What You Need To Know About Selling At Auction

There are practical benefits to selling greenhouse equipment and structures at auction: simplicity, speed and a quick payoff.

“Usually when people decide to sell equipment, they want to cash out, or it’s time to retire,” says Doug Sheridan, vice president of Sheridan Realty and Auction Co., in Mason, Mich. “The seller needs to make sure there’s a stringent set of terms and conditions, like the winner pays for the item in full before removing it.”

Sell With Speed

When it comes to the speed factor, a grower in need of fast cash or more space can auction off equipment, trucks or other property within a short amount of time.

Sheridan recommends researching auction companies before deciding on one to use, and ask the following questions – particularly for a large auction with multiple pieces of equipment:

• How much is your marketing budget for advertising the auction?

• What kind of experience do you have in greenhouse equipment?

• How long will it take to prepare and hold the auction?

• Do I need to supply photos and a description, or will the auction company take care  of that?

“The No. 1 thing we bring to the table is the ability to find the buyer,” Sheridan says. “That’s what we’re paid to do – we provide the platform for bidding, whether it’s live auction or online. The marketing and advertising is the thing that separates the different auctioneers in the business.”

Get More For Your Money

Part of the process is finding the right company for the auction and deciding which equipment will sell the best. Jason Parks, operations manager at Parks Brothers Farm in Van Buren, Ark., says his business has used auctions in the past to get rid of old, unused trucks and trailers.

“Sometimes we sold it for what we wanted, and sometimes we had to come down [in price] to move them,” he says, adding they chose a local farm equipment auction company. “It’s not the ideal way to sell old equipment, but it is either that, take it to the scrap yard or let it rust away out back.”
Larger lots of specialized equipment may have a better chance of being sold, and there are ways to make sure it’s worth your time and energy.

Auction Tips Of The Trade

A couple of keys to successful selling at auction include advertising and timing, Sheridan says. If an auction for greenhouse equipment is set for some time in April, the equipment likely won’t get nearly as many bids or the value that it would at an auction held during an off-peak time for the industry.

Sheridan’s company buys mailing lists and advertises in publications specific to the industry the auction is in for greater success.

“We understand some of those unique, niche businesses require target marketing. If you have a specialty greenhouse that does unique things, you have to target those flower growers,” Sheridan says.

It depends on the size of the auction, but Sheridan says his company takes about five to seven weeks for preparation of the auction. They can take place online or in person, but the information is listed online for each.

Set The Right Price

Valuation for equipment is tricky, too. Sheridan recommends taking into account the age and use of the equipment before placing a minimum value to it. He uses tractors as an example.

“You can have an older tractor with low hours in use that holds its value immensely. However, a newer tractor run every day has lost its value. It’s hard to say. A lot of it is hinged on the condition of that item,” Sheridan says. “The other thing that affects value is obsolescence – is that piece of equipment even being used today? There may be a newer product out there that has replaced it.”

One final advantage to an auction is getting rid of all your equipment, not just the fast-selling pieces. If you sell it as an entire lot, the auction gets rid of the equipment that otherwise may not have sold if the grower was negotiating each piece independently.

“At an auction, the beauty of it is it can all happen on one day. Sell everything and they’re paid within seven to 10 days with a full settlement check,” Sheridan says.

Leave a Reply

More From Business Management...
Laura Drotleff

December 6, 2016

Are You Driving Young Growers Away? [Opinion]

In a time when the industry is facing a critical shortage of both labor and skilled, educated growers, it's important that grower operations don't unwittingly turn candidates off to a career at their business or in the industry in general. Take a closer look at your hiring practices to ensure you are being inclusive and not breaking any laws.

Read More

December 6, 2016

America In Bloom Moves Forward With New Management Company

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, management of America In Bloom will transition from AmericanHort to Second Wind Management, which is owned by long-time AIB Executive Director Laura Kunkle.

Read More
bailey-nurseries-team-feature

December 5, 2016

How Bailey Nurseries Has Found Solutions To The Labor Shortage

A changing seasonal workforce led this Minnesota-based company to explore new labor sources through the H-2A program and refugee organizations, and it’s working out for the better.

Read More
Latest Stories
Laura Drotleff

December 6, 2016

Are You Driving Young Growers Away? [Opinion]

In a time when the industry is facing a critical shortage of both labor and skilled, educated growers, it's important that grower operations don't unwittingly turn candidates off to a career at their business or in the industry in general. Take a closer look at your hiring practices to ensure you are being inclusive and not breaking any laws.

Read More

December 6, 2016

America In Bloom Moves Forward With New Management Comp…

Effective Jan. 1, 2017, management of America In Bloom will transition from AmericanHort to Second Wind Management, which is owned by long-time AIB Executive Director Laura Kunkle.

Read More
bailey-nurseries-team-feature

December 5, 2016

How Bailey Nurseries Has Found Solutions To The Labor S…

A changing seasonal workforce led this Minnesota-based company to explore new labor sources through the H-2A program and refugee organizations, and it’s working out for the better.

Read More
Trays move on an overhead conveyor to the end of the production line, where workers carefully pack the cleaned, sized, graded, counted and sorted Calla tubers

November 29, 2016

Texas Judge Halts Overtime Rule; Here’s What It Means F…

According to Craig Regelbrugge at AmericanHort, the injunction against the overtime rule is welcome news for horticulture.

Read More
griffin-andrea-nelson-and-bill-watson

November 22, 2016

Griffin Adds Two Industry Veterans To Its Sales Team

Bill Watson and Andrea Nelson, the newest members of Griffin, answer questions about the state of the horticulture industry, and their role in moving it forward.

Read More

November 21, 2016

How Building New Markets Can Reduce Dependency On Your …

Greenhouse Grower Editor Laura Drotleff says a smart and sustainable business goes beyond boundaries to create more demand outside of traditional channels.

Read More
griffin-expo

November 11, 2016

Griffin Announces Dates For Its 2017 Grower & Retai…

The events will take place Aug. 23-24 in Massachusetts, and Sept. 27-28 in Pennsylvania.

Read More

November 8, 2016

AmericanHort Hosting Lean Flow-Focused Webinar On Novem…

The webinar is the first in a series that will cover how Lean Flow affects your marketing, your customers, and your product offerings.

Read More
oregon-lean-flow

November 8, 2016

Oregon Nursery Lean Consortium Welcomes New Grower Memb…

The Oregon Nursery Lean Consortium, which helps the horticulture industry learn and apply Lean principles, is inviting greenhouse and nursery growers — and their suppliers — to join its 2017 program.

Read More
Great Lakes Expo

November 7, 2016

Greenhouse Growers Expo Will Focus On Improving Plant Q…

Sessions at the Greenhouse Growers Expo, which takes place in Grand Rapids, MI, in December, will focus on maintaining and increasing plant quality through successful rooting of cuttings, disease and pest management, and plant disorder diagnostics.

Read More
hoffman-nursery-owners

November 7, 2016

Hoffman Nursery Embarks On New Opportunities In Green I…

Thirty years ago, John and Jill Hoffman set off on an epic adventure to grow ornamental grasses. Today, Hoffman Nursery continues to evolve, and through its leadership, the operation is helping to secure a position for horticulture on one of the next great frontiers — green infrastructure.

Read More
urban-crops-pieter-de-smedt-and-maarten-vandecruys

November 3, 2016

Belgium-Based Vertical Farming Specialist Urban Crops O…

The opening of the new office in Miami, FL, is part of a continued expansion plan for the company, which creates tailored growth structures that are turnkey, automated, robotized, and able to be integrated into existing production facilities.

Read More
giving-tuesday

November 3, 2016

American Floral Endowment Once Again Joins Giving Tuesd…

On Tuesday, Nov. 29, floral industry supporters are encouraged to make a tax-deductible, year-end donation to AFE to help it continue providing benefits for all segments of the industry.

Read More
americanhort-plug-and-cutting-conference-2016

November 1, 2016

AmericanHort’s Plug And Cutting Conference Tackles Bioc…

The event included a grower tour, biocontrols workshop, and educational sessions focused on water management, labor, pest and disease control, and smart production strategies for great plug quality.

Read More
2015 GROW Summit_discussion shot

October 28, 2016

How We Can Inspire Millennials To Get Involved In Horti…

By uniting our efforts, we can attract new generations of growers and consumers to the horticulture industry, starting when they are young.

Read More
americann-cannabis-facility-in-massachusetts

October 27, 2016

Large Cannabis Greenhouse On The Horizon In Massachuset…

A Colorado company is preparing to build the largest marijuana greenhouse in Massachusetts, a sprawling, high-tech complex that could eventually expand to nearly 1 million square feet, depending on whether voters in the state approve the sale of marijuana for recreational use in November.

Read More
The tradeshow at the Cannabis Business Summit & Expo — outside of the occasional 1960s vibe, perhaps — would feel familiar to most growers

October 26, 2016

Las Vegas Will Host Two Premier Cannabis Events In Nove…

The Marijuana Business Conference And Expo and the World Of Cannabis Summit each take place in mid-November.

Read More
Cannabis Close Up

October 26, 2016

Cannabis Growers Try To Become More Sustainable

As cannabis production continues to increase in some areas, one question seems to be coming up more and more: What is the most sustainable way to grow cannabis?

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]