When buying used farm equipment, it is important to make sure you get reliable, good-quality items at decent prices. Whilst everyone wants to make the most out of their money, it is important to not let low prices distract you from the actual value of the item.
If you don’t know what to look for, you could end up with a piece of farming equipment that costs more than buying a new one, either in the immediate or ultimately in the longer term. Making a checklist that details the main things to look out for can help you to set a standard when purchasing items.
Below is a list with some top tips to consider and points to look out for when buying used farm equipment:
- Assess the equipment’s condition
- Explore its features
- Consider purchases with more features
- Assess viability
- Don’t just stick to one brand
- Research thoroughly
Following these top tips when buying used equipment can help you make better purchases for your farm, and often at great prices
Assess the Equipment’s Condition
Although it may seem simple, it is always vital to properly examine equipment, checking it is in an acceptable condition before going through with any purchase. You should always check thoroughly for any issues with major components; cracks, corrosion, obvious mechanical issues and structural problems.
It is also useful to check items for obsolescence. If certain pieces of the equipment cannot be upgraded this should, where relevant, have an impact on the price. If possible, it might also be good to ask for a detailed inspection, as this checks the piece for any internal issues.
Explore The Equipment’s Features
When looking for used farm equipment, you should also make sure that any potential purchase offers all the features you’re looking for. It can sometimes be difficult to find a piece of equipment that caters to all your needs, some only offering half the functions you want, whilst others have every other feature in between.
For example, used tractors should always have their available attachments checked, as these determine how you can use the tractor, what you can use it for and therefore how useful it will be to your farm. Making sure the equipment comes with all the necessary features you need to run your farm is essential before considering the purchase.
Consider Purchases With More Features
Whilst it may seem counterproductive to purchase equipment with more features than you need, it may well end up working in your favour. Although you should of course never invest in something with an excessive amount of unnecessary features; if an item has one or two popular, highly valued qualities that you don’t really need, it might be good to consider making the purchase anyway.
Popular features can increase the resale value of the item if you decide you want to sell in the future. This could mean you get more money and more interest in the item if you sell the equipment off a few years down the road.
Assess Viability of Farming Equipment
As well as looking into the condition of the item and the various different features it can offer, you should also consider the viability of owning the equipment. For example, do you have enough storage space for it? How will you get it to the farm? What types of farms is the equipment suitable for? And when on the farm, can it be easily maintained?
Much of the decision process for any purchase can also be down to local dealers. If you buy an item of a certain brand, you’ll want to be sure they have dealers in your local area, so you don’t have to go out of your way to get parts. Also important is ensuring you have the required type and category of farm insurance for any equipment you do purchase.
Don’t Just Stick to One Brand
Whilst local dealers available may have an impact on the brands you go for, it is also important not to stick with one brand for the sake of it. The goal is to get the most out of your money, so why stick to one brand when others can offer the item you need at a lower price?
Considering other brands can save you significant amounts of money. However, this is only the case if it has passed other tests on your checklist, such as its condition and available features.
Research Purchases Thoroughly
Another tip that could help you make the most of your second-hand purchase is to research the equipment and see what its current market value is across different brands and locations of the country. It could help to look at the asking price of certain items online and compare them to the rate they go for at auctions. Ultimately, doing your research can stop you from paying more than an item is actually worth, and can help you to identify the best deals, making your money go further.