Editor's Note: Check out this excerpt from the Spring 2016 issue on how dealers make the most of used equipment sales. Here's a viewpoint from Jeff Suchomski, "“I started in our dealership as a technician, so if I know something is not going to hold up, I won’t sell it."
Read more about Suchomski's approach:
Jeff Suchomski, owner of Suchomski Equipment, Pinckneyville, Ill., says his rural lifestyle sales are helping make up for shortfalls with the production market being down. His dealership carries Massey Ferguson, Cub Cadet, Woods Equipment and other lines.
For used equipment, he’s having good success with tractor attachment sales, specifically with such equipment as 3-point tillers, small (4x4) hay balers and 5- and 6-foot rotary cutters.
“Appearance means a lot when it comes to small equipment. If it’s nice and shiny and looks good, it’s going to sell,” Suchomski says.
He says it can be difficult to find smaller used attachments. He mainly builds their inventory through trade-ins. For instance, a customer might purchase a 25 horsepower tractor and attachments for his first purchase and then later want to trade up to a higher horsepower tractor and may need different attachments.
He stays away from purchasing through auctions. “I grew up in the business. I remember years ago when neighboring dealers would go to auctions to buy equipment and it would just make customers who were also bidding on the equipment mad,” Suchomski says.
Within 60 miles of his dealership, Suchomski competes with 9 John Deere dealerships, 7 New Holland dealerships and 12 Kubota dealerships. For this reason, he says he’s realistic about setting a price that moves inventory, but is careful to guard his reputation as a trusted dealer.
“I started in our dealership as a technician, so if I know something is not going to hold up, I won’t sell it,” he says.
He doesn’t mind taking in used Tractor Supply Co. (TSC) attachments as long as they are in good working order and have a good appearance.
“If it’s a name brand, it sells better. TSC blades might go for $200, but a Woods, Rhino or Bush Hog blade could sell for $600,” he says.
Suchomski also doesn’t shy away from taking in specialty attachments, such as small planters and seeders as hunters seek them out for food plots for hunting.
Sales on used equipment often are driven by word of mouth referrals as well as his weekly listings in TractorHouse’s print issue. The listing takes considerable effort, including supplying photos and information that might change weekly.
“It’s very expensive advertising. I went to a half page ad in the book and I pay $395 a week, but you do get phone calls from it.” He also uses TractorHouse to help set the market value on used equipment.
Used equipment sales opportunities are an opportunity to build relationships — and support future purchases of new equipment.
“I always offer used equipment first and then offer new as the upsell. A lot of times, though, the condition drives the sale. If it’s used and beat up, that’s not going to work for the guy who is competing with his neighbor on equipment,” Suchomski says.