Machinery Pete: Of Note if Selling, Buying

October 30, 2017 04:07 PM
Machinery Pete at an auction

In my 28 years of compiling data on used equipment sales, I’ve learned a few things along the way:

  • The best time of year to sell equipment is right now. For the past 10 years, November has captured the strongest auction prices. On the flip side, auctions held May through September have resulted in the softest prices of the year. With that said, the time of year doesn’t matter if your equipment is in mint condition.
  • Buyers respond to honest depictions of equipment. Does your tractor have an oil leak? Say so. Don’t hide it. Pull buyers in by telling it like it is.
  • It’s important “who” sells your equipment at auction and “how” they use (or don’t use) the internet and social media to promote your sale. You need targeted eyeballs from three, five and even 10 states away to see your equipment. Without it, your equipment sells for less.
  • The best way to guarantee the auction item you’re bidding on goes home with you is to jump bid, as I call it. When a bidding battle is in the home stretch, take your next bid up one increment more than the auctioneer asks. This signals the item is heading home with you and can eliminate more $500 or $1,000 bids and save you money.
  • You need your local dealer—and they need you. The relationship between a dealer and a farmer is a powerful partnership. I grew up the son of a third-generation equipment dealer. I know about those 11 p.m. phone calls. Great service keeps you up and running. Yes, you can shop anywhere these days, but always start with your local dealer. You can still find great deals close to home.
  • After two decades of clumsy internet searches for used equipment, there’s finally an easier and faster way to find what you’re looking for. Go to and use our new search box at the top of the page. Just type in “2013 John Deere S670 2WD” and poof, a huge list of exact matches immediately pops up. You’ll find all the specs right there in front of you.
  • Don’t ever forget to say thank you, the two most powerful words in the English language. Thank you to my daughters, Meghan and Josie, who taught me everything I know about social media. Thank you to each of you for the past 28 years. I hope to see you on the equipment trail!

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