Internet Iron: Online machinery buyers share their thoughts
Recently, Greg Peterson, editor and publisher of the F.A.C.T.s Report, asked farmers, auctioneers and implement dealers who use his service how the Internet has changed their operations. Here are some of the responses he received on Agriculture Online's Talk groups:
David B. - Stamford, CT
I thought my story might be of interest. I grew up on a cattle farm in North Carolina. Now I live in Connecticut, but my father and brother still raise Angus in NC. We had been in the market for a used 6400 John Deere MFWD tractor with a loader for our cattle farm in NC. Unfortunately, we had not been able to find one in our price range. I then began a search using www.machinefinder.com and other Internet services. Surprisingly, I happened to find the exact tractor that we were looking for on EBAY of all places (actually it was the first time I ever used EBAY).
I used your auction pricing service as a guide when placing my bid. I ended up being the highest bidder but my bid still did not meet the seller's reserve price. I think I was primarily competing with dealers (based on their email addresses) so I thought I could afford to pay a little more than they did and still end up with a good value. After the auction 'failed,' the seller contacted me directly over the Internet to see if I was still interested to continue negotiating. I decided to drive up to Massachusetts to look at the tractor.
After inspecting and driving the tractor, I felt more comfortable paying a little more for it than I did based solely on a few black and white pictures. The seller and I were able to negotiate a price that worked for both parties after the seller included some additional loader attachments.
Thanks to the Internet, I was able to source the exact used tractor that we were looking for and ship it to our farm in NC for a total cost which was much lower than our local dealer wanted for a used JD 6400 with more hours and no loader. I believe that the Internet has fundamentally changed the way that consumers buy all products, including used farm machinery. The information available permits disintermediation of the dealer networks and thereby allows both the buyers and sellers of used farm machinery to receive a better deal. That truly is a win-win situation.
Carl L. - Lisle, IL
The Internet has changed they way I purchase equipment. I can go online to machinefinder.com and compare prices of what local dealers are asking. Also, I can find machinery all over the country as I may have something specific that I am looking for. Most dealers are willing to deliver for free up to 500 miles. Also, ebay has several tractors on it. I also go to your website (www.machinerypete.com) to compare auction results of equipment I am looking for!
I have found over the years it still makes the most sense to do business locally, however the Internet gives you more options. It also allows me to check local dealer inventories without leaving my house!