How to Sell Business Equipment

If you are planning to close a business or you have surplus equipment or inventory, how do you go about selling it? We understand this can be a difficult time for you. Here are some questions you may want to consider. 

What do I need to sell? – If you need to sell surplus equipment, make a list. If you are ready for a complete liquidation of a business, an inventory of the equipment is convenient, but may not be necessary.  Sometimes it might be easier to make a list of equipment that you will not be selling. 


Do I owe creditors for my equipment? If you owe money on your business equipment that you want to sell, it is a good idea to communicate with the creditor and discuss that you intend to sell the business equipment. The creditor will be entitled to the proceeds of the equipment up to the amount you owe them. 

If your business equipment is worth less than what you owe them, your creditor may still allow you to sell the items with all the proceeds going to them. This is especially common if your loan for the business equipment was a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan that is guaranteed by the federal government. In that case, your creditor will have a few extra steps that will need to be done before the business equipment is sold. 


What are my options to sell my business equipment?  

Sell Directly to an Equipment Dealer – This option will usually provide you with the fastest access to cash. Dealers that specialize in your type of equipment are usually looking for inventory to sell. This method does not often result in top dollar, as the dealer needs to buy the equipment low enough to resell at a profit. 

Sell Directly to a Similar Business – This option generally will give you access to some of the highest prices. You will need to take the time to identify businesses that would use similar equipment as you. Once identified, you’ll need to reach out to those businesses and negotiate a sale to them. Oftentimes, this can be difficult as businesses typically don’t need large amounts of equipment. Also, this method sometimes results in selling the best pieces of equipment and leaving you with the least desirable pieces of equipment left to sell. In most cases, this process will be tedious and very time-consuming. If you sell the best pieces of equipment, you will probably lose the opportunity to have an auction on the remainder.

Sell at Auction If you need to sell business equipment, , utilizing an experienced auction company, will generate one of the highest returns with minimal work on your part. However, this method does require some additional time (typically 14 to 28 days before an auction is complete), and some expenses (commissions & marketing expenses are common depending on your situation). Done properly, an auction will generate fair market value on all your items in one event and provide you complete closure on the items you are selling. 

Since 1983, Jones Swenson Auctions has been helping business owners to turn assets into cash, whether it is surplus equipment or a complete liquidation.

Call Jones Swenson Auctions today for a no-obligation consultation: (512)261-3838 or email the president & chief auctioneer, Scott Swenson at

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