Equipment Appraisal Blog | Understanding Machinery Appraisals

Donating Older Equipment vs. Trying to Sell

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Jan 08, 2024 @ 07:30 AM

donating used equipment versus selling machine appraisal

We see many instances where business owners and individuals no longer need to operate used machinery or have recently acquired older equipment and personal property as part of a larger purchase or estate settlement. In any of these cases, the assets are no longer useful, and there becomes a need to decide the best option for transferring ownership.

The first thought is usually determining the ability to sell or liquidate the assets; however, this process may be difficult, especially if demand is limited or the owner is unfamiliar with the potential resale markets. As an alternative, donating the property to a local business, university, training school, or non-profit organization might be a better choice. The benefits of a tax deduction and supporting your community or alma mater might outweigh the uncertainty and time-consuming process of trying to sell the items on your own.

Before you decide which options are best, it is a good idea to consult with your accountant as well as an accredited professional appraiser, especially if you know the total value of the donation will be significant. The IRS rule is that an independent appraisal is required as part of any deduction claim in excess of $5,000. You must also include Form 8283 as part of your income tax filing. The form needs to be signed by you, the appraiser, and the party you are donating to.

The cost of the appraisal can sometimes become a challenge in comparison to the tax benefit. For example, suppose you have dozens of small items that are being donated together, and all need to be appraised. In that case, the total value might not support the cost given the valuation process will be time-consuming. You need to broadly calculate your expected tax deduction by approximating the total value of your donation and multiplying it by your estimated adjusted income tax percentage.

As an example, a $50,000 donation would result in a $10,000 deduction for someone in the 20% tax bracket. If the appraisal costs $5,000, you will end up with a $5,000 overall benefit for the donation. A lower overall value for your donation will create a more price-sensitive situation regarding the appraisal cost, and vice versa.

It is important to review and discuss these scenarios with your accountant and the appraiser to try and create an affordable option that makes sense for you. Grouping together some of the less expensive items for the purpose of valuing them might be one viable way to save on the time and cost of completing the appraisal. The focus can then be placed on the higher-valued property for the purpose of detailing and itemizing the report.

Tags: donation appraisal, selling equipment, used equipment, equipment donations, used machinery

Options When Selling Your Used Business Machinery and Equipment

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Dec 11, 2023 @ 07:30 AM

Selling Used Equipment and Machinery

At least once a year, business owners will take stock of their current operation, while planning for the coming year, determining what changes may need to be implemented to continue on a successful track. One of these improvement areas might pertain to the sale of certain used equipment, which are now considered too old to maintain effectively or are in excess of existing production needs.

It can be challenging to take this project on alone, and fortunately, there are options you can consider that can facilitate the process. Here are a few to think about:

Sell or Trade to Your Dealer

Similar to selling your personal cars or trucks, the first place you might think of is the dealer who sold you the equipment when it was brand new. If you’re looking to replace your older assets with new models of the same manufacturer, the local dealer should provide you with trade-in options. Even if you don’t plan on buying a new machine, they may offer to purchase it outright at or near a trade-in level value. If not, they may agree to broker your used equipment through their resale networks for a reasonable commission once sold.

Listing in Online Trade Journals

There are several reputable national websites available to consider listing your used equipment with. Virtually any type of machinery or vehicle is supported by these platforms. They offer a large network of sellers the ability to list their assets with exposure to thousands of potential buyers. You can include photos, detailed specifications, asking prices, and your direct contact information with the listing. If you are not in a rush to liquidate your used equipment, you might want to consider this option as it may ultimately realize a higher resale value for a low cost.


The auction industry continues to grow every year and provides sellers with an option that is a one-stop, fully managed effort, from the marketing, resale, pickup, and delivery of your used equipment. The booming growth of online auctions, especially post-pandemic, makes this option even more attractive, as the number of potential bidders has expanded to those who cannot physically attend the sale. The auction route has more costs and risks, given the ease of the process and more immediate outcomes. You should, therefore, research and determine the best auctioneer to work with who can mitigate these concerns for you.

Tags: Equipment Auction, selling equipment, used equipment, used equipment dealers

Older Equipment Values Will Generally Hold Up Over Time

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Mar 20, 2023 @ 07:30 AM

Equipment Machinery Used Value Appraisal Appraiser

Image Source: Bob Adams license

Many small to mid-size businesses that utilize a lot of machinery will likely have several older pieces of equipment that still operate efficiently and effectively. As long as maintenance practices have been steady over the years, older equipment will continue to be an important component of your company’s operation, and you can avoid the need to spend a lot of money replacing them.

When you look at how these older assets depreciate and resell in the used markets, you soon realize that once they hit a certain age level, their value will begin to level off, assuming they’ve been taken care of over their lifetime.

As a general rule, many types of machinery and equipment will depreciate more during the first half of their useful life and slow down considerably over the second half. That is due to factors such as lapses in warranties, no recapture for initial up-front sales costs such as taxes, freight, rigging, and overall secondary market behavior, which, over the years, has created this pattern based on the buying and selling habits of equipment owners.

The closer machinery gets to the end of its life, the slower this annual loss in value will be. Depending on the type of equipment, once it falls within a certain age range, say 10-15 years old, you will see no material difference in what those same models sell for in the secondary market. Even 20+-year-old pieces of machinery, considered well past their normal life will resell at similar levels as long as they remain in operable condition and have had components parts replaced when necessary.

This concept is also bolstered by the highly active secondary markets for used equipment with both private and public sales activity reaching billions of dollars every year. As an example, if you track this activity, you will commonly see a 15–20-year-old wheel loader sell in the same price range as a 10-12-year-old machine. Of course, there are other variables at play, such as the commonality and availability of certain model types, condition, and competition, however, the fact remains that older assets will have a much smaller value differential than newer machines.

The practices of owners and operators, as well as the buyers and sellers of used and new machinery, have helped create this pattern, and it has remained consistent over the decades. There is no denying that equipment loses much of its original new value over time. Once you better understand how it depreciates year to year, the more knowledge you will have when you are in the market to buy and sell these types of assets.

Tags: used equipment, Machinery & Equipment Appraisals, value

Used Truck and Heavy Equipment Pricing Remains Elevated

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Oct 31, 2022 @ 07:30 AM


Machinery Equipment Appraisals Used Pricing Inflation

Image Source Flickr NCDOTcommunications license

If you thought the end of the year might bring some normalization to the used vehicle and heavy equipment markets, think again. With two months to go until 2023, there has been little, if any, downward movement in price levels, and best-case predictions are that prices will level off to around 20-25% higher than in 2019-2020.

Even the most optimistic analysis for potential buyers will amount to the fact that normal depreciated loss in value seen year to year for used machinery has not only been wiped out but, has been substantially reversed in the form of appreciation. What is likely to happen is at least another year of inflated values for used equipment until the supply chain issues have been significantly adjusted to allow for new vehicle and equipment manufacturing levels to meet demand again. The effect of this is vastly higher than any typical annual cost of living increase which shakes up every measuring stick used in the past several decades.

This type of market activity has also thrown the appraisal industry for a loop. Recent vintage assets (1-5 years old) can commonly be seen priced where new machinery should be, and even above this level at times. Older equipment (10-20 years) levels are now where you’re used to seeing them for slightly used machines. The longer these trends continue, the more weight appraisers will need to place on this effect.

Common pricing databases are now reflecting these patterns as well. What was once thought to be difficult to support from a longer-term trend perspective is now becoming a permanent adjustment in the market that will likely not reverse even when things start to normalize. Insurance companies will need to consider this if they haven’t already when estimating depreciated replacement cost settlements for personal property. Accountants may see an opportunity to recapitalize their company’s asset values based on the support of the data being presented.

Similar to what has recently occurred with inflation on things like gas and food costs, the price will peak so greatly that when it eventually settles, it will probably remain significantly higher than it was a few years ago. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that the longer-term effects of inflation aren’t a big deal, and that pricing will go back to where it was “back then”. Based on everything we’ve seen in 2022, along with recent predictions from the experts in the field, we should get used to the elevated pricing in the used vehicle and equipment markets.

If you believe an updated valuation of your company’s assets might make sense given these changes in the market, ensure you engage with an accredited, certified appraiser to best understand the effects this may have on your long-term goals.

Tags: used equipment, used equipment values, Machinery & Equipment Appraisals, used machinery, inflation

Used Equipment Values: Making Sense of the Data

Posted by Equipment Appraisal Services on Mon, Jan 10, 2022 @ 07:00 AM

Machinery Equipment Appraiser Appraisal Value Used

There will come a time when your business or individual practice will need to appraise your used equipment. You may have a desire to sell and replace with newer machinery, refinance an existing inventory, seek new investors, settle an estate or transfer the assets of the business into a new entity. Depending on the type of equipment you own and operate, the amount of data available to review in the marketplace will range from overwhelming to non-existent

The most difficult step in the process of estimating used equipment value is making sense of the information you uncover, or lack thereof. For commonly resold assets such as construction equipment, trucks, and forklifts, you can find many similar comparisons in the market, however, the range in pricing can vary greatly. On the other hand, if you own a specialized piece of machinery that is customized to your specific operational needs, the resale market will not be the best place to search for information.

Equipment appraisers face these challenges every day, which is an excellent reason to consider engaging with an experienced, accredited valuation expert to assist in this effort. Over time, a seasoned appraiser will have developed sound strategies to reasonably determine value regardless of the type of assets you own. In the meantime, here are a few tips that can help you along the way:

Consider Multiple Sources

It’s not uncommon to see used equipment with the same year, make and model selling for vastly different prices in the marketplace at the same time. This could be due to any number of variables such as condition, hours/mileage, location, and recent refurbishments being completed. Oftentimes it's simply because dealers are testing the waters to see if they can obtain an inflated price given no immediate concern to sell. With all these factors at play, it is difficult to make sense of the varying data.

It’s important to investigate as many distinct sources as you believe reasonable and see if you can determine patterns that will allow you to better value your equipment.

Look at Multiple Perspectives

Given the inconsistent data found in the marketplace, alternate perspectives can bring the valuation process into better focus. Research what you paid for the equipment when you originally purchased it and consider the history of your usage and time since it was acquired. Determine what you believe to be a reasonable useful life for that equipment along with typical levels of depreciation that make sense in the context of your experiences as an owner-operator.

Finally, consider contacting your local equipment vendor to discuss what similar new equipment is selling for and gather their opinions on the current market.

Recognize the Specific Premise of Value You Need to Measure

Appraisers can provide estimates of value at different market levels, and your situation may fall into one or another, as you determine the need to sell. If you are in a hurry to turn your assets into cash, or just don’t have a lot of time to market your equipment, consider an Orderly or Forced Liquidation. If you are selling the assets as part of a larger transaction and the purchaser will be taking over some or all of your operation, then Fair Market Value is realistic, with consideration for applicable installation costs and related expenses to bring the equipment into operation.

In summary, it is always a good idea to consider bringing in an experienced appraiser to help you through this analysis who can develop an independent, unbiased process that will be supported by one or all of these methodologies.

Tags: machinery valuation, used equipment, used equipment values, equipment valuation, Machinery & Equipment Appraisals, used machinery