Farmers rely on their equipment to get the job done. With unpredictable weather and other factors always bearing down on farmers, unreliable machinery can make farming close to impossible.
But finding reliable machinery does not mean buying brand new equipment at full price, not when the market for used farm equipment is so healthy. This is good news for both interested buyers and sellers.
Still, whether you are looking to make a used farm equipment purchase or make some money from a sale, there are a few things you should know before getting started.
Used farm equipment market outlook
Trends for used farm equipment suggest the market is strong.
Successful Farming reports that, according to dealer surveys, just shy of half (47%) of dealerships say that they have too much used equipment inventory in stock. That trend has in fact decreased in recent years. Dealer surveys from 2016 showed that almost 60% of dealers said their inventories were too high.
Still, Successful Farming’s late-model tractors analysis suggests there are some tractors of specific sizes that buyers can easily locate, specifically high-horsepower, front-wheel-drive models. There is also a strong market for 10 to 20-year-old models that are in good condition and low hours of use.
Good deals on used combines currently exist, too, the magazine notes. Auction prices may commonly be found near the $150,000 mark – lower still in some circumstances, specifically for models from 2014 to 2016.
Other machinery the magazine notes can be found at fairly good prices include semitractors and hopper bottom trailers.
Trade war has had an effect on sales
It should be noted that recent trade war decisions between the U.S. and other competing economies has had a negative effect on both new and used tractor sales thanks to effects felt through commodity and livestock prices.
However, Successful Farming advises that dealers may use this as an opportunity to offer deals and reduce their inventories. So, it’s best to keep an eye out.
Know what the equipment is worth
Farmers interested in selling their equipment may find it is a challenge to accurately put a price on their equipment. Luckily, there are a variety of sources that, when combined, can give both sellers and buyers doing their research a solid price point.
According to equipment-pricing analyst Paul Hendrix, buying used equipment at a good price all comes down to experience.
Hendrix shared with Farm Industry News what to look for in determining whether equipment is set at a fair price.
What features does the equipment have that you need?
Hendrix advises buyers to know whether the machinery has all the features a farmer needs. Even one missing needed feature can turn a sale into a bad deal.
Does the equipment have popular features?
Maybe you don’t need the latest and greatest popular feature in your equipment. However, Hendrix says, if the price is right, then investing in a piece of equipment with those features could pay off if you may look to resell in the future.
What is similar machinery selling for?
Here is a great tip for both buyers and sellers: You have to know the market value from the last few months of similar equipment, both of the same brand and that of different brands. Hendrix recommends heading to the internet to look up comparable sales.
What condition is the equipment in?
Obviously, machinery that is in excellent condition can be sold for a higher price than similar equipment that maybe has most of its better days behind it. It is always a good idea to have a professional perform an inspection to know for sure the condition.
Don’t forget to take a look at onboard electronics, too. Anything that’s not upgradeable or not current in an older model can take down a price.
Do local dealers offer support on the equipment brand?
For buyers – and sellers who want to do a little extra homework – make sure you know whether local dealers offer support on the brand of equipment. As Hendrix warns, you do not want to be caught having to travel 100 miles or more to get parts for the equipment.
Get a leg up on other sellers with better marketing
For sellers who are looking for advantages over others who may be trying to move used equipment, there are plenty of great marketing strategies that can apply well to used farm machinery.
Writing for AgWeb, Greg Peterson shares that the first thing sellers should do is to personalize what they are selling – and there are several ways that they can do this.
His first tip is for auction firms who may be helping sellers with their used equipment. Really, though, it could apply for anyone who wants to advertise farm machinery.
Peterson recommends personalizing the sale bill by adding photos of the family or their farmland and then telling more of the family’s story in that text, such as who they are, their history with the land and why they are selling, etc.
He also recommends creating videos that share the same messages. Peterson notes that video uploading and sharing services, such as YouTube, are free. With videos, buyers can hear directly from sellers, adding an even more personal touch to the already personalized information.
We will also add that using video services like YouTube makes for an incredibly easy way to share the videos to other platforms, such as listing websites and social media platforms.
Classified ads can be easily personalized up front, Peterson writes, by stating first whether the seller is the original, second, third, etc. owner of a piece of equipment. Get the needed specifications in the classified, then end with a more personal note again connecting the seller to the equipment. Consider stating how well the equipment performed for you.
Finally, if an option, Peterson recommends submitting a picture of both the equipment and seller in the classified to add an even deeper personal touch.
Do you have the Advantage?
If you are ready to get the most out of your farmland, contact Advantage Realty & Land Management today. Our firm is committed to your success from the very beginning and specializes in land management, crop consulting and real estate services.
Give Advantage Realty & Land Management a call at (712) 339-5002 or send an email to discuss your farmland goals.