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How to Buy Used Heavy Equipment

April 17, 2023

Looking to buy equipment? Black Star is here to help you avoid common pitfalls and ensure a smooth transaction.

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Top Tips and Considerations

Purchasing used equipment is often a great way to save money. However, there are several important factors to consider when buying used heavy equipment to ensure that you get a good deal and avoid any potential pitfalls. In this article we discuss:


  • Evaluating your needs
  • Research
  • Inspections
  • Requesting service records
  • Pricing
  • Financing options

When buying used equipment, here are some factors you should consider: 

Evaluate your needs

Before you start searching for used equipment, it's important to assess your needs and make sure you are buying equipment that meets those requirements. Consider the type of work you will be doing, the conditions in which the equipment will be used, and the frequency it will be used.

Do your research

Once you know what you need, start researching the equipment that is available in the used market. Look at different brands and models, their features and specifications, and their average price ranges. You can use online marketplaces, industry publications, past auction results, or other heavy equipment-specific sites to get an idea of the recent selling prices.

Inspect the equipment

When you find a piece of equipment that you are interested in, schedule an inspection with the seller. A thorough inspection is critical to ensure that the equipment is in good condition and is a worthwhile and cost-effective investment. Look for signs of wear and tear, rust, leaks, cracks, and any other potential issues. Check the engine and hydraulic systems, the brakes, and the tires. You should also inspect the undercarriage, and any moving parts to make sure they're in good condition.

Any equipment that Black Star lists for sale has already undergone a full professional inspection. In our detailed listing descriptions we provide full transparency. We identify any potential issues or hidden problems that you may not be able to spot if you conducted the inspection yourself. We will also have run a check to make sure there are no outstanding liens or loans on the equipment.

Request service records

Ask the seller for maintenance records to get an idea of how well the equipment has been cared for in the past. Regular maintenance is critical for heavy equipment, and if the seller has not kept up with it, the equipment may have hidden problems that will come to light down the road.

Black Star will provide service records for the equipment we sell when they are available.


Compare the price of the used equipment you are interested in with the cost of buying the same or similar new equipment if its available. Knowing current market pricing can help you negotiate a fair price and ensure you're getting a good deal. Keep in mind that while a used piece of equipment may be cheaper upfront, it may require more maintenance and repairs in the long run, so be sure to factor in those costs as well.

TIP: When deciding between OEM and aftermarket parts for used equipment, it's important to consider the specific needs of the equipment and the intended use of the parts. While OEM parts may be more expensive, they can provide peace of mind knowing that they are designed and tested to meet the same standards as the original parts. On the other hand, aftermarket parts can offer cost savings and a wider range of options but may come with more uncertainty regarding quality and compatibility.

If you’re looking for a specific piece of equipment, Black Star can search for it and manage the negotiations between you and the seller to land on a price acceptable to both parties.

Financing options

If you don't have the funds to buy the equipment outright, consider financing. Some banks and other lenders specialize in financing heavy equipment purchases.

Black Star is happy to recommend financing options when requested. You can apply online directly with one of our recommended partners at any time if you choose.


Let the Experts at Black Star Help

Buying used equipment can be a great way to save money. However, it is important to take the time to research and inspect the equipment before making a purchase to get the best deal and potentially avoid any issues down the road.

Contact our used-equipment specialists if you have any questions. Also, check out Black Star’s inventory of available-now equipment, and our upcoming auction listings, and let us know how we can help you to get what you need.

If you’d like us to conduct a search to find you exactly what you’re looking for, you can call, or complete this search request form.

This article is our representation of useful information and is not intended to be a complete guide for making the right decision for your company. Ask our experts - or your own - for specific advice based on your unique circumstances.

How to Buy Used Heavy Equipment
Mike Nigro

Mike's expertise has him deeply entrenched in many aspects of Black Star's Sales and Operations. He is also in USPAP compliance and works extensively within our Appraisals team.

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