Survey: End users tap multiple resources to acquire used equipment

Marcia Doyle Headshot
Updated Oct 16, 2019

construction equipment auctionA Randall-Reilly survey of construction, landscaping and agricultural end users shows a clear preference for using multiple sources for acquiring used equipment.

When asked where they typically buy used equipment, contractors showed the strongest inclination to buy from a dealer (69 percent), while landscapers and farmers were more inclined to buy from a private party (landscapers, 76 percent; farmers, 68 percent).

where do you typically purchase heavy equipment

Landscapers expressed less interest in buying used equipment from an auction, with only 27 percent saying they used auctions, a number that’s almost half of the construction and agricultural respondents who said they used auctions.

Research, research

The majority of respondents in all buyer segments say they research specs before browsing used equipment websites or trader publications, with more than 60 percent of applicants in each segment saying they did this research ahead of time.

do you spec out your ideal used machine before browsing trader publications and websites

Buying considerations

Not surprisingly, the number one consideration for an online used equipment buy is price. All three buyer segments cited this factor first. It was at least 26 percentage points above the next-highest answer.

which of the following are the most important considerations when evaluating available equipment online

The differences between the buyer segments were more evident in the second-highest factor cited in online used equipment buys. Contractors, at 57 percent, listed maintenance history. Geography, at 51 percent, was the second-highest consideration for landscapers. For farmers, maintenance history (48 percent) and geography (46 percent) were close second and third factors when buying used equipment.


Online buying challenges

When asked to list their greatest challenge in using online used equipment sites, all three user segments cited “inadequate equipment history/condition information” first.  By comparison, users seem relatively happy with these sites’ search criteria and filtering, inventory comparisons, inventory level and number of photos.

what is your greatest challenge with the used equipment websites you use today

Seller online marketing

The survey also asked dealers and auction companies which online services they use to market their inventory. Facebook was the clear winner for both dealers (52 percent of respondents) and auction companies (67 percent). Auction company respondents were much more likely to use Google, LinkedIn and YouTube to market their services. Thirty-two percent of the dealers surveyed said “none of the above” when answering this question.

which of the following services do you use to market your inventory

The Randall-Reilly survey was conducted by phone and email in September; there were 262 end-user respondents, 107 dealer respondents and 98 auction company respondents.