Starting and running your own farm is far from cheap.
Setting up a wheat farm from scratch in Kansas, for instance, could set you back almost $4.5 million. Those kinds of prices aren’t restricted to certain parts of the country either. According to the same source, a grain farm in Iowa could cost around $5.2 million.
With that kind of money on the table, finding ways to cut costs, save money, and extend your farming margins is crucial.
That’s where buying used farm equipment comes in handy! After all, the cost of brand new gear and machinery can be astronomical. Thankfully, there are endless second-hand alternatives that can do the job without breaking the bank.
First, though, you have to separate the good from the bad. Want help doing exactly that? Keep reading for 6 top tips on buying quality used equipment for your farm.
1. Check the Features
Make sure you buy used equipment that ticks the right boxes.
In other words, anything you purchase must have all the features necessary for it to function as intended on your farm! Imagine spending thousands of dollars on gear that won’t even perform the job you need doing. It’d be a total waste of time and money.
Stop and have a think before you go shopping. Draw up a list of these essential specifications. With these to hand, it should be far easier to find the right equipment for your needs.
As an aside, some used equipment will come with popular features that you don’t actually require. In these cases (assuming that the gear’s still affordable), it might be worth buying anyway. Any additional specs could boost the item’s resale value if you ever come to sell it on.
2. Be Flexible with Brands
Being stubborn when it comes to brands is a recipe for overspending.
You might have set your heart on a particular brand of tractor, for instance. But what if that particular brand isn’t the best value for money? There might be a used tractor from a different manufacturer that’s cheaper, newer, and of equivalent quality.
Refusing to consider this preowned farm equipment would be detrimental to your cause in a whole variety of ways. You’d overspend and come away with a substandard product– just for the sake of a brand name!
That’s why being flexible and open-minded can help. You can put superficial preferences aside in favor of better value all-round.
3. Make Sure There Are Dealers Nearby
Another brand-related factor worth considering relates to replacement parts.
Imagine if a particular component stops working in a year or two. It might be a simple fix, but you’d have to drive miles out of your way to pick up a replacement if the dealer’s nowhere nearby.
Think about that before buying a particular piece of used gear. The convenience of living closer to the relevant dealers could dictate the best brand for your needs.
4. Go to Auction
Farmers looking to acquire second-hand items often attend auctions for that purpose.
Like any auction, there are various pieces of equipment up for grabs that anybody in attendance can bid for. The highest bidder takes home the prize.
This is a great way to get high-quality items at a reasonable price. After all, many of the would-be buyers know the person who’s selling (not to mention the history of the item itself), which means they’re less likely to walk away with an unreliable purchase.
Not all auctions are made equal when it comes to savings though! Farm auctions, for example, are the go-to for many budding bidders. However, items tend to be more expensive as a result.
If you’re looking for the biggest savings, then dealers and online auctions could be a better bet.
5. Keep Your Head
Planning on buying your used equipment from an auction? Well, keeping your head is of vital importance to your bank balance!
In other words, don’t get swept away by the energy, competition, and high-emotion of bidding against other farmers. It’s all too easy to lose track of your primary intention (i.e. to get good-quality equipment at a reasonable price) and focus on ‘winning’ instead. It never ends well!
You’ll spend more money than you’d planned to and, in some cases, more than what the equipment’s actually worth.
Avoid that fate by researching the items ahead of time and planning your bidding strategy. From there, ignore the temptation to become embroiled in a bidding war and stick to the plan instead. You’re more likely to walk away satisfied.
6. Don’t Buy Anything Too Old
Some farm equipment can be 10 years or older and still be in great condition. It’ll function without issue and come at a bargain price to boot.
More often than not, though, newer items will stand you in better stead.
Remember, whether we’re talking about people or farm equipment, age can cause all sorts of both obvious and underlying problems! The longer something’s been in operation, the more chance it’s had to suffer along the way.
Want our advice? Look for farm equipment that’s around 5 years old (give or take a couple of years). At that age, it should be well-priced and free from faults.
Even better, the value of equipment that’s around 3 to 7 years-old shouldn’t depreciate too rapidly. Take good care of it and you should be able to sell it on for a similar price down the line.
Time to Buy Your Used Farm Equipment
Are you on the hunt for used farm equipment? We don’t blame you! Buying brand new gear can cost a small fortune.
Second-hand items are far more budget-friendly. However, there’s also a greater degree of unpredictability involved, which is why it’s so important to approach the buying process in the right way.
Hopefully, the tips in this post will help in that regard. Keep them in mind to help you find the best equipment possible for your farm.
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