Internet auctions of ag equipment are growing in popularity. They can allow producers to make more informed purchasing decisions as well as more convenient sales that frequently result in fairer prices than traditional in-person auction events. Not all Internet auctions are created equally, nor are the companies that conduct them. Let’s look at some considerations when choosing to buy or sell at auction.
Reduced time demand of Internet auctions
Producers no longer have the time to spend hours traveling to auctions and waiting in hopes of making a purchase. Time is a valuable resource, and there are better ways to spend it than waiting at an auction. Some in-person auctions offer Internet bidding, but that option only changes where the bidders wait – instead of waiting for each item to sell at the auction location, the bidders wait at home in front of their computers waiting for each item to sell, costing them essentially the same amount of time.
Purple Wave’s Internet auctions don’t have an in-person component, and any bids placed at the last minute cause the bidding to be extended to give everyone a fair chance to bid. With no advantage to waiting to bid until the last minute as each item sells, bidders can place all bids at once and get back to managing their businesses.
Holding and transportation costs
Smart farm managers know that it’s important to keep only the right equipment on the farm. Older machinery or machinery that’s not the right fit for the operation ties up capital that would be better utilized purchasing more appropriate equipment. However, sellers of ag equipment know that moving pieces of machinery can be time consuming and arduous. The period between when the decision to sell is made until the cash is in hand can be long and filled with hassles including negotiations and transportation. Trading equipment in with a dealership often involves accepting a lesser price than it’s worth at private sale, but traditional in-person auctions require waiting until the auctioneer has enough volume for an auction and then incurring transportation costs of moving the equipment to the auction location. This transportation is sometimes in the opposite direction of the eventual buyer, causing the purchase price to be further depressed by the cost to transport it back.
Purple Wave’s Internet auctions are scheduled on a regular basis. We have not only two large ag auctions each month but several auctions each week of varying types of equipment in many regions of the country. Producers wanting to work with dealerships can work with Purple Wave to leverage the auction proceeds as the trade in value of the equipment. There are no transportation costs, as the buyers pick up the equipment directly from the sellers. Our auctions are frequent and our buyers are legion, so deciding to sell with Purple Wave means a comparably quick transaction and a recovery that isn’t depressed by transportation costs.
Full service and trust
Internet auction firms are very different, not only in the way they conduct their auctions but also in the level of service and transparency they offer. Some companies simply provide a platform, forcing bidders and sellers to work out their problems directly. Some companies accept reserves or allow the sellers to bid, reducing transparency and sacrificing the trust of their bidding community. Some self-service companies shift the burden of listing the equipment to the sellers.
Purple Wave has been conducting Internet auctions for over 10 years. We’ve learned that the more information we provide through detailed descriptions and high resolution photography, the easier it is for our bidders to make more informed purchasing decisions. We’ve learned that making a customer service team available during and after the transactions allows our buyers to trust that we don’t walk away as soon as the item is sold. We’ve learned that when our auction professionals build personal relationships with our sellers by photographing and listing the equipment, it eliminates the stress and distrust inherent in dealings with self-service or otherwise less-than-full-service auction firms.
Purple Wave’s auctions are a straightforward and simple farm management tool that allows producers to make more informed equipment management decisions in less time and with greater trust and convenience. Take a look at our upcoming auctions and view our past auction results, always available to everyone at purplewave.com.