Maximize Your Forklift’s Trade-In Value

by Ryan Francis, on Apr 14, 2024 10:57:03 PM

Maximize Your Forklift’s Trade-In Value

Imagine you're looking at two used sedans. One was repaired after a nasty collision, and the other was only driven on Sundays. Do you think they'll be worth the same? Of course not. Each vehicle's specific history influences its value. Likewise, buyers calculate used forklift values based on the individual truck. Forklifts in better condition with more in-demand features are more valuable than poorly maintained trucks without.

However, several predictable factors increase forklift resale value, and no matter the condition, there are things you can do to maximize your trade-in. Read on to learn what factors affect resale value and what you can do to score the best offer on your used forklift.

Factors that Affect Used Forklift Values

Five factors influence forklift resale value.

1. Maintenance

As you might suspect, a well-maintained forklift is more valuable than one held together by ad hoc, in-house modifications. Like a new forklift, a used forklift is an investment, and that investment has a better ROI if the truck is in good working order. Consequently, you'll get a better bid on your well-cared-for forklift than one that's limping along.

2. Age and Operating Hours

Similarly, age and operating hours play a significant role in trade-in value. Forklifts with less than 10,000 working hours and younger than seven years are worth the most. After that, the forklift resale value drops significantly. However, forklifts have an average lifespan of 25,000 to 30,000 hours. So, even older trucks retain some value.

3. Fuel Type

Fuel type can be a double-ended sword. Gas and LP fork trucks dominate the market. With so many options, they fetch lower prices than electric units. However, battery condition plays a big part in electric forklift trade-ins. Batteries that won't hold a charge mean the forklift is out of commission, dramatically reducing its value.

4. Configuration and Accessories

Installing accessories can make your forklift more valuable depending on the market's needs. For example, forklift attachments like side shifters or fork positioners are very attractive to buyers. Therefore, these accessories generally increase used forklift values. If you're trading in a forklift with an accessory, ensure it meets OSHA requirements before trying to sell it.

5. Overall Appearance

Like any good business relationship, first impressions matter. A well-loved but clean-looking forklift will earn a better bid than an old rust bucket, even if everything else about them is the same. Everyone understands that the average forklift will earn its fair share of dings and dents. However, the fresher your truck looks, the better it will sell.

How To Boost Forklift Resale Value

Resale value doesn't have to be a roll of the dice. Whether you are looking to trade in your forklift now or hope to one day in the future, here are five things you can do to maximize your truck's value.

1. Regular Preventative Maintenance

For forklifts, routine planned maintenance is like a healthy diet and exercise. It’s systemically beneficial without a single downside. However, just like a healthy diet and exercise, not everyone makes it a priority. Keeping up with the maintenance on your forklift improves resale value in two ways:

  1. It helps your forklift stand out from all the others with mediocre maintenance histories.
  2. It extends your forklift's life, making it a better investment for potential buyers.

Ensuring your forklift receives the appropriate preventative maintenance is one of the best things you can do to improve its resale value.

2. Do Your Research

Just like selling a car, it's best to weigh your options. Look up the wholesale cost of your model to establish a baseline estimate. A buyer will pay somewhere around that wholesale price for fork trucks in good condition with average working hours. Then, collect bids from several dealers who buy used forklifts.

3. Spruce Up Your Truck

You wouldn't go into a job interview without looking the part, and neither should your forklift. Give your truck a good wash, clean up any rust, touch up the paint, and make sure it is free of personal items. Then, take high-quality photos of it from every angle. Include these in the materials you send to potential buyers.


4. Organize Maintenance Records

The more complete the documentation you can provide, the better. At a minimum, you’ll need proof of ownership, receipt of purchase, and warranty documentation. Maintenance records supplement those documents and provide buyers a comprehensive view of the forklift’s condition. The better and more organized your records, the more bargaining power you’ll have.

5. Have a Pitch Ready

Trading in your forklift is a sale like any other. Be ready to highlight the best qualities of your truck while acknowledging its limitations. Negotiations are common in these transactions, and you should plan to haggle with anyone who buys old forklifts.

We Buy Any Forklift

Who buys used forklifts? We do! At Southern States Toyotalift, we make selling your used forklift easy. If you are in our region, we'll come to you to evaluate your older fork truck. Otherwise, send us photos and the pertinent documentation.

In most cases, we'll have a bid back to you within 24 hours. There's never any concern that we'll decline your truck. We buy any forklift. We even purchase rough terrain forklifts, spotter trucks, aerial equipment, front-end loaders, and backhoes. Whatever equipment you're selling, we'll cut you a check or offer you the same value for a trade-in. It's that simple. We'll even pick up the equipment, saving you the transportation hassle. Don't let your used forklift go to waste. If you're ready to trade in your old model, contact us online or visit one of our locations throughout Georgia and Florida.

Toyota Material Handing offers up to $2,500 on select trades for a limited time.
Expires April 30, 2024. *Certain conditions apply. 
Click here to see the flyer.

GEORGIA: Albany, Macon, Midland, Valdosta
FLORIDA: Jacksonville, Ocala, Orlando, Lakeland, Tampa, Winter Haven

Further Reading

2024_Trade Up to Toyota_DigitalAds_300x250

Topics:Finance and LeasingForkliftsUsed Equipment

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