dealer would “let go” of the tractor at what the farmer thought was a low price. Surely, there was a reserve price on the tractor. As the farmer learned, that’s not always the case. Potential buyers can invest several days going to auctions or bidding online only to realize their winning bid wasn’t accepted because it didn’t meet the reserve. Time is valuable, and another “no sale” can be disappointing. Emotions get involved.

Dealers can be just as confused watching a nice used tractor (or any item) sell for a premium at a farm
retirement or estate auction, all the while they have two or three of the exact same tractor sitting on their lot for sale with low-rate financing and maybe even a lower asking price.

It’s natural for buyers to have a higher sense of comfort when bidding at a neighboring farmer’s auction or when they can get a sense of the seller just by seeing how tidy he keeps his farmyard or shop. We’ve all been to farm auctions like that—and that’s when the bidding frenzy erupts and sale prices soar. More than 25 years of Machinery Pete data proves it.

What happens when you strip the emotion out of the buying equation and it simply becomes a matter of
determining current value? Know the value of the tractor, etc., and bid accordingly. When the price gets too high, let it go. There will be another day. When the bid is under the money, jump in and go for it. Even if it winds up with a reserve and a “no sale,” don’t let it get to you. You are in control when you know current values.

The key to successful unemotional used equipment buying and selling is to know current values. Here is where Machinery Pete data can be helpful. Check out the data table bmachinery_pete_auction_prices_sept_15elow that shows recent auction prices on late-model 280 hp to 300 hp tractors. There’s tremendous opportunity for buyers in this category right now. Equipment dealers all over the country have several of these tractors sitting on their lots.

Visit and dive into our dealer equipment listings. For example, there are more than 400 John Deere 8360R tractors and Case IH Magnum 290 tractors for sale right now. Believe me, I appreciate the value of a strong relationship and history with your local dealer. They are there for you in a pinch with the part, service or advice you need. Give that valuable history its due. Just understand late-model 280 hp to 300 hp tractors are in abundance right now, and you’re in the driver’s seat


as a potential buyer.
When shopping for equipment, keep your eyes wide open and be as unemotional as possible. Arm yourself with knowledge, and you’ll be ready to act when the right deal comes along.


Back to news


Spell Check

No comments have been posted to this News Article

Corn College TV Education Series


Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!


Market Data provided by
Brought to you by Beyer