Electricians & Plumbers | How To Sell Your Equipment When You Retire

Series: Retiring Your Trade Business | How To Profit When You Exit
Article 1

First things, first. The Auction Masters team wants to thank every tradesperson and trade business owner for their commitment to keep America running. The results produced from work in electricity and plumbing are an essential part of our American infrastructure. 

People take for granted that every time they flip on a light switch or turn on a faucet, there is an electrician or plumber responsible. And without trades like electricity and plumbing, nothing could happen in our modern world. 

Our team would argue that a successful career in owning a trade company is one of the most useful that exists in the United States. When it comes to the trade industries, there are few more respected and revered careers than that of an electrician or plumber. 

In recent years, the trade industry has seen massive gains in popularity and it is now beginning to receive the respect it deserves, amongst the community at large, as a very valuable and treasured industry to pursue a career in. 

With all of this being said, there are few things more bittersweet than creating a lifelong business in the trade industry and then retiring. You understand the value that your business has brought to the community. You also understand the necessity for electricity and the use of electrical equipment is not going away. However, you may be experiencing an issue with passing on your business to the next generation in your family. Often, young adults take different career paths than their parents did. When you own a business and you don’t have someone that plans to inherit that business, you are left with some decisions to make when retirement approaches.

In the next 2 articles, we will give some valuable how-to’s on selling your trades business equipment for the most profit possible. 

In article 1…

We’ll look at a few popular sales arenas for used electrical, plumbing, and other trade equipment. Then we’ll narrow down our list to a sales venue that has proven to be one of the most efficient and stable. With it comes a list of great opportunities. 
Next, we’ll explore the buyer’s mindset. What will the most valuable customers be looking for when it comes to purchasing used electrical equipment?

In article 2…

We’ll provide you with a step-by-step process for getting ready and selling your equipment.
Finally, we’ll give you tips on what to search for in a trusted partner. Your goal is to find a team that can help you create a successful sales campaign.

NOTE* Your most valuable action is smart research. If you’re reading this, you likely run and/or own a trade business. So you know how important trusted partnerships are. You also likely know that you’ll be in good shape if you can find a trusted service that delivers success for you and satisfaction for your customers. 

DIY Sales

There is always the good ‘ol fashion do-it-yourself approach that some folks embrace with a passion. Of course, marketing and sales aren’t necessarily the easiest and cost-effective DIY activities a person attempts. Making a mistake or bad decision with ad dollars can get unaffordably expensive very quickly. You will also be required to invest a lot of manpower into the process of selling it yourself. As you’re likely aware, you’ll need to advertise and create an outreach plan that informs and excites potential customers. You’ll need to take detailed inventory and catalogue all of your findings. 

You’ll also need to research and determine reasonable prices for every piece of equipment. Realize that this option is a very meticulous process that will need photography, pricing, posting and listing to traditional and digital media. You’ll need to run extensive promotions for the event and items being sold. And if you’re acting as the broker, then you’re very likely going to negotiate prices during every sale with potential buyers. Finally, you’ll need a plan to remove the equipment. 

Internet Channels – i.e. Facebook and Ebay

Social channels like Facebook and online sales channels like Ebay have become popular venues for some types of sales items. They are fine options for people looking to sell a small host of items, but they aren’t suitable for selling business equipment at the scale you will likely need if you are liquidating your business. Another common understanding is that purchasing goods from Ebay isa gamble. Online sales channels like Facebook and Ebay have no way of screening tools and equipment that they’re advertising. 

Used Equipment Dealers

You may be able to sell the equipment through a used equipment dealer. A challenge that electrical and plumbing companies face with this option is the fact that most equipment dealers are only able to sell certain types of products. They won’t be able to help you sell everything that your trade business offers. Actually, finding a used equipment dealer that specializes in selling trade equipment can be very difficult and you’ll often find that their price points don’t necessarily provide an advantage over brand new items bought in retail.

The Auction Experience

If you want to give your business the best chance at success, then you likely want to create an event around selling your equipment. And there is no better way to create an “event” atmosphere than through an auction. At Auction Masters, we specialize in creating an unforgettable experience for both buyers and sellers alike. We’re connected to a valuable network of buyers who are looking for equipment just like yours. We use the latest and most effective marketing strategies to reach buyers who will be most interested in purchasing your equipment. We make sure you’re getting the best prices for your supplies with no haggling at all. On top of all this, our team works to make your selling experience a painless one. 

Your Full-Service Operation 

Speaking of painless, if you work with Auction Masters to liquidate your entire business, our team can take you from a warehouse and offices filled with equipment, tools, and implements, to a completely clear, broom swept facility in just a matter of weeks. When we say “painless” we mean that you as the seller will generally have to do nothing except wait for the check to come!

The Buyer’s Mindset

So what is your most valuable buyer looking for? In short, they will know what they want and have an idea of the price they are willing to pay for it. Most likely, these buyers are just starting their business, or they are a company looking to expand or merge with another. A smart electrical or plumbing contractor will likely ask solid, informed questions before they consider buying various pieces of equipment. For instance, if they’ve bought from an online source before, they may have received a faulty piece of equipment and they’ll be wary of it happening again. 

If you can place the buyers’ minds at ease and show them that you and your sales partners are trustworthy, then you’ve put yourself in a great beginning position. In our next article, we will explore the step-by-step process for getting ready to sell your equipment. Then we’ll give you tips on what to search for in a trusted partner. If you follow the tried and true tips and tricks in these articles, you will surely enjoy the experience of a profitable sales event for your trade business when you retire. 

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What our clients say

"I have worked with Greg and Sharon and their staff at Auction Masters for many years and it has always been a positive experience. Everything from selling whole restaurant equipment packages to selling the odd item at their consignment auctions. They are talented professionals that operate with integrity for both the buyer and the seller. I recommend using Auction Masters, whether buying or selling without reservation. I believe they are among the best at what they do!" 

- Jon, CEO

— Jon, CEO