Safe online auction buying practices

No matter who you are, or what you are buying, everyone has concerns about making an online purchase. The tips that can keep you safe when you are online shopping for clothing or home goods are similar to those someone buying agriculture equipment online would want to follow. An important rule is to look for the padlock symbol when making a purchase. You will also want to make sure the website address is “https” and not just “http.” The “s” in the first address stands for secure.


But beyond these basics of online safety, what are the best tips for ensuring that your online equipment purchase is safe and secure?


Do your research

Not only should you research the online auction site you are considering purchasing from, but it is also wise to research the trends surrounding the particular equipment you want to buy. For instance, different models may be more in demand during certain months than others, affecting the price. Farm Equipment’s blogger, Machinery Pete, looked at the search traffic for three combine models—the Case IH 7230, 8230 and 7088. He found that in 2016, the 7230 was a more popular search in the month of December, with the 8230 popular in September and the 7088 in November of that year.[1] Knowing this kind of information can potentially save you money.


Know a good deal

The age of the used machinery is important to know. The sweet spot for buying used equipment, whether online or at a regular auction, is between three and eight years old. Also, examine the equipment—a new paint job may simply indicate fading from the sun, but rust, dents or other signs of wear and tear could signify bigger mechanical problems down the road. Sticking with brand-name equipment that appears in good condition is likely to be most cost-effective for you in the long run, unless you are very handy when it comes to repairs. The downside of this, according to Farm Industry News, is “dealers say that brand-name, low-hour equipment that is in good condition is currently in high demand and short supply.”[2] If your purchase is newer, be sure to ask if there is still any warranty in effect.


Pay attention to photos

At a live auction, you can literally kick the tires of a piece of equipment. Online, you have to rely on the pictures the seller is posting. Examine each image carefully to spot any signs of wear or other issues. And don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for additional photos if you don’t see some particular aspect of the machinery. The written description provided should be just as detailed. If you aren’t familiar with a particular manufacturer or model, you can always reach out to other farmers for their insights at AgTalk.[3]


Buying used agriculture equipment online can be a challenge but it doesn’t have to be. Buy on reputable sites like Proxibid, which takes extra care to ensure buyers are safe when transacting