Dealers Versus Auctions: Where Should You Buy Your Next Tractor?

John Deere Tractors

Buying a new tractor comes with an enormous cost. Not only is the original purchase price a big expense, but the ongoing maintenance and repairs you’ll eventually perform can be tremendously costly. There are a few options available to you:

  • Buy a brand new tractor from a dealer
  • Buy a used tractor from a private owner
  • Buy a used tractor at a farm equipment auction

All three of these options have their pros and cons, so which one is the best choice for you? As with any big ticket purchase, you want to be absolutely sure you’ve got a product that not only suits your needs, but one that you can trust to do its job for years to come. Let’s go over these pros and cons.

Buying New from a Dealer

Used Tractors

Nothing is quite as satisfying as buying a new machine fresh off of the lot, still sparkling like the day it was built. To be sure, just like a car dealer, a tractor dealer or outlet will do everything they can to entice you into the most lucrative deal for them. While this doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t get a quality product, it does mean you’re likely to pay a premium.

Dealers will also try to appeal to you to purchase add-ons and extras like extended warranties. While they can seem like a safe bet, think of it this way. If you’re so concerned that the product will break down that you need an extended warranty, why not shop for a product you have more confidence in instead?

Buying from a dealer offers the benefit of a long-lasting tractor, but it comes at a much higher price. And, just like a new car, it loses value the moment you haul it off the lot.

Buying Used

Private Owners

First and foremost, buying a used tractor doesn’t typically come with the same protections as buying from a dealer. The tractor oftentimes won’t be covered under its warranty anymore, and a private owner can disappear on you after a sale much more easily than a bona fide tractor dealer. For this reason, buying from a private owner is generally a risky idea. While you may have a great experience, there is equal opportunity for you to be taken advantage of.

Parmall Tractors

Tractor Auctions

For those reasons, a tractor auction is your best bet for purchasing a used tractor. Farming equipment auctions give you a real opportunity to see the inventory available to you, learn about the tractors and inspect them, and get a sense of what other buyers are interested in. While this makes for a much more competitive buying atmosphere, you can be more reassured in your decision if other experienced buyers also express interest in the same choice. You can easily find auctions near you with Tractor Zoom.

Not only that, but auctions are inherently public. Just like a dealer, an auction house is much easier to hold accountable if they sell you a faulty product off of the lot. Not only do you have much more protection than buying from a private seller, but you get the low price advantage that used tractors have to offer.

Considering all of these points, tractor auctions offer the best value in terms of price versus product quality. While a new tractor may be even more reliable, they come at such a high cost versus the tradeoff in depreciation. Used tractors are a much more economical choice, but it’s important that you buy from a reputable reseller. Find an auction near you with Tractor Zoom to find your new favorite tractor!

Kyle McMahon

Owner at Tractor Zoom
Kyle McMahon is the founder of Tractor Zoom and leads the company as CEO. As a 3rd generation entrepreneur, Kyle grew up with hard work and curiosity ingrained in his demeanor. Kyle and his Tractor Zoom team are 2018 award winners in the John Pappajohn Entrepreneur Venture Competition.
Kyle McMahon