Used equipment for an agricultural operation or construction contractor can save business owners a lot of money. It's easy to see why many owners choose used equipment, from the affordability to the wide variety of selection available. You don't always need the latest models, and new equipment keeps getting more and more expensive. At Everglades Equipment Group, we want to help our customers get the equipment they need at a price they can afford. In that spirit, we've put together this short guide with some tips for shopping for used equipment.
Find the Right Dealer
Finding the right dealer can sometimes be just as important as the right piece of equipment. When you shop with a less-than-reputable seller, you expose yourself to extra risks that could lead to malfunctioning or falsely represented equipment. It can be frustrating running into a seller who doesn't have the right info, who isn't familiar with the equipment, or doesn't plan to follow up or offer continued service.
Start your search with local dealers with solid reputations, as they're more likely to be helpful should the equipment take a turn for the worse. Public records and reviews can indicate just how helpful and trustworthy a dealer is which can indicate how well they inspect their used inventory. The better the reviews, the better your chances are of finding good equipment for your money. Auctions are also a popular place to find used equipment, but you take a chance with how good your price will be as you'll be competing against buyers who may have more money to throw around.
Do Your Research
Determining exactly what you're after can assist you when haggling price, thus allowing you to avoid stress down the road. This is probably not going to be any different than shopping for new equipment. Simply focus on the features, components, and specs that you know you'll need for the work you have in mind. One of the hidden benefits of buying used farm equipment is that enough time has likely passed for other buyers to have picked apart the machines and found exactly what's wrong or lacking in each model year. This can help you narrow down your choice and avoid equipment that won't be right for you regardless of its used condition.
You can use your research skills to verify the seller’s claims and equipment integrity once you have something particular in your sights. Ask the seller for any pertinent information or documentation. Get the PIN or VIN so you can check its official documentation against what the dealer offers. Most financing companies do their own background check, so you’ll have that to back you up if you intend to finance, but it’s still a good idea to do your own research.
Inspect the Equipment
Any equipment you're thinking of purchasing should be inspected thoroughly by someone who knows what they're looking at. If you don't consider yourself experienced of knowledgeable enough to perform an inspection and ensure a working piece of equipment, don't hesitate to bring along someone who does. That might be a friend, neighbor, or a worker who'll be operating the equipment. They can serve as an advisor and help you deal with sellers and dealers who might be using dishonest salesmanship.
Structural or mechanical issues should serve as clear red flags, and if they don't match up with the description you got from a seller then be extra wary. No used price tag is low enough to make buying junk equipment worth your time and effort. Check controls, tires, and components for wear and match the general condition against operating hours. Think twice about equipment (especially vehicles) with incomplete or otherwise lacking documentation. A good sign of quality used equipment is the operation record that comes with it. Keep your own records of any transaction and, once you make your purchase, of the tractor's condition. If something should go wrong, it'll be important to have solid records to backup your claims.
With a few of these tips, you should be on your way to getting a great deal on some quality used equipment. Remember to do your research, ask plenty of questions, and shop with a trusted dealer like your friends at Everglades Equipment Group. If you're looking for the best new and used equipment around, you'll find it at one of our locations throughout Florida, including West Palm Beach and Clearwater. Head in today and let our team of courteous professionals answer all your questions and help you find what you're looking for.