Are you a restaurant owner looking to upgrade your equipment or close down your business? Do you have used restaurant equipment that you no longer need and want to sell for the highest return possible? Selling used restaurant equipment can be a positive experience if done correctly. However, the process can be overwhelming, and knowing where to start can be a challenge.
In this blog, we will guide you through the process of how and where to sell used restaurant equipment. We will provide you with practical tips and resources to maximize your return and minimize your stress. Keep reading to learn more about the steps you need to take to sell your used restaurant equipment successfully. By the end of this blog, you will be equipped with the knowledge and tools you need to sell your equipment efficiently and for the highest return possible.
Why Should You Sell Used Restaurant Equipment?
If you are a restaurant owner and are planning to close your doors, and you do not own the building, you must do something with the equipment. Your choices are to take the equipment to storage for future use or to sell it. The choice of remaining in a rented space is impractical since rent will start to add up and there is no income because the business is closed. Storing the equipment involves the expense of moving and storage and many times is not the wisest business decision. This leaves you with the task of selling the restaurant equipment.
How to Sell Used Restaurant Equipment?
There are two ways to sell your equipment, do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.
Selling Your Restaurant Equipment Yourself:
This process will be time consuming and probably makes the most sense if you have a small amount of equipment to sell. You will need to take an inventory of all the equipment you want to sell and take photographs of each piece. Make sure when taking photographs that you take all angles, inside and outside. If there is a flaw such as a scratch, be sure to take a photo of that as well. This way potential buyers will know you are not trying to slip something past them. Next you will need to put together a marketing plan. Where will you advertise your equipment? When you find someone interested in one of your pieces of equipment, you will need to be prepared to negotiate with them. Once you have finalized a sale, you will need to oversee the removal and loading of the equipment. You can require the buyer to handle the loading, but it the equipment is hard wire or plumbed, you will have a better peace of mind if you have an electrician and/or plumber disconnect the equipment before the buyer removes it. You will need to repeat this process until all of the equipment is sold.
Hire Someone to Sell Your Restaurant Equipment:
There are several options available when hiring someone to sell your equipment for you. The easiest way is to hire a professional business liquidation auctions company. They will take care of everything listed above including taking inventory, photography, marketing, conducting the sale, collecting funds and overseeing the removal. They also know where to market the equipment and how to list it in the catalog.
Other options include having an online marketplace list and selling your equipment. This will still require you to provide an inventory and photographs and oversee removal, but the online platform will provide the marketing and conduct the sale for you. Depending upon the platform, you still may have to collect the funds from the buyer. The advantage to this method is that you may save a little on commissions paid. The disadvantage is that you may not sell all of the equipment and you will not have professional representation throughout the entire process.
How to Be Prepared to Sell Used Restaurant Equipment?
Preparing to Sell Used Restaurant Equipment
In preparing to sell used restaurant equipment, you need to be aware of things to do in order to receive the highest price the market will bear. All equipment should be cleaned as much as possible and get everything in operable condition. Restaurant equipment that is clean and in working order will always bring more money. If there are owner’s manuals or original receipts available for the equipment, they should be organized in a folder or placed with each respective piece of equipment, so prospective buyers may review them.
Determining the Value of Used Restaurant Equipment
When it comes to pricing your product you want it to be fair, but you also want to receive the best dollar value. A good way to find how to price your item would be to look at what others have sold for in the past or what they are currently selling for now. One way to do that is to check various websites including Facebook Marketplace, eBay or even auction results from a local auctioneer. Be sure to search completed listings or sold items. This can give you an idea of what your product is worth, or not worth, in the competitive market. If you sell through an auction, this step will not be necessary, as the auction market will determine the highest price available in the market.
How to Be Prepared to Sell Used Restaurant Equipment?
Sell Used Restaurant Equipment at Online Marketplaces
When the decision is made to sell your equipment, as the restaurant owner, you must decide where to do so. Let’s start small. Say you have something as simple as a KitchenAid countertop mixer that has been taking up space, or you’ve found a replacement. Countertop mixers are usually always at a decent demand, so you shouldn’t have trouble finding a buyer. The easiest method is to sell via an online platform such as Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay, and many others.
If selling through an online marketplace, you will need to price your equipment, provide a complete description and be prepared to ship the equipment to the buyer or arrange for them to come pick it up in person.
Direct Sell Used Restaurant Equipment to Similar Businesses
While this method may bring you the highest price, it will be necessary to find another restaurant that needs exactly what you are offering to sell. You will need to be able to market to other restaurants, price your equipment and then negotiate the final prices. After the sale, you will need to oversee the removal of the equipment from your facility. The biggest drawback is time. This method may take weeks or months to complete.
Sell Directly to a Restaurant Equipment Dealer
This option will typically give you the fastest access to cash, as a busy restaurant equipment dealer is often looking for equipment to sell in his/her storefront. This is the best route to take when you only have a couple of days to remove your equipment from a facility. This route does not often result in top dollar, as the dealer needs to buy the equipment low enough to resell it for a profit. Usually the prices paid by dealers are lower than what the equipment would bring in a professionally conducted auction.
Sell Used Restaurant Equipment by Auction Company
When deciding upon an auction company in Texas to hire, search the internet for auction companies with experience in selling restaurant equipment. On their websites, check for past auctions of similar equipment and see how long they have been active in the auction industry. Once you make contact with the auction company, you will want to schedule a face to face meeting with their representative and have a walk-through where you can provide information on the equipment and the facility where the sale will take place. A professional auction company will then provide you with a written proposal which should answer most of your questions. Be sure to discuss your time constraints and make sure the auction company can meet your goals and deadlines. Once you hire a professional auction company, you can sit back and relax and let them handle everything.
Why Auction Company is Better to Sell Used Restaurant Equipment?
Eliminate Long Negotiation Periods
This is especially true for high demand or expensive equipment. These assets usually undergo lengthy periods of negotiation just so the seller can find buyers and choose the best offer. During an auction, the seller does not have to negotiate. They only need to hire the right auction company and watch the bids come in.
Don’t Leave Money on the Table
Competition can be fierce in an auction, especially for high demand items. In some cases, the bids in an auction will even exceed the price you may have asked in a traditional sale.
Finding the Buyers for Your Equipment
When trying to sell your restaurant equipment, the biggest challenge is finding the buyers. Knowing how to market your equipment will take a lot of effort. An experienced auction company knows where to find the buyers for your equipment and many times they will have an established database of buyers ready to bid on your type of equipment.
Date of Sale is Known
Auctions have a time limit and give you a set date of when the sale will be complete. Online auctions, usually last from a couple of days to two weeks, giving you a known date of when your equipment will be sold and removed and when you receive your funds.
No Need To Handle Shipping
At auction, buyers are usually responsible for the cost of removal and shipping their purchases. Auction staff will oversee the removal, taking you out of the process completely. Many times auction companies will recommend a shipping company that the buyers can use, especially for buyers out of the area.
More Transparent Than Other Methods
This applies both to sellers and buyers. Buyers can see what the price of the item is and know how much they need to offer to buy it — no hidden charges. For sellers, the auction marketplace allows them to actively monitor how much their items are being sold for. If a business has partners or investors or if a bank loan is involved, this process provides the most transparency.
To Wrap Up
Now, you know what the musts are while selling your used restaurant equipment. You can get the best price when you plan to sell them in the correct way, especially when you are having an auction company, like JONESSWENSON.
Since 1983, the team at Jones Swenson Auctions has been helping business owners in the food service industry turn their used equipment into cash in the most efficient manner possible. From the turn-key liquidation of a complete restaurant or food service business to selling equipment that is surplus to ongoing operations, the Jones Swenson staff is ready to help solve your problems. Most restaurant owners who have an auction, on average, will only do so once in their professional career. For that one experience, it is important to be represented by professionals.