Kansas dealerships are finding success in packaging traded-in precision equipment with used farm machinery.

Jack Zemlicka, Technology Editor

The winter months are prime for manufacturers to introduce new precision farming technology to the market, but as some dealers are finding, not all customers want or need the latest and greatest technology.

“As precision equipment has been out longer and longer, we’re seeing the next generation of customers, and because of this we’re seeing demand for used equipment,” notes Josh Barnaby, precision farming specialist with O’Malley Equipment Co., a John Deere dealership in Independence, Kan.

Barnaby and Jacob Stich, precision farming specialist at the O’Malley Equipment location in Iola, Kan., chatted with Precision Farming Dealer at the Ag Connect Expo in Kansas City, about their success packaging used precision equipment with used farm machinery.

While they acknowledge that selling used precision equipment on it’s own doesn’t generate significant revenue, there is money to be made if a traded-in monitor or guidance system can be sold with the same tractor or implement it came with.

“This allows us to keep the same generation of equipment together and also allows that customer who wants to buy used equipment to buy at a lower price point,” Barnaby says. “It’s an easier sell because he doesn’t have to worry about buying used machinery and trying to install new precision equipment.”

The customers already know that the technology will work with the machinery, says Stich, and that gives them confidence in the purchase.

Plus, he says, it’s given O’Malley an entry point for farmers new to precision farming.

“We’ve been able to go after guys who aren’t as far along with technology or are maybe a little scared of it and have sticker shock with the price of new products,” Stich says. “This allows us to sell new stuff to the early adopters and then take their used stuff on trade-in and still have somewhere to go with it.”

The goal is to set a price that is attractive to new precision customers and then sit down with them and decide where they want to go with technology in the next several years.

But Stich says there was initial concern as to whether the demand would meet the supply of used precision equipment the dealerships were taking in.

“We were a little bit concerned at the beginning to make sure we didn’t get a pile of used stuff sitting on the shelves,” he says. “But we’ve had very good luck with it and advertising online and being willing to ship all over the country has helped.”

Plus, the dealership will only re-sell precision equipment that its technicians can support. By being selective, this reduces inventory and also ensures that customers will get the support they need, notes Barnaby.

“We stay with products that we really understand and know to be able to market it,” he says. “You can’t market everything.”

This approach allows customers to get a “complete solution” rather than just products, notes Stich.

“It helps us because we then lock them in as a customer,” he says. “Because they trust us a little bit more and we’re not just pushing the equipment — we’re trying to find a solution that fits their needs.”