Despite the widespread availability of used trucks and heavy equipment and the economic benefits of buying secondhand, some business owners are reluctant to do so because they believe the risk outweighs the reward. However, with additional effort on the buyer’s part, most common pitfalls can be avoided. Below are several ways to reduce the risk of buying pre-owned trucks and equipment at auction or through a dealer.
Purchase From a Reliable Seller
Before going with a particular seller, spend a bit of time reading customer testimonials, online reviews, and business reports to get a sense of the company’s legitimacy. Facebook and Google are great places to get unbiased reviews, as they can’t be edited or removed by page owners once they’re posted.
Do a Thorough Background Check
Before buying used trucks or heavy equipment, verify that the owner or agent has the legal authority to make the sale. If buying from a business, ask if the equipment is owned outright. Potential buyers can also verify ownership via the equipment’s VIN or serial number. In cases where a buyer plans to finance his or her purchase, the financier will check the equipment’s background history for them.
Inspect the Equipment Before Buying
Most heavy equipment and used trucks are sold on an as-is basis. If practical, the buyer should inspect and test the equipment before finalizing the sale. When a buyer lacks the knowledge to do so, they should consider asking an experienced operator or qualified repair tech to do the inspection on their behalf. When buying online, be sure to ask for detailed photos and maintenance records, and verify that the item matches the online description before submitting payment.
Leave a Paper Trail
Whether a buyer is completing the purchase through a private seller or an online auction house, they should ensure that they have recourse if the equipment is not as described or if it fails to arrive. Check online transaction terms before buying, and choose an online seller with a secure payment and escrow process. Get an invoice, receipt or other documentation with the new owner’s name, and be sure to pay by certified check so there’s documentation of the payment.
Buying heavy equipment online doesn’t have to be difficult. Potential customers can learn more here about the auction, payment and shipping processes.