Aaron Traffas: Hello and welcome to Purple Wave’s Auction Podcast. My name is Aaron Traffas. We’re conducting an inventory reduction auction of ag equipment in Wisconsin for Tractor Central that will close on March 24. I’m speaking today with Randy Robinson about this event. Randy is Tractor Central’s General Sales Manager. Good afternoon, Mr. Robinson, and thanks for joining me.
Randy Robinson: Good afternoon.
AT: Let’s say I’m a bidder from outside your geography who has not yet heard of Tractor Central. Tell me about the company.
RR: We’re a ten-store operation. John Deere is our branded name. We encompass probably the northern third of the state of Wisconsin. It’s a large area and sparsely populated on the north, but we have a very diverse farm base – anywhere from row crop, dairy, cranberries, horseradish – just about any kind of crop that you can imagine. So we have a very wide and diverse customer base which leads to the very wide and diverse equipment that we have.
This event is an inventory reduction auction, and it’s quite a bit of inventory. Tell me why you’ve decided to sell this equipment now and why you’ve decided to do it by auction.
Well I think it’s no surprise that the ag economy’s been very strong in the last few years and we’ve kind of built up some excess inventory. A lot of the equipment that we’re putting on the auction is – we have doubles for it or multiples for those units. It’s just a matter of more used equipment that we have on our lots than we have need for our customers, so we’re just going to reduce up inventory. It’s good inventory and it was available for retail a few days ago.
You must have investigated several different options. Why, in the end, was Purple Wave selected to conduct the event?
Well, to be honest we had not thought about strictly online and they came in and told us the market research they’re doing and quite a bit of the demographics where our equipment’s going to be sold. We felt they brought a lot to the table. I really like – I think the customers are going to like, too, what they see on the website for the amount of data that they’ve collected and the videos with all the large pieces of equipment. I really like what they’ve put together for displaying the equipment and have been a very professional company. They’ve got a lot of good research on the front end, so we’re excited about going with them.
Let’s talk about the equipment. What types of equipment are we going to be selling and how much is there?
Well, we’ve got – I believe there’s 65 items there, and it’s very wide and diverse. We thought we should have something that would appeal to just about anybody. We’ve got a late model 9460R wheel tractor – it was a 2012 – all the way down to a John Deere 2010 tractor from the 1960s. There’s a 7810 tractor in the middle there – all different types of price points for a wide variety of customers, and not only in tractors but in just about all the equipment.
This inventory is located at several different Tractor Central locations, and each item has the location listed in the description. We have a couple of scheduled open inspections at the locations that have assets in the auction. Those scheduled inspections are Friday, March 21, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, March 22, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. During those times, anyone can swing by and ask questions or take a look at the items. In the event that these times don’t work for somebody, what does he or she need to do to take a look at something or ask questions outside of those specified times?
I think we’ve done something rather unique. What we’ve done there is we’ve posted the actual salesman that traded that piece of equipment in. So that phone number and that individual that is posted with each item there is actually the salesman that traded it. Nobody more so than them are going to know about that equipment. They’ve been instructed to be very helpful and get you the information that you need and tell you what they know about that equipment. That’s the actual salesman that traded it in and his cell phone number.
Tell me about the after auction experience. What can a buyer expect after the auction regarding payment and loading assistance? How long before the purchases have to be removed?
Payment is arranged through the Purple Wave auction, and when we are notified that the unit is paid for, we will release that unit. As soon as we’re notified – I guess we’re notified via email – we’ll be happy to load during our normal business hours which is 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays and from 8 o’clock until 1 o’clock on Saturdays. We’re not going to charge for the loading, but if there’s any disassembly required, that’ll be at regular shop time. It needs to be prearranged, and there’s flat rate charges for removal of duals which will be posted on the auction items. We would expect that all items be removed in about two weeks, but we’ll work with the customers. We understand that there’s maybe somebody in Texas or far away that maybe has some trucking schedules. We’re not going to slap a storage fee on there, but if it gets to be out there a little ways we’ll probably have a discussion with those customers. We’ll be very accommodating.
I would guess, as with most things, communication is probably key in those situations.
Correct. Yeah, you know, if there’s a loading issue or a trucking issue if we’re kept informed – as long as the equipment is paid for – we’re not real excited, but obviously we’re going to have some space issues, you know, as we get into spring planting season.
As we’ve mentioned, you’re not going out of business, this is simply an excess inventory reduction. Will you be offering any kind of financing or other incentives for prospective bidders?
Yes, on select items – and they will be identified on the items – we will be offering John Deere Finance to qualified buyers. It must be pre-approved 48 hours prior to the closing of the auction. The problem there is because it closes on a Monday and it closes on that weekend, so we need to have those pre-approved by Friday so you can bid in confidence that you know that you’ve been approved to bid at your desired level. Mostly it’s going to be on the larger items, the larger tractors, and we’ll identify those on the select items there.
What kind of process is that in order to get approved? In other words, if I wanted to explore that as an avenue to help me with a purchase – first of all, I assume that waiting until that Friday before the auction is probably a bad idea to start that process, but what kind of time frame are we looking at and what kind of information would you need from me to get that pre-approval?
Basic financial information – we’re going to need at least a couple days. Most applications are approved within a matter of a few hours, but a guy should have a little bit of extra time there to communicate back and forth what you’d like to see, but your basic financial information is what you’re going to need. To do the process, contact the individual that’s phone number is posted on that individual item, that salesman, and he will be happy to help you complete that.
Randy, is there any kind of warranty offered on any of these purchases?
There are some units that qualify for the original factory warranty. Those can be identified by calling that particular salesman that – his phone number is posted there, he can research that and tell you if there’s any original factory warranty time still remaining on that.
Randy, is there anything else you want to say about the auction?
The equipment that we’re selling isn’t something we cleaned out of the back rows and said this stuff is just in dire need of repair and let’s just clean it out. This is equipment we’ve had for sale to retail customers. I would say the greatest majority of it has been through the shops and been reconditioned and cleaned and ready for retail sale. This is an inventory reduction, it’s not a disposal of bad equipment. I would encourage people to call the salesman whose number is listed and get a good description of it and feel confident about what they’re buying.
And you mentioned it earlier, but I want to underscore the fact that the majority of these assets have video posted with them and that’s going to be a very powerful tool to get on and watch that machine run and learn more about that machine right there on the Internet before picking up the phone and making that phone call.
Yeah, correct. That’s a great feature to actually see that it, you know, starts and runs and moves and just see the functionality of it other than just a still photo. That’s a great feature.
I’ve been speaking with Randy Robinson about the Tractor Central inventory reduction auction. Thanks again, Randy, for visiting with me this afternoon.
Alright, thank you.
Bidding for the Tractor Central inventory reduction auction is open now and will close on Monday, March 24, beginning at noon central. If you have questions about any of the assets listed, or you’d like to take a look at an item before placing a bid, stop by during one of the open inspection periods on Friday, March 21, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Saturday, March 22, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Contact information for the salesperson representing each item can also be found in the items’ descriptions on purplewave.com.
Like all Purple Wave auctions, there are no reserves or minimum bids. Items receiving bids in the last few minutes will be automatically extended to give everyone a fair chance to bid. There’s no advantage to waiting, so view the complete inventory listing – and place your bids now – at purplewave.com.