Risks and rewards of buying construction equipment on the internet

Every day, people buy construction equipment and agricultural implements online through classified websites and other similar outlets. This has many benefits, since shopping online allows you to search outside of your region, giving you more options to find the best possible deal. However, despite the rewards, there are also risks involved when making a substantial purchase, especially buying from an unknown seller.

Trusting a stranger

The key to making your purchase using the internet lies in smart buying. This means, for one, knowing exactly what you are looking for. Two, no matter how reputable the brand you’re buying is and/or how persuasive the seller is, be sure to test the equipment or implement yourself — or hire a third party to do so if it’s a long-distance purchase. This includes using all your senses: Does it look to be in good shape? Does it smell like burning oil? Does it “feel” right when you operate it? Three, make sure you research the seller — if it’s a dealer with easy-to-find reputable reviews, you’re probably in good hands. If it’s an unknown seller, proceed with caution. Four, when you’re finally ready to buy, create a detailed purchase agreement/bill of sale.

Note: Different types of equipment require various transfer of ownership documents such as title or, in the case of most agricultural implements, a bill of sale.

What about shipping my purchase?

Don’t let this be an afterthought — shipping your purchase is another piece of the puzzle that you want to ensure goes smoothly. In most cases, this responsibility falls on the buyer, unless the seller is kind enough to offer to cover the bill. Either way, make sure these details are in the purchase agreement.

If you’re unable to pick up the equipment or implement in person (or simply don’t have your own equipment to do so) make sure it’s handled by a trusted professional. If it’s a large piece of equipment, such as an earth mover, if at all possible conduct a walkthrough with the transport driver, even going so far as taking pictures of pre-transport condition. If it’s a smaller piece of equipment or ag implement, use a trusted shipping service. Also note that the transportation or shipping of any piece of equipment or ag implement should always be insured.

Use PaySAFE to level the playing field

Using PaySAFE as an online closing table encourages trust and provides integrity for both you and the seller because no money exchanges hands until all the details of the transaction are agreed upon by both parties (including successful inspection and transportation). This levels the playing field, as neither buyer nor seller ever has an upper hand.

And with PaySAFE, transparency is guaranteed with each transaction thanks to our paperwork free online tools that allow you and the seller to create and upload the purchase agreement, upload photos, exchange messages, track progress and utilize our escrow service for financial security, which eliminate the chance of fraud and scams, securing your payment at closing.

For more information on how PaySAFE can work for your next major purchase, check out how it works on our website.

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Photo: Flickr

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