With the ability to shop inventory to death on the internet, what do you guys do to make your inventory stand out and separate it from everybody else?
There’s three things a used piece of equipment — or even a new piece of equipment —has to do in order to be successful when selling it. You have to mitigate risk somehow, increase efficiencies and hopefully either maintain or increase the customer’s cashflow.
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When you look at a piece of equipment and how you have that machine priced in the marketplace, the first thing you need to do is ask yourself if that price makes sense. Is it worth that much?
After you’ve assessed the price, offering a warranty is a big thing. Right now, we have more equipment than we’ll ever get sold with some sort of a warranty on it. We have some in-house warranties that we do within our area that we will add on, outside of and beyond that you see with your typical extended warranties from either the manufacturer or from an aftermarket vendor. Any time that we can structure that payment to where they’re increasing their cashflow or something like that helps.
But I’ll also say right now, it’s a generational thing. You have 35-year-old guys right now who are coming back to the farm. They’ve bought everything they’ve ever owned on the internet. Then the 20-year-old somethings who are coming back have also only bought stuff on the internet.
It’s not a big deal to them to go shop for a piece of equipment on the internet or go to an auction and buy a piece of equipment or whatever it is that they’re doing. When eBay first was invented, I thought it was the dumbest thing ever. I was in college when it came out. Like who was going to buy a car that they haven’t even looked at? That’s dumb, you know? You’re just asking for a problem. But now, it’s a common day thing.
“It is asinine to go out and ask for $350,000 for something and you only took the time to take 4 pictures…” – Don Aberle, Used Equipment Manager, Titan Machinery
When you look at everything out there, the transparency of stuff on the internet now is so great that you can be as open and honest as you want to be. You can post inspections out there, you can do all that stuff that you want to do.
They’re still going to beat you up; that’s just the nature of the beast. But being transparent and being able to do one of those three things I mentioned earlier is going to help you sell that piece of equipment.
Don Aberle, used equipment manager for Titan Machinery, says since the equipment is all posted on the internet and customers are surfing the web all the time, any type of effort you can do to keep them on your piece longer is worth it. One way is with an inspection report. “One of the things that Titan is implementing is anything over $25,000, we’ll have an inspection report done,” he says. “We’ll have an uptime repair report done. It’s not that you’re going to fix it, but you’re being more transparent, making them stay at your site longer, making them stay looking at your piece longer. Whatever you can do, include 25, 30 pictures.
“Some dealers only want one picture. Others want a whole bunch of pictures. It is asinine to go out and ask for $350,000 for something and you only took the time to take 4 pictures. You didn’t even take the time to put in little notes about it — one owner, repair bills — but yet, we want our customers to trust us, to pay us $350,000. Those are the little things,” he says.