Get help

Online Auctions vs. Private Selling

March 16, 2023

Can't decide the best option between selling your equipment in an online auction or outside of the auction process? Learn what is involved with both selling methods.

Read More

Selling methods

When it comes to selling used heavy equipment, timed-online and live virtual (auctioneer-led online) auctions have become increasingly popular in recent years as a way to sell quickly and easily to a large number of potential buyers. Equipment can be successfully sold this way in part to the current demand and a diminished supply of new equipment.

Private selling involves selling the equipment directly to a buyer, without the assistance of an auction platform.

In this article, we discuss:

  • Online and live virtual auctions and the advantages
  • Private selling and the advantages
  • Selling with Black Star

Online and live virtual auctions

The world is highly digital these days, and the process of selling items online has become the norm, especially when it comes to used heavy equipment. Online (also known as virtual) auctions have become a popular avenue to sell for a good return.

In an online auction, a specific timeframe is set for bidding on items and the item is sold to the highest bidder when the time runs out. The online auction platform acts as a mediator between the two parties, facilitating the bidding process and ensuring that the sale is conducted in a fair and transparent manner.

Virtual auctions, on the other hand, simulate the experience of a live auction in a virtual environment. Participants use a software program or platform to interact with each other, with the auctioneer, and with the auction items. The auctioneer will describe the item up for bid, and participants will submit their bids through the software. Virtual auctions can be conducted in real-time, allowing participants to bid against each other in real-time.

The winning bidder is then responsible for paying the final price, plus any applicable fees such as shipping or handling costs.

Advantages to an online auction

Wider reach:

Allows auction participants from anywhere worldwide to participate, as long as they have an internet connection. This means sellers can reach a much larger audience, potentially increasing the number of bidders and the final sale price.


Bidders can participate from the comfort of their offices or homes without traveling to a physical auction site. This can save time and money and make it easier for those who may not be able to attend an in-person auction due to mobility issues or other reasons.


All bidding activity is recorded and displayed in real-time. This can help build trust between buyers and sellers and prevent fraudulent activity.

Access to information:

Detailed information is provided about the items being sold, including descriptions, photographs, videos, and in some cases, appraisal reports. This helps buyers make informed decisions.

Competitive Bidding

Real-time competition among buyers can drive up prices and lead to higher bids.

Overall, online auctions provide a convenient, efficient, and cost-effective way to buy and sell equipment, making them an attractive choice.

Private Selling

We have a team of professionals who are experienced in negotiating the sale of used equipment direct to the contractor/buyer. We can provide valuable advice on the best marketing approach and having a thorough understanding of the market, we can identify market trends, and help sellers with a realistic expectation of selling price. This expertise ensures that sellers get the best possible price for their equipment.

Engaging Black Star for selling means we manage the entire process. Equipment reaches a national and international audience of potential buyers, and we have an extended network of buyers who are always on the lookout for replacement equipment. We also market the equipment through multiple marketing channels. This increased exposure can lead to more interest in the equipment, resulting in a higher selling price.

Advantages to private selling

Access to a wider network:

An established network of potential buyers and sellers. This can help sellers to reach a wider pool of potential buyers and increase the chances of a successful sale.


In selling equipment and can provide valuable advice on pricing, marketing, and negotiation. This can help sellers to maximize the sale price and minimize the time and effort required to sell the equipment.

Time savings:

Administrative tasks such as advertising, screening potential buyers, and handling negotiations - and more can be done for the seller! This can save sellers a significant amount of time and effort.


Important for sellers who do not want their competitors or customers to know that they are selling equipment.

Reduced risk:

Provides protection against fraud or other issues and can help sellers avoid potential pitfalls.

Market information:

Access to current market information, including recent sales data and trends to work with you to make informed decisions about pricing, marketing, and other considerations.

Let the Experts at Black Star Help

Black Star offers convenient, time-saving, and cost-effective solutions, with the added benefits of increased exposure, industry and market knowledge, and plenty of experience. We work with all our sellers as partners. We will simplify the process and give sellers more control over the selling price of their assets.

We manage all the details of a sale, including inspection, advertising, skilled negotiation, payment processing, and loadout. This saves sellers time and effort that would have otherwise been spent on these tasks. It also allows sellers to focus on their core business activities, rather than worrying about the logistics of selling their equipment.

Whether dispersing equipment through auction or private sale, or a combination of these for a few units or for a complete dispersal, we do it. Sellers can be assured that they are getting the best possible service and price for their equipment, while saving time and effort – irrespective of the selling approach(es).

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.

Online Auctions vs. Private Selling
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.

When you decide to sell your equipment,
we will personalize a way forward that benefits you.
Read More
Stay Up-to-Date With Black Star
Sign up to receive the latest info & updates
Thank you for signing up!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.