What to check when buying used equipment

What to check when buying used equipment

When buying used equipment, you need to make sure you’re doing your research so that none of your time or money is wasted. To reduce any risks and find a reliable machine, you need to know what to look for when considering your purchase. If you’re in the market for secondhand equipment, checking for these things will ensure you get a great bang for your buck.

Although purchasing heavy machinery secondhand is a great way to get the equipment you need for a good price, it’s important to make sure the machine you’re buying checks all the boxes it should. When you go through Lyon Auctions’ equipment auctions, you’re sure to find a quality piece of equipment. Here’s what to check for when buying used equipment.

Seller’s reputation

Find out everything you can about the company or seller before you purchase equipment from them. This can give you lots of insight into their seller history, and it will help you know if the company is reliable. You want to be able to trust the specs of the machine you’re buying, so you can be confident your purchase will be well worth it. Attending one of our equipment auctions would be a good way to meet buyers and see the equipment in-person. We understand your needs and are committed to quality.

Condition of the machine

Once you have verified the seller, you can inspect the condition of the machine. You want to make sure the machine itself matches the description on the listing. If you find any discrepancies, it’s best to avoid the transaction. Be familiar with how the machine should look at different stages of its lifespan. If you don’t know, phone a friend for help. If the description is accurate, you’re on the right track.

Listing price

Another thing that should be accurate is the listing price. The price should be fair depending on what condition the machine is currently in. It should be less than the amount of new equipment, but should represent the condition of the machine including operating hours, how old the machine is, any maintenance, salvage value and depreciation. The price should be a happy medium, and you should be suspicious if the price is extremely high or low.

Maintenance and operation history

The maintenance records will give you information on what projects the machine was used for in the past. The previous ownership can show you how well it has been taken care of. Consider any major repairs and current replacement needs. Check the operating hours, fluid levels and type of exhaust. Look for any signs of poor maintenance and welding. Also take note of the  model type and any replacement parts. You want to make sure the machine is safe to use and a good maintenance record will show that.

If you can take it out for a test drive

If the buyer is hesitant of you testing the equipment before purchasing, that’s a red flag. Getting the chance to test drive the equipment can really give you a feel for what the machine is capable of. If your buyer is willing to let you test it, you can have even more confidence that it is a genuine sale.

Correct documentation

You will need proof of purchase for legal purposes. Confirm the purchase with a document that verifies you and the seller are in agreement. Pay with a method that can be tracked and keep the receipt after the transaction. If you pay the full amount upfront, the title should be transferred to you right away; however, if you’re purchasing in payments, you will receive the title after it is fully paid.

Find what you’re looking for at our equipment auctions

We know you’re looking for cost-efficient and quality equipment to complete the job. Lyon Auction is here to help. For more than sixty years, we have been leading the industry in heavy equipment and machinery for sale. You’re sure to find what you’re looking for within our large inventory. Contact us today for more information!


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