Transparency Definition: Transparency is the quality of being easily seen through. In a business or governance context, transparency refers to being open and honest. Take a moment to reflect on these principles and consider your past experiences with used equipment dealers.
It's not my intention to assert that every used machinery dealer lacks transparency. Rather, my responsibility is to empower you to identify those who may not be transparent. Why does society harbor a general distrust of salespeople, and why do these perceptions persist into adulthood? These biases are often inherited from our guardians and protectors who, in turn, pass down their opinions and stereotypes based on past experiences, hoping we don't fall victim to the same pitfalls.
In a world reliant on sales for necessities such as food, transportation, and shelter, it's evident that we cannot entirely avoid salespeople, including those involved in machinery sales. The question then becomes: Do the salespeople you engage with truly understand your end goal, or are they solely focused on selling what they have, rather than what you genuinely need? Unfortunately, the odds may lean towards the latter—salespeople can sometimes come across as overconfident, unresponsive post-sale, and driven solely by financial gain.
So, what RED FLAGS should you be vigilant for?
1. Smoke and Mirrors Show: False claims can be easily identified with a few probing questions. For instance, does a dealer genuinely have all those office locations, or are they merely stating that their employees work remotely with no physical warehouse or office space in those locations? The truth is often revealed when the smoke and shine wear off the mirrors. Duplicate listings on platforms like eBay may also raise suspicions—Do they truly have all those machines in inventory, or are they listing machines from other dealers, marking them up, and leaving you to pay more for a machine based on deceptive tactics? Ask the tough questions: Does the dealer control the machine, are they collaborating with the shop, did they inspect the machine in person, and what is the serial number? These inquiries should either reassure you or serve as a warning to proceed with caution or run in the opposite direction.
2. Nickel and Diming: Obtain multiple quotes on shipping and rigging independently. Dealers might mark up prices on these services, taking advantage of buyers who are too busy to get other quotes or unaware of the normal costs.
3. Misrepresenting Equipment: Ensure dealers have adequate knowledge about the machinery they are selling. Confirm their understanding of your usage requirements. Run the serial number independently to verify specs, year, and maintenance history.
4. Withholding Information: Don't succumb to pressure. If they refuse to provide the serial number or lack a relationship with the seller, move on. Work with someone you can trust and who values open communication.
5. Don't Sign Your Life Away: Avoid signing purchase orders that lock you into contracts for extended periods. Some dealers may use this tactic to buy time as they search for a buyer.
6. Anything but the Net: Refrain from offering dealers a net price for your machine. A good service should provide value with knowledge and not take advantage of those with less market knowledge. Avoid settling for less than what your machine is worth.
7. Can Anyone Be Trusted: While there are dealers and reps you can trust, it's essential to remain vigilant. Trust is earned, and conducting thorough research can help you identify reputable professionals in the industry. Choose someone who values integrity over profit.
8. To the Highest Bidder: Auctions, often perceived as providing better quality and transparency, may not be as straightforward as they seem. Despite policies in place to protect buyers, there are nuances worth considering. Many auction companies also operate retail departments, and it's not uncommon to observe machines purportedly "sold" at auction reappearing on the company's website shortly afterward.
This phenomenon, occurring approximately two weeks later, raises questions. Are all these auction deals falling through coincidentally? The reality is that some buyers, bidding strategically, may collaborate with the auction itself. They utilize partners to create a facade of independence, a practice that closely resembles collusion. While collusion is frowned upon in various contexts, it appears to be normalized in machinery auctions, with platforms like Bid Spotter seemingly taking little action to curb such practices.
If skepticism lingers, proof of this collusion can be provided upon request. This behavior underscores a disconcerting norm in which those with financial advantage exploit the system to the detriment of others. It prompts reflection on the integrity of these auction processes and whether intervention is necessary to maintain fairness and transparency.
9. Ted in your Bundy: When encountering red flags, it's essential to consider the potential consequences. Just as you wouldn't trust a serial killer with a knife near your food, overlooking warning signs in other situations could lead to regrettable outcomes.
10. Respect: “to some people that is more important.” – Paul Walker