Even though most of our used equipment originates from fair market value leases we do buyback quite a bit of owned equipment too. Here are a couple things to keep in mind when selling your older turf equipment.
The first question we usually get asked is, “how much is my equipment worth?” That’s a pretty hard question to answer in a blog, but there are some general principles that help determine value. The single most important attribute (aside from quality of course) is the hour meter reading. Similar to the odometer on a car, an hour meter is a pretty good indicator of how much life is left. Used turf equipment buyers will usually start their search based on a desired hour meter reading. Machines with under 1,000 hours are rare and worth quite a bit. Products with between 1,000 and 2,000 hours are also considered ‘prime grade’ and will drive a premium, while products with between 2,000 and 3,000 hours are considered more ‘average.’ Value and demand drop significantly once the 3000-hour meter mark has been breached, and when you’ve gone over 4,000 hours look out! When you’re planning to upgrade your fleet and sell off old items, the hour meter reading is a critical variable. If you want to get the most out of your used mower, make sure you keep it under these thousand-hour thresholds, especially the 3,000- and 4,000-hour meter levels. There may not be a big mechanical difference between a 2,800-hour Groundsmatser 4500 and a 3,000-hour Groundsmaster 4500, but there is a big difference in their perception! That translates directly into value and demand.
Another key attribute is the manufacturer. Granted you can’t really use this information to your immediate advantage since you can’t change the color of your owned equipment, but this is something you should keep in mind at the forefront of every buying cycle. Here in the U.S. there are three manufactures that account for nearly all the market share. Historically the value of used Toro products vs. comparable ones produced by John Deere and Jacobsen has been significant higher, usually fetching as much as a 10% to 25% premium. Used Toro products also tend to sell a lot quicker. Why is this? As a distributor for Toro, we’d like to think it’s because of companies like Wesco. A great distributor does add value, but in this case the residual value is a testament to the quality and durability of the product itself. Toro’s products have a lower cost of ownership vs. those produced by other manufactures. Additionally, their products are also in greater demand on the secondary market. When buying new equipment keep in mind the price you can expect to recover when you eventually have to replace it.
Finally, we’re often asked, “Where can I sell my used turf mower?” There are several options on the internet. Turfnet.com and eBay are probably the two most common platforms. If you’ve ever sold something on eBay, you know that there’s considerable work with listing and follow-up communication. The more expensive the item is, the greater a buyer’s expectations will be. Many people choose to market and sell their products to their friends and peers. If you go this route keep in mind that you’ll need to provide a clear set of expectations before making the transaction. Will you feel obligated to help if there is a breakdown shortly after the sale? The easiest way to sell a used piece of turf equipment is to a dealer or broker, both from a time savings and peace of mind standpoint. Dealers won’t pay a full retail price, but there is less effort required with this type of transaction and there won’t be any ‘strings attached.’