How to Sell Construction Equipment

Your rental business is only as good as the equipment you have to offer, and you’ll find that selling construction equipment is an important part of inventory management

While some clients may prefer solid, older equipment that their workers are familiar with, others want the newest machinery. This demand will require periodic turnover of equipment. 

How do you go about selling used construction equipment to help pay for newer models?

Evaluating Your Equipment Before Selling It

Even though you’re an expert on equipment rental, you might not have the first idea of how to sell heavy equipment. 

Start with inspection, cleaning, and appraisal. You need to assess the condition of your equipment as part of determining its overall value so you can set a reasonable sale price.

Take a Thorough Inventory

Get started by taking a full inventory, including anticipated return dates for items out on lease. 

If new purchases depend on selling old equipment, you can always discuss an upgraded booking with current renters to fulfill their contract.

Determine Which Items in Your Fleet Should be Kept or Sold

Once your inventory is complete, it’s time to carefully consider what you want to keep and what should be sold. 

In some cases, you may want to hang on to older equipment that’s in high demand among your customers. The condition of the equipment may play a role as well. Before you decide to sell construction equipment, think about whether it has more use value as a rental. (Our free equipment rental cost calculator can help you get a handle on this value.)

Prepping Your Construction Equipment for Sale

When you decide to sell construction equipment, you need to make sure it’s in shape to fetch the best possible price. Perform a thorough cleaning and inspection, service machinery, and make needed repairs to get it in optimal condition for sale.

Pursue a Thorough, Professional Appraisal

Calculating what you’ve spent and earned over the life of equipment ownership can help you determine a break-even price and hopefully exceed it when selling heavy equipment. 

A professional appraisal is the best way to figure out what your equipment is worth and what you can reasonably try to sell it for.

Selling Your Construction Equipment: Your Options for Finding Buyers

Your business requires you to keep a finger on the pulse of the rental market. When you’re considering how to sell construction equipment, however, you may not have the same level of expertise. 

For this reason, it’s a good idea to explore your options when it comes to effective avenues for making sales.

Selling at Auction

There are auction firms with a worldwide audience that specialize in heavy equipment, and the process can include both in-person and remote bids. This can expand your pool of buyers, especially considering that auction firms have their own marketing and contact lists in place. It could be a great way to sell off a lot of equipment quickly.

An auction could take place at your facility or at an auction yard along with other sellers. As a bonus, you may have options for additional services like appraisal, repairs, detailing, and equipment transport.

Reaching Out to Local Equipment Dealers

It’s not unusual for dealers to sell heavy equipment that is used alongside newer models. Consider making an appointment with dealers in your area to discuss the prospect of selling on their lots. 

They may buy your equipment outright to sell or offer a contingency deal where they take a cut of the sale, so you’ll need to work out the details.

Listing Your Equipment Online

Online sales are a great way to expand your potential buyer pool. There are websites (like Machinery Trader) designed for selling construction equipment. 

You will have to pay for listings, but you could have access to useful options like SEO and search ads that get your listing in front of targeted buyers searching for used equipment like yours.

Paid Facebook ads are another option to consider. Alternatively, you could join Facebook groups dedicated to selling heavy equipment or list on Craigslist for free, but these options could limit your buyer pool.

Expert Tips for Selling Used Heavy Equipment

Once you’ve chosen the appropriate platform for selling used equipment, you need to make sure it’s ready to go. Getting the best price in a sale means knowing the value of what you have, presenting it in the best possible light, and offering straightforward descriptions so buyers are satisfied with what they receive.

Know the Valuation of Your Machinery

When determining how to sell construction equipment for the best return on investment, you need to make sure you know what it’s worth. The value will depend on a range of factors, such as the make and model, age, and condition. Understanding market demand will also play a role in setting an appropriate price.

Take High-Quality, Well-Lit Images

A picture is worth a thousand words, so you need to take pains to post high-quality, well-lit images displaying your equipment from multiple angles. Show the machinery in full and highlight areas of interest like the engine, cab, gauges, tracks, hydraulics, and so on. Consider what you’d want to look at if you were a buyer.

Be Honest and Transparent

If you’re planning to sell heavy equipment online, it’s important that you’re upfront about what buyers will receive, especially where condition is concerned. If a buyer feels like you lied about the condition of the equipment, you could not only suffer bad reviews that impact your rental business but you might also face a lawsuit.

Determine the Tax Implications of Selling Your Equipment

Before selling equipment, discuss tax implications with your CPA. If you sell lower than the remaining un-depreciated value, can you take a write-off? How much will you be taxed for gains? Can you offset gains that will add to your taxable income? These are all things to find out before setting a price and selling equipment.

Learn more about construction equipment in our guide to the most expensive construction equipment, the most popular rental equipment, and which heavy equipment is in trend by renters. 

Research and Prep Are the Best Strategies for ROI

When you take the time to thoroughly evaluate used equipment, find the right venue to sell it, and present it properly at a reasonable price point, you have the best chance to complete sales and see some return on investment. This can help you purchase newer equipment that will keep your rental business going and even facilitate expansion.

The best rental software can help you manage all aspects of your business, including equipment rentals, payments, and inventory. 

Book a demo with Quipli today to learn more about streamlining your operations.

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