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Selling at Auction – ‘Preparing your Machinery for Sale’

Selling plant and machinery at auction? Want to fetch the best price possible as your machinery goes under the hammer? The value a piece of equipment will fetch at auction will depend upon the mood of the market, the choice of lots available, international demand from overseas projects, and quality or condition of the item on offer!


Erik Kortum, Euro Auctions’ Territory Manager for Germany will help you get your best price at auction with his ‘Top 10 Tips’.

1. Where is your buyer?

Mini excavators sell extremely well in Spain, whilst ‘zero tail swing’ excavators sell well at Dormagen in Germany. Researching the market can prove valuable as Euro Auctions has a global audience, and can help to attract the best buyers, as well as assisting with shipping overseas.

2. Think like a Buyer

Present your machine for sale as you would wish to buy it! A well-presented machine will always make the best price. There are many simple things that can be done to get a good price, but the important tip here is “DO IT!”. A couple of simple things can make a whole lot of difference to a buyer, which will generate a better profit.

3. Documents

Providing the service history of a machine will ensure it sells for the best price, and if the servicing has been carried out by the main dealer, that information will be on record and can be included in the sale catalogue. Producing the CE documentation will make a significant difference, adding between 5% and 10% to the sale value. Make sure your machine has a proper ID, ensuring the Serial Plate is visible and true. If selling commercial vehicles, vans, cars and 4x4’s, always send the vehicle to auction with the registration document.

4. Keep It Clean

If a machine looks clean it has probably been treated well. Always clean out the cab, jet wash the floor and mats and clean the windows. It is generally accepted that by doing this a seller can typically add €500 + to the value of a machine or vehicle. Muck and dirt may also be a way of hiding something bad, making buyers suspicious. Clean off the muck and increase the value!

5. Mirrors, Bulbs & Windscreens

Broken or missing mirrors are an irritation and nuisance, as are broken light casings and lenses. Make sure all light bulbs work and fuses are complete. Missing windscreen wiper blades shows a lack of love for the machine, as does cracked or damaged cab glass.

6. Fuel, Filters & Battery

Make sure the battery is fully charged and the fuel tank is half full, enabling buyers to start the engine and conduct a pre-auction inspection.  If a machine starts the first time, the prospective buyer will be inclined to bid. Also fit new fuel filters, as a blocked filter may restrict the engine from starting.

7. Paint

Ensuring a machine is tidy will attract the attention of a buyer. Repairing or painting knocks, bumps, and scratches is simple and effective and can make a great difference to the overall look of the machine.

8. Dry & Drip-Free

A buyer will not like a machine dripping in oil and fluid, which may indicate that rams and hoses may be damaged, pumps may be broken and seals may be worn. Carrying out the necessary repairs before the sale will ensure it doesn’t sit in a puddle of oil spelling TROUBLE in capital letters.

9. Tires & Wheels

Make sure tires on each axle match. Better still, make sure tires match all around. Don’t be tempted to put a mismatched set on just to save money. Fit a good branded set, such as Goodyear or Bridgestone. Don’t be tempted to fit cheap tires. Never remove a set of tires that have over 50% wear left in them, replacing them with a worn set as this will reduce the value of the machine. Repair tires as a machine will sit badly with a puncture and will make a bad photograph in the catalogue and on the internet. Heavy work may damage wheels and rims, so, ensure wheels are clean and true. Painting wheels is an option, but a good clean set is acceptable and preferable.

10. Attachments & Buckets

The lack of good attachments and buckets will let a good machine down. This could make the difference between €500 and €2,000 as the hammer closes the sale and could be rectified with a little planning. Ensure your machine has a full set of buckets, which are clean, lacking wear if possible and have good teeth. This will attract the attention of the bidder and get you the best price at auction.

Source: BlackChilli Creative Hub Ltd