The Beginner’s Guide to Buying Used Construction Equipment Online

If you’re in the construction business, you know overheads can be financially taxing. Naturally, therefore construction businesses, like yours, are always looking for ways to reduce operating costs.  Buying used construction equipment online is a great way to acquire well needed machinery and tools while saving on expenses. And there are many organizations that offer buyers the opportunity to do this.  But how do you ensure that you get the best out of each transaction? You can start by checking out the options available here and following the advice below.

Check the Seller’s Reputation

If you are buying from a dealer, pay special attention to the reputation of the dealer. A dealer that has been in the business for a longer time is usually a safer choice as against a newcomer. But there are other factors that make a dealer reputable as well. Dealers should be compliant with regional and international oversight bodies. Usually dealers with this type of certification will display proof on their website. But a more reliable way to verify this is by looking into the official lists of registered and certified dealers published by oversight organizations.

Avoid models that are likely to carry parts that are difficult to service or replace. Do a thorough check of the model number and investigate to see if the parts can be sourced or repaired easily.

Look for Proof of the Machinery’s Condition

Whether you are buying a new or used item, you should be able to see evidence that proves or confirms the quality of the item.  With a physical purchase, you may be able to physically inspect the equipment or even take it for a test run. But things are a little bit different for online purchases. There are several ways to determine the condition of used construction equipment online.  

Reputable dealers should be able to provide you with the usage history of the equipment. This history should include the past owners and the type of use the equipment has undergone. A machine whose past owners have solid reputations is more likely to offer good value for money than one that has been through multiple owners with dubious reputations. The ownership history is also important in avoiding stolen equipment. In addition to checking the ownership history you can also check with local and regional authorities (using the registration number) such as the National Equipment Registry to ensure that it isn’t stolen.

If for instance, you happen to stumble upon a construction company that is liquidating its assets, you may have found a golden opportunity to acquire used equipment in good condition at a reasonable cost.

Construction Equipment

Inspect the Item Virtually and then Physically- If Possible

Although you are buying online, you should still be able to view detailed images of the item and in some cases get to see video demonstrations and displays. If possible, you can also consider arranging for physical inspection at a convenient time and place.

During inspection, you should look out for consistencies and inconsistencies between the equipment’s condition and the description you saw online. If there are numerous or major inconsistencies, then that is a red flag indicating that buying the item might be a bad investment.

You should also look for signs of damage or wear. A machine that has welding marks that seem to have occurred after the item left the manufacturer is likely to cause issues. For excavators for instance, the most likely sections to search for welding marks are the loading arms and buckets.

Pay Close Attention to the Store/Seller Policy

The store policy is also important. Under a policy that offers the item for sale ‘as is’ once the purchase is complete the buyer is on his/her own. A used equipment dealer that offers some amount of after sales support is clearly more confident in the item’s ability to perform.

Find out whether the dealer will provide shipping or transportation to get the unit to you or if you will have to handle that yourself. If shipping costs are not included in the price quoted, you may need to reconsider especially if when shipping is added the item costs more than a new one purchased locally.

Used construction equipment can help to boost construction operations without putting too big a strain on the company’s financial resources. But on the flip side, unwise purchases could result in excessive costs in terms of repair and servicing bills. Buyers who follow the guide above will find themselves in a better position to get better deals on used construction equipment.

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