Selling used equipment is a large part of any farm equipment dealership’s business, and it’s also one of the more riskier aspects of the business. 

“Behind company team members, used equipment is probably the biggest dealership risk,” says Don Aberle, used equipment manager at Titan Machinery. While it might be a high risk part of the business, if executed correctly used equipment can have high rewards. 

According to Ag Equipment Intelligence’s monthly Dealer Sentiments survey, for two months in a row dealers have reported their used equipment inventories were too low (a net 14% in August and a net 6% in July), the first time since 2012. 

While a net 15% of dealers reported their used high horsepower inventories were too low in August, the same wasn’t true for used combines. A net 40% of dealers reported their used combine inventories remain too high. 

As noted in the 2020 Dealer Business Outlook & Trends report (see p. 12), dealers are expecting used equipment to play a big part in their business in 2021, as nearly 50% of dealers anticipate used equipment revenues increasing next year. 

This year’s Virtual Dealership Minds Summit, focused around the theme of Profit-Turning Trades, brought together 235 attendees, including 102 different dealerships across 33 states, 4 Canadian provinces and Australia, and featured 19 speakers.

During the 3-day event, dealers shared what’s worked — and hasn’t worked —  for their operations when it comes to managing their used equipment. What follows is just a selection of the top takeaways from those presentations. One theme repeated by nearly all the dealers was the importance of data in valuing trades and taking the emotion out of the process. 

Dusty Schulz, used ag manager for Butler Machinery says, “In other words, if a salesperson is trying to win some competitive business or get onto a new farm, that does not factor into what we give for a trade value. We want to be the neutral arms length person, providing the value without the emotion of the deal. I’m not going to give a lot more money for a trade that I know is coming from a competitive owner, or I know it’s coming from a new farm that we’re trying to get on to. 

“That’s for the store to decide. They need to get the honest opinion from us on what it’s worth, regardless of those situations that do happen.”  

Did you miss this year’s Virtual Dealership Minds Summit? You can still register and view the archived presentations at


More Dealership Minds Summit coverage

High Risk, High Reward — Dealers Tackle Used Business with Profit-Turning Trades


Keys to Keeping Used Equipment Inventory Clean and Moving


Process & Consistency Keep Used Equipment Business Moving


Optimizing Your Used Combine Business Through Data-Tracking


What Should Influence Your Used Valuations?


9 Tips for Successfully Selling Used Equipment Overseas


Working with Your OEM to Move Used Inventory


7 Tips for a Successful Dealer Auction