Five Top Places To Sell Your Big Rig

A big rig isn’t your everyday sales item. It’s not like a piece of furniture that can quickly be transported from one place to the other. It’s not a minor expense either, especially when compared to other types of equipment or motor vehicles. Plus, there are logistics to be considered, as the buyer may not necessarily reside in the same city or state as the seller. In short, there are several factors that come into play, if you’re looking for a profitable sale.

Those in the market to sell and buy big rigs most likely have something specific in mind with regards to size, functionality, and budget. While a big rig sale doesn’t have to be complicated, there are different methods to consider, since it’s not really an item you can list on your next neighborhood garage sale. Start the selling process with one of these top places.

On A Street Corner

Historically, parking your truck at a busy intersection was how the majority of people sold their cars and trucks. You simply cut out a rectangle of construction paper, used a Sharpie pen to write out the details, and taped the sign inside the windshield with hope people would call. If you wanted a professional look, you purchased a premade ‘For Sale’ sign at the drugstore to stick in the window. Either way, this method is simple, inexpensive, and used to be highly effective. Things have changed.

Now, people want more information before they buy. Plus, everyone is going online to research their options. Even if someone saw your truck parked on the street with a sign announcing its availability, it wouldn’t immediately encourage that person to pick up the phone and call.

Potential buyers most likely want more background information about the truck, as well as the seller. They’d like to talk cost and possible negotiations only after knowing what they’d be signing up for. There is a lot of information that can’t be given via a sign alone and before being talked into a sales pitch, they’d want to be able to read and research online first.

Pros

  • Costs next to nothing.
  • Almost guaranteed a local sale.
  • Takes little time and effort.

Cons

  • Reaches a limited number of people.
  • May appear “unofficial” to people passing buy.
  • Harder to sell if you need to use your truck day in and day out in the meantime.

Auction

Selling your truck at an auction has become popular, in large part due to Ritchie Brothers. Ritchie Brothers has taken selling at auctions mainstream. Ritchie Brothers is clean and professional. They’ve simplified what can be a complicated and time-consuming process. Today, auction houses have stepped up their game, making selling to the highest bidder an attractive alternative to liquidating your asset(s).

They take care of the legwork, including the listing, auction promotion, and day-of auction activities, so you have less to worry about when it comes to selling.

Pros

  • If you catch lightning in a bottle, there is an incredible upside to auctions. Trucks have the potential to sell for $10,000, $20,000, or even $30,000 over retail price.
  • In non-reserved auctions, you are guaranteed to see your equipment leave with a level of anonymity and the confidence that it will never return again.
  • Considerably less liability than selling as private party.
  • Most auctions handle the transaction so you don’t have to chase down your money.
Cons
  • While you can catch lightning in a bottle, there is also the possibility of getting struck by lightning, or at least feel like you have. At an unreserved auction, if the right buyers aren’t present, or if there is a deficient specification or flaw about your truck that is obvious to potential buyers, you could find yourself losing thousands of dollars.
  • Time is money. When you factor in the cost of taking your truck to the auction remember to include the time spent getting units to the auction (as well as bringing them home, if you are in an auction where the reserve is not met).
  • There will be fees. Some are reasonable, but others can be quite high. Either way, make sure you factor in the fees to make sure going to auction is the right choice.
  • While the auction may take care of the transaction, it may be weeks before you see your money. If you need that cash in a hurry, this might be a riskier move.

Websites & Magazine Classified Ads

Back in the day, classified ads in magazines were a staple. Besides getting space to tout the benefits of your truck, you also received a photo so people could actually see what you were selling. Today, print magazine classifieds are used more or less as leverage so you can be seen on the web. With that said, there is an abundance of good choices including: Truck Paper, Commercial Truck Trader, My Little Salesman, to name a few.

If you’re considering buying ad space, ensure you have great imagery to attach with it. If the point is to sell and you post an ad with an image that has poor lighting or doesn’t show the details of the truck in any way, people will skim right over it and move to the next thing.

Pros

  • The cost of placing a classified in a magazine or website can range significantly depending on the circulation and/or the website traffic a site receives. Either way, the cost will be a fraction of the cost of bringing to auction. Plus, if you choose to post an ad online, you can choose when, where, and how long an ad runs. This can help you hit your target audience to make the most of your budget.
  • Some of these websites reach can cover as little as a region or the entire nation. It depends on how many eyes you want to see your ad. Again, consider your audience and make sure your ad is being delivered to the right people; not just more
  • Many of the top sites have a good selection of inventory to view because they have a reputation for moving iron.

Cons

  • While the time to generate and upload a classified advertisement is not too difficult, it does take time and a little skill to make sure you position your truck to receive quality views. Many of these sites have incredible viewership numbers. However, if they don’t reach your target audience, the numbers don’t mean much.
  • As busy as you already are, will you be prepared to handle the phone calls or emails? Make sure you have someone available to take time out of their day to do a test drive or bring the truck to a shop for a third party inspection.
  • You can list the truck for sale “as is,” but there is still considerable gray area that can cause you headaches even after the sale of the truck. Carefully review every ad before posting so it doesn’t misrepresent your sale.

Craigslist

This non-profit website changed the game and made many newspaper classifieds obsolete. For private party sellers, there is no cost and Craigslist can produce results. Make sure you have a detailed description of your big rig and categorize it under the right slot.

Additionally, depending on how competitive the market is, your ad can be quickly pushed to page three or four rather than being the first page people click on. Make sure to review your ad and update its publication date as necessary.

Pros

  • It’s a free option, which means all you have to do is post it and wait for the inquiries to come in.
  • If you price your truck correctly and craft a well thought out classified, your phone will ring. You can also choose to make your contact information anonymous. Craigslist will set you up with your own privatized email link where people can contact you, if they’re interested.
  • As soon as you confirm your post, you have the opportunity to sell your truck. Simple as that.
  • Craigslist started out as a community classified, so it is broken up into local regions. For the most part, your calls will come from people in your area. This can make it easier to show and meet with potential buyers.

Cons

  • When you think scams, you think of the obvious, someone is trying to steal your truck or money. However, there are many scams that may involve phishing for emails or other information. Be careful of any transactions you handle online and meet in person when at all possible.
  • You’ll have to filter through unqualified leads. Because Craigslist is a free online space, there are lurkers who aren’t serious about buying. For every legitimate potential buyer, you might get two or three who want to trade your truck for a goat, a speedboat, or a classic car. This is the craziness of Craigslist. Yes, it has proven to work before, but you might come across a few you’ll have to skip over first.
  • If your truck has a special application and you need to reach a broader market, there is no way to post it to the entire Craigslist community. Users must repost their classified in every Craigslist community they desire, which can take up time and effort. Start with a few cities and then, branch out if you don’t have any luck.
  • Craigslist people are notorious for being a “no show” for appointments. Since the buyer can be anonymous up until the sale, people don’t feel the need to tell you if their plans change. Try to get contact information ahead of time to confirm meetings and schedule several showings at once, whenever possible. This will save you wasted effort and frustration.

Dealers

Used and even a few new truck dealers buy and sell used trucks. Dealers are experts at appraising, refurbishing and selling. They know exactly what they’re looking for and what will sell quickest on the market. Dealers know what their clientele will ask about and how much they’d be willing to pay.

Having this industry experience and insight in your corner can be an asset to you. You won’t have to worry about sifting through a lot of anonymous inquiries via an online form, but rather, you’d be handling business with someone who already knows all the ins and outs.

Pros

  • Dealers like Charter Truck Sales write checks and/or wire money quickly. If you need to sell quickly a reputable dealer is your best option. There’s no waiting around or wondering if your payment is in the mail.
  • A good dealer will come to your location, at your convenience, to appraise your truck. This makes it far easier than setting multiple appointments for various people to come look at it.
  • A dealer will come and get the equipment, so there is no down time or expense in having to move it, running or not. This is a major advantage for sellers who are not currently using the truck.
  • Once the dealer buys your truck, it is their risk not yours. It can be a swift transaction and you won’t have to worry about any follow-up hassles.

Cons

  • Dealers buy what they know they can sell, so most dealers will not make an offer if it doesn’t fit their product mix. Although, they are selective, they may also have insight for how to get your big rig sold faster. Maybe you’re pricing it too high for the market. Maybe you’re in the wrong city to sell. Whatever reason there is, they know the business and could pass on a few tips.
  • Dealers are in the business to make money, so do not expect to receive retail for your truck. Dealers spend considerable dollars repairing and refurbishing trucks before they put them up for sale.

By the power of the Internet, people don’t have to rely on just one outlet to sell their stuff. You can post on multiple, free sites and find which is drawing in the best kind of customers. You can also work with multiple people online and offline to take care of the selling for you.

Consider what your priorities are for selling. Are you looking to sell as quickly as possible? Are you holding out for a certain profit? Do you need help transporting it? Decide what is most valuable to you when selling and make a list of “must haves” before moving forward.

You can save a lot of leg work, time, expense, and energy when you go through a dealer or business that is reputable and trustworthy. But online isn’t a bad place to start either. Take time to plan out your next steps and it will save you hassle down the road. The good news is that with so many options available, if one doesn’t work, you can always try another.

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