Online Machinery Auctions Seeing Big Boom Thanks to Convenience, Strong Commodity Values

by | Feb 3, 2022 | Indiana Agriculture News, News Feed

Used equipment is getting a new life through online auctions. Supply chain struggles continue to hamper new equipment availability. Buyers have turned to the internet where sales have been booming since the pandemic began.

Mark Stock, CEO of BigIron, jumped into the online space last year. Convenience is one of the big reasons for the uptick compared to an open outcry auction.

“It says online specifically what time it’s going to close—they can still be working in their shop or field and watch the equipment sell,” he says. “If they win, they start making arrangements to get the item paid for and picked up. If they lose, they keep on doing what they’re doing.”

In the last year, 87,000 items were sold online, and the BigIron site was visited by more than 6.5 million people. Stock says as a result, used equipment sales continue to soar as commodity prices remain strong.

“When you still have opportunities for $13 soybeans and $6.25 corn this time of year in different parts of the country, there’s extra jangle in farmers’ pockets, and they’re looking for equipment,” says Stock.

There’s also been an increase of retirements.

“Farmers have taken additional land to farm and in doing so, they need more machinery to get the work done,” says Stock. “Another big factor in that is the labor force. If you take on additional acres, you need a bigger planter or bigger tractor because you’re going to cover more acres. Finding labor to get that done is hard to do, so they get bigger machinery and cover more acres with the labor they have.”

Stock says farmers can still take advantage of this hot market by turning an unused piece of machinery or implement for cash.

“If it’s to pay down a land loan, operating money, or pay for some of this high-dollar fertilizer, that’s the thing to do,” he says. “We’ve got folks that have bought items 10 to 12 years ago, are selling them and getting 100 percent of the money they paid for back when they sell it. Basically they’ve been using the thing for free.”

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