Deciding when to sell your heavy equipment and trucks is equally as important as deciding how to sell them, and ultimately your selling method may be influenced by the “when”. Do you need to sell fairly quickly, or can you afford to wait and take advantage of a comprehensive marketing plan that could net better returns? Whichever you decide, the experts at Ritchie Bros. are here to advise you. But before setting a time frame on the sale of your assets, here are five things to consider in deciding when to sell.
1. How much is your equipment being used?
When equipment is being used less often, deciding whether you should keep it depends on how much profit the machine is helping to bring in compared to the cost of running, maintaining and storing it, not to mention depreciation. Consider how many upcoming jobs you have, and keep accurate records of how much the machine is in use, along with records of running and maintenance costs. If the latter costs start to equal or outstrip what the machine is bringing in, it might be time to sell.
2. When will you use your equipment again?
While considering how much you’re using a machine and how much profit it’s generating, also consider upcoming contracts – both those signed and any RFPs you’ve tendered. If it looks like a machine will be sitting idle for some time, it may make more sense to sell it, put the funds into another area of your business or buy a different machine.
Many Ritchie Bros. customers have discovered the benefits of turning over their fleets more regularly, and only hanging on to equipment that’s being used. In the words of Steve Pokrajac, a California contractor: Ritchie Bros. is "a great resource for smaller contractors too. If you have a contract that requires scrapers, you can get them. And then if your next contract has an emphasis on excavators, you can put those scrapers in the auction and buy excavators. You can also create cash flow liquidity when you need it."
Think of Ritchie Bros. as an easy method of fleet management ¬– when the time comes, you can easily buy a similar machine again at one of the hundreds of unreserved auctions we conduct every year or on our secure online marketplace, EquipmentOne.
3. What are the current market conditions?
Demand for equipment can play a big factor in deciding when to sell. With higher demand comes the potential of higher returns. So it pays to do your research and find out how you can tap into markets of high demand.
One way to mitigate the ups and downs of demand in your local area: sell through a channel that helps you reach buyers from different regions and industries. Ritchie Bros. has a global network of representatives and customers, so we can help you reach buyers in geographic areas and markets where your equipment is needed. And we can advise you how and where you can reach the most buyers.
In fact, because we make it easy to buy equipment, in person or online, many of the equipment items we sell go to buyers overseas. Read more about it in our blog article: Where did they go? Five equipment items sold around the world in 2013.
4. How old is your equipment?
Generally, equipment depreciates as it ages – it’s seen a lot of use, is showing signs of wear and tear, and needs more repair and maintenance. As those costs start to add up, or you’re losing out due to equipment downtime – it may be time to sell. You also want to consider selling while your equipment still has useful life in it, and therefore resale value – before it gets to the point that buyers aren’t interested. Turning over your equipment fleet regularly is one way to keep your costs at a minimum, and your equipment at maximum operating efficiency.
5. Do you need a different or more specialized machine?
If upcoming jobs require a different type of equipment than you currently have, offset the cost of the new machine by selling one or more machines that are either unable to perform the needed task or are rarely used. Our large unreserved auctions featuring hundreds of items in inventory, so you could even sell one machine and buy another to replace it at the same auction.
Let the experts market and sell your equipment
Find out more about selling with Ritchie Bros. or complete a simple form and a Ritchie Bros. representative will contact you to discuss how we can help you sell your equipment. No obligations!