Using Video to Sell Farm Equipment

Published on: 01:06AM Oct 25, 2013

I live in Rochester, MN...population 106,000+, an agricultural area here in southeast Minnesota, but Rochester is a professional town, the Mayo Clinic obviously, pushing 40,000 employees there. Wow. Rochester has a lively and growing farmers market, like many urban areas around the U.S.

As I pass by the local farmers market here in town on Saturday morning and see all the busy folks, young doctors, white collar workers, moms & dad with their young kids in tow perusing the fresh tomatos, green peppers, strikes me.

They are buying the seller.

It's just human nature. We all feel better buying when we feel good about who we are buying from. The more we know about them the better. Comfort level, familarity and trust all lead us to in fact, be willing to pay MORE for whatever it is we're buying.

Yep, even used farm equipment.

Think about it, over the years, all those farm auctions you've gone to. Which ones stand out? The ones where when you park your pickup and walk up the seller's drive you notice how neat the farmyard looks. You peek in the shed...immaculate. His line of equipment speaks to years of diligent care, always washed off, waxed yearly, never sat outside at night, complete & extensive service records right there for everyone to view. Guess how that equipment winds up selling? Yes sir, take it from a guy crazy enough to have spent the past 24 years compiling auction sale price data on all types of used farm & construction equipment sold all over North America.....that equipment sells HIGH. Why?

Because you are buying the seller.

The same principle applies when buying used equipment privately or through an implement dealer. When you get a greater sense of how the piece of equipment was cared for, who owned it, if everything is right you're willing to pay the bit of a premium to acquire that piece of equipment. Again, you're buying the seller.

Now, let's think about video and the world we live in today for a moment. Those cell phones we ALL carry around with us 24/7, most every one can shoot the most amazing HD video you'll ever see. See where I'm going with this? It's so simple it seems funny to write or talk about, but I've been doing just that for 2-3 years now. When you are running that combine of yours in the fall, or planting in the spring, pushing snow in the winter with your favorite trusty tractor....what should be thinking about doing?

Yep, shooting a bit of video.

Why you ask? Let's say 1, 2, 5 years down the road it comes time to sell or trade that combine/planter/tractor of yours. What if your son, daughter or grandkids had those video clips of your combine mowing through that beautiful bumper corn crop, video of your planter humming along through smoothly or your tractor in action making that wonderful familar sound you've grown to love? They can grab those fun little video snips and in the blink of an eye make a cool little video you'd have to show prospective buyers of your combine, planter, or tractor.

Remember, they are buying YOU.

How about if you are trading with your dealer? Again, think about being able to give your dealer that cool little video of your combine, planter or tractor doing its thing. Think about your dealer being to show that video to folks they'll try to sell to. Could your video make your equipment worth more and maybe easier for the dealer to sell? Maybe so. Might that mean your dealer would give you more $$ for your combine, planter or tractor in on trade? I don't think he'll give you less! You'd have just made it easier for him to sell YOU to the next buyer.

I shot and posted my first Machinery Pete Youtube video on July 31, 2009. I had no clue what I was doing. Our oldest daughter, in high school at the time, had to show me everything. It was so easy even an idiot like me could get the hang of it in short order. All I knew was the internet was on a high speed rush towards becoming a video medium. Change is only coming faster. Warp speed Scotty. I tell people, and its 100% true, I've never had more fun than I've had the last four years. Why? Youtube and Facebook. Connecting with a growing audience, relating in new ways, the ability to tell new stories about interesting equipment and people. Video is making this possible.

What got me yammering down this path tonight was an email I got tonight from my long-time friends at Sullivan Auctioneers in Hamilton, IL. Many of you know Dan, Jim and Joe Sullivan and crew, good folks, hard workers, expert marketers. I'm guessing the 3 Sullivan brothers maybe aren't expert video editors, but they know how to empower young people. Luke Sullivan shot and edited an auction preview video for their Dec. 6th farm auction near Athens, IL. They sent me the link to the auction preview tonight....beautiful....and SO smart. See the equipment you'll be bidding on Dec. 6th in action, watch that beautiful CaseIH 2588 combine roar past, see the golden grain flow into the bright Brent 776 grain cart, see the selling family on their farm...get to know them and their equipment. Watch for yourself:

Buying the sellers. See why & how video is a good idea?

Now the same age old theories are still at play. Best thing to do when selling is "tell it like it is". If it's a piece of junk, call it a piece of junk. Using video to try and make a piece of equipment seem better than it good, very shortsited. Buyers will see through it when it gets right down it, and worse, they won't trust the next preview video you spit out. But.....using video to simply convey what I like to call...."realness".....that's where it's at. Show me farmer Joe's tractor next to farmer Joe's barn. Let me hear farmer Joe tell me about his tractor, let me see him behind the wheel.

I'm buying farmer Joe.

Like it or not, it's a video world and we're living in it.....even out here in the used farm equipment market.