Construction equipment buyers checking out ebay

Ebay isn’t just for buying toys and electronics anymore. is one of the fastest growing venues to buy construction equipment, with 8,000 new construction listings on the site every week. Because of increased popularity, eBay recently expanded the number of construction sub-categories from 17 to 54.

Jeff Marley, owner of Agcon Equipment of Lakewood, Calif., said eBay is a niche in the market that has made his business thrive. Since he and his business partner started listing equipment on the site six months ago, they have sold 79 pieces online.

“One of the advantages is that during the winter, when people aren’t out shopping for equipment because of the weather, they can go online, see the pictures and buy great pre-owned equipment,” Marley said.

Marley said eBay has been a good source to advertise and sell his equipment because he’s competing against many sellers who are unknown private parties. Since his company sells large numbers of machines online, his username acquires positive feedback that can be useful for buyers who are wary about buying equipment through the Internet. Plus, Marley adds, he can sell and ship equipment across the country.

Apparently, buyers like the convenience of shopping online. In the first quarter of 2003, more than 48,000 items sold in the construction category, averaging about 550 listings per day. While some of the most popular items included contractor tools, which sell at an average of 270 items per day, more than 4,700 earthmoving pieces were sold online during the first quarter.

According to eBay, most of the equipment bought and sold on the site is pre-owned and ranges from heavy and light equipment to contractor tools and attachments. Main construction categories include attachments, building materials and supplies, construction apparel, contractor tools, equipment and parts/accessories.

Gregg Hensler, an independent contractor from Greentown, Ind., said eBay has helped him save money. He used ebay to buy a Bobcat skid steer, a pair of drywall stilts, a cut-off saw and some hand tools. He said he’s spent about $10,000 on equipment acquired through eBay, but has saved just about as much.

“I’ve been able to put more money back into my business than if I had bought the equipment new,” Hensler said.

Ebay business, which was launched in January 2003, offers sellers and buyers a place to auction off goods at a national and international level. In the construction sector, buyers tend to be cost-conscious small- and medium-sized builders, contractors and subcontractors, while the sellers are often businesses and individual end-users, equipment rental outlets and used equipment dealers.

To find out more about construction equipment sold on, click on the link to the right.