What is the Best Way to Buy and Trade in Used Farm Equipment?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 09/15/2022 - 9:53am

Farm equipment is a vital piece of any farming operation. Used farm equipment values are a regular piece of the puzzle for farm owners. Whether it is buying used equipment or trading used equipment, the current used farm equipment values matter for both the selling farmer and the buying farmer. Continue reading to learn some best practices for buying and selling used farm equipment.



Why should I keep my used equipment in good condition if I am going to trade it in?

To get the most value out of selling your used farm equipment, it is important to keep it in excellent condition. The market for buying and selling used farm equipment has changed in recent years. Instead of farmers wanting to buy a “fixer-upper” to save money, the trend has shifted to farmers wanting to buy well-maintained, ready-to-go equipment to save time.

To meet the demands of the market, dealerships must fix up poorly maintained used equipment before reselling it. This means that the trade-in value of used equipment goes down significantly if the quality does not meet the market demand. It is in your best interest to keep your used equipment functioning properly to get the best trade-in value.


How do I get the best value out of selling my used farm equipment?

Now that you understand the importance of keeping your used equipment in good shape, what are some practical steps you can take for doing so?

The first step would be properly cleaning your equipment after every season. This process can be a little tricky for combines. There is a popular myth that if you wash out a combine, the bearings will rust and fail. This may have been true in the 1980s, but the combines on the market today have more sealed bearings that appropriate cleaning will not hurt. However, it is still necessary to clean in a certain way that avoids damage. First, thoroughly blow off the dirt and debris before washing. Second, wash the combine. Then, run the machine and engage the feeder house and separator to get rid of excess moisture. By following these steps, you avoid wet dirt buildup and possible mice damage.

Next, keep all parts in good condition and replace them when they are worn. It’s either you buy the new parts when you still have the equipment, or you essentially “buy” them for the next guy by losing value in the trade due to the dealership having to replace the parts. Also, keep the cab conditions clean and of good quality.

One of the best ways to increase the value of your used equipment is to keep records of inspections, oil and filter changes, and other maintenance services. When trading your equipment, the value greatly increases if buyers have proof that you have kept the equipment in good condition. Providing a folder of all your records also helps build trust between you and the buyer which increases the likelihood of a profitable sale. You can schedule an inspectionoil and filter change, or request another service at Koenig Equipment to increase the value of your used farm equipment.

Lastly, it is important to build trust with the buyer. One way to do that is through keeping records, as mentioned. Another is to be cautious when painting your used equipment. Often, it looks as if the seller is trying to cover up an issue if there is an out-of-place paint job. Once trust is lost, it is hard to regain. To get the best value out of your equipment, ensure that there won’t be anything that causes the buyer to be suspicious or question your integrity.  


Where can I get my used equipment valued?

If you would like to appraise your used equipment, contact Koenig Equipment for an evaluation. They will drive out to your location and thoroughly inspect your equipment to give you the most accurate price estimate.

The value will be determined by many aspects. One would be the overall condition. Are the tires in good shape? Did they get regular inspections and mechanical services? Did a lack of cleaning cause rust? Are the attachments still in working condition?

Then, the age and hours of use will be factored in. It is important to keep both factors in mind when determining the best time to trade your used equipment. Typically, a new piece of equipment should be between 3-5 years old to get the greatest trade value. After five years, the newer models have significant upgrades that will accelerate the depreciation of your older model. Keep hour breaks in mind. Buyers on the market are often looking for a certain number of hours, which creates hour breaks of between 500-1,000 hours. For example, the next customer is looking for a used combine with 1,000-1,500 hours, but you worked your combined that extra season and it went to 1,600 hours; you have gone over the 1,500-hour break and decreased the value of your used combine greatly. It would have been beneficial for you to trade a year sooner.

Lastly, Koenig Equipment employees will examine the demand of the market. If there is a surplus of the piece of equipment you are selling, the value could be lower. However, if demand is high and you maintain your equipment, it may be advantageous to consider a trade. Communication with a Koenig Territory Representative is the key!


What used farm equipment is commonly bought and sold?

There is a wide variety of farm equipment that is bought and sold throughout the industry. Within the Midwest, the most bought and sold pieces of farm equipment include tractors, planters, combines, and tillage equipment. 


What are the benefits of trading in my used equipment myself?

Trading your used equipment into the dealership when purchasing a new piece of equipment comes with multiple benefits compared to trying to sell the unit yourself.


Save time.

When it is time to upgrade your equipment, you can trade in your current unit or try selling it yourself. By trading your current piece to the dealership, you are saving yourself hours of work. When selling on your own, you don’t know how long it could take to find a legitimate buyer following your advertising efforts. When you trade-in, the resale work is on the dealership.


Save money.

Whether you have your used equipment paid off or not, it is still of financial value to you in one way or another. If you are purchasing a piece of equipment to replace another one, you don’t want to leave your money sitting around while trying to sell the piece you no longer use. By trading into the dealership as part of your next purchase, you are no longer financially responsible for that piece of equipment. If you try to sell on your own instead of trading in, you are financially tied to the equipment until the sale is final.

Trade-in values are also taken off the purchase price of the equipment you are purchasing. In most instances, this covers the initial down payment of the new purchase. For buyers, it is often easier to purchase through a dealership because of the financing they are able to provide in-house. Trying to sell your equipment yourself makes the buyer have to go elsewhere to secure funds to purchase, which can be a time-consuming process. This in itself makes buyers prefer dealerships, which means it could take you longer to find a final buyer for your equipment when selling yourself.


Trade at current condition.

Most dealerships take trade-in equipment in as-is condition. Just like when you are looking to purchase a piece of equipment, more often than not you ask the dealership (or seller) to ensure the unit is running efficiently and up on current maintenance. You will be on the seller’s end of these requests if you choose to sell the equipment yourself. By trading into your dealership, they will take care of making sure the equipment goes through the shop for maintenance and inspection before the selling process.


Overall safety.

Protect yourself and your finances from scammers. When selling equipment on your own, you put yourself at risk of being targeted by scams. Once your information is out there, you will be contacted by a variety of people and it will be difficult to differentiate which ones are honest buyers or trying to start a scam.


What is the process for trading in my used equipment and how does it save me money?

We recommend that sellers communicate with the Koenig Equipment team long before they are ready to trade. If you have found it best to wait six months to a year to trade due to hour breaks or financial status, it would still benefit you to let a Koenig dealer know that you are going to trade your used equipment. That way, they can begin searching for the next buyers as well as the piece you are looking for. If our team can pre-sell your trade, this may increase your equipment value as it eliminates risk for Koenig.

By communicating early and getting ahead of the game, you can get more money out of your trade-in deal. If you are considering trading your used equipment, call a Territory Representative at your nearest Koenig Equipment location today. The Koenig Equipment team will qualify your needs and start the trade-in value process as discussed above.


Where can I find help or more information for trading in or buying used farm equipment?

Koenig Equipment has a full staff of trained Sales Professionals that are available to help you every step of the way, whether you are looking to buy or trade used farm equipment. To view our selection of used agricultural equipment, visit the Koenig Equipment website. For more information, call a Koenig Equipment Ag Technician at your nearest location.


Additional Resources:

What is the Difference in Buying Equipment from an Auction vs. a Dealership?

How to Build the Ideal Fleet for a Corn or Soybean Farm

Does Leasing Farm Equipment Make Sense for My Operation?