Whether through liquidation of surplus assets or restructuring, many businesses find themselves selling used industrial equipment. This equipment takes up valuable space on the shop floor and costs money to maintain. The question then arises as to which method of selling is best?

In this case, cost, speed, and convenience are all key factors to selling used equipment effectively. That is why online marketplaces are an excellent choice as they provide a simple way to market your goods to many relevant buyers. Despite their effectiveness, there are some commonly held myths that prevent people from listing with auction websites. The primary misconceptions are:

  1. Nobody wants to buy used machinery
  2. I must refurbish my machinery before selling it
  3. My machinery is too specialized or customized to sell
  4. I do not have the resources to list and manage a sale
  5. Selling fees are very high

By the end of this article, you will be able to dispel these myths and have the information you need to sell and use auction marketplaces like Aucto.

Nobody Wants to Buy Used

Our first myth has been around for a long time and appears in many industries. It is the myth that nobody wants to buy used equipment. While buying new equipment is certainly has its benefits (read more on that here), it is not always the best option for many businesses. Buying new means large investments of capital, as well as potentially long lead times.

Buying used can mean taking a risk on quality, but can also represent tremendous savings. Additionally, used machinery does not necessarily mean old machinery. Often you can buy lightly used or even unused equipment depending on the situation. Because of this, many companies are forgoing the sourcing of new equipment, and are instead turning to marketplaces for quality used machinery and parts.

Many businesses also turn to the second market for equipment and parts when they have a machine down. This is because of the minimal lead times when buying used. Many used equipment distributors also offer express shipping to expedite delivery. When buying used equipment on the internet, it is important to do the proper research and ask the right questions. For more information, please visit 6 Questions to Ask When Buying Used Equipment Online.

I Must Refurbish My Machinery Before Selling

The next myth is that you have to refurbish or overhaul your equipment before selling. This myth can be discouraging to sellers looking to sell as quickly as possible and for the most value. Many feel their equipment is too worn to sell, or that it must be in perfect condition to recapture the maximum amount of capital.

While it is important to ensure your equipment is in good condition to recover maximum value, refurbishing is not a requirement. A simple cleanup is usually sufficient. For best practices when selling your equipment, please view Best Practices for Selling on Aucto.

In most auctions, items are sold “as is.” The buyer bids on the item in the condition it presently exists, and the buyer accepts the item “with all faults,” whether apparent or not. Although nobody expects perfection, it is important to list all faults and damage of an item and take plenty of pictures. That way, a buyer can buy your item with confidence knowing the item they are bidding on is the one they will receive.  For more about selling as-is, please visit Sold As-Is – A Guide to Selling Imperfect Items.

My Machinery Is Too Specialized or Customized

The third myth that often hinders people from selling online is that their machinery is too specialized to sell.

It is true that while customization may yield more production for your application, it may limit the number of buyers looking to buy that item. However, many machines can be reconfigured and re-utilized. Also, there are many companies that purchase machinery for parts and components and not for production use.

Sites like Aucto market your equipment to a wide variety of industrial buyers, including equipment manufacturers and refurbishment companies. This means that there is an increased chance to find buyers that are willing to reconfigure or resell a machine for parts.

I Do Not Have the Resources to List and Manage a Sale

Listing and managing a sale can sometimes be tricky and time-consuming. You could try a private treaty sale, but attempting to sell this way can take time, money, patience, and a little bit of luck. You could try a broker to handle the sale for you, but their commission fees limit the amount you can recover for your item.

If you decide to list with an auction website, the process is much easier. All you must do is register as a seller, decide the type of listing you want, and then upload the appropriate descriptions and pictures. When considering how easy it is to sell your item this way, you may have more resources than you think.

If you truly have no time or do not wish to sell the item yourself, sites like Aucto can send a team on-site to catalog and list your assets. These turnkey listing services give the ultimate peace of mind to those just looking for a hand-off liquidation process.

Selling Fees Are Very High

The last myth is perhaps the one that is most difficult to dispel because it has some truth to it. Many auction sites charge sellers a listing fee as part of their pricing structure. Additional fees include commission on sold items, payment processing fees, and marketing fees. These can sometimes exceed 20% of the final sold value.

These fees mean two things for sellers. First, it means less money from the sale of your item as you must pay the auction website. Secondly, it means fewer potential buyers. Many sellers will increase the minimum bid of their item to account for higher fees. These higher prices, in turn, dissuade buyers. To learn more about the selling fees of some popular auction websites, please click here.

In this instance, Aucto is unique. It has no seller fees, which allows those wishing to sell their equipment to keep 100% of the money from their sale.


I hope you have enjoyed learning about the 5 most common myths that discourage people from selling online. While not completely unfounded, these misconceptions are often exaggerated. To summarize, there are many businesses that want to source used industrial equipment because of the cost savings. Refurbishing is often not necessary, except when your equipment is very worn or damaged.

Specialization and customization don’t necessarily mean you cannot sell your item online if you sell to the right people. Because of the ease of use of most websites, you may have more resources to list than you think. Lastly, selling fees may be high but this depends on the site you use.

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About the Author

Clayton Arnold

Clayton Arnold is the Marketing Manager at Aucto. Clayton has 10 years of experience working in traditional and digital marketing campaigns. A Mohawk College graduate, Clayton believes in leveraging the latest technology & analytics to foster long-term relationships with clients.