Equipment Disposition Infographic

As a result of consistently trying to stay current, many organizations have a surplus of used industrial equipment lying around and gathering dust. Often this equipment is taking up valuable space on the shop floor or spare parts shelves, and it’s in the company’s best interest to reclaim the space.

Maintaining and storing bulky equipment takes money, labor, and storage space that your company could use elsewhere. But what are your options to efficiently discard used or unwanted industrial equipment? As you will soon see, there are many options for disposing of your used machinery and equipment. Here are five equipment disposition options: private treaty sale, donation, selling through a broker, scrapping, and auction or liquidation.

1. Private Treaty Sale

Start with trying to sell the equipment back to the distributor or manufacturer. Many equipment manufacturers are in the business of buying back their used equipment and refurbishing it for resale. You can also contact other companies in your industry to generate interest in your unwanted equipment. That may be a tougher sell, as some corporations make it a policy not to do business with competitors.Attempting to sell equipment privately can take time, money, patience, and a little bit of luck. Depending on your situation, you may not have much of any of these. There is a better way of doing things, but more on that later.

2. Donate It

Feeling charitable? Although this probably isn't the ideal option, you may be able to donate your item to a charity for tax credit. If your business is a restaurant, for example, you can give used kitchen equipment to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter. If you have used medical equipment, you may be able to donate it to the Canadian Red Cross. In this case, always make sure that the organization has the proper paperwork so you can get a tax deduction.

If your item is very industry-specific, it may be hard to find a place that will take it. Most places will take a used computer or clothing, but a used tractor or hydraulic press? Not so many. If you have construction or mining equipment, the Historical Construction Equipment Association has a museum archive for old machines.

3. Find a Broker                                                                              

If you are unable to sell your item, consider an equipment broker. Brokers have a network of contacts in different industries, and thus have access to buyers and options not available to the general public. Keep in mind that a broker will charge a commission from the sale (or a flat fee), so they do not come cheap. 

However, you do get peace of mind with your fee. The broker takes care of everything, from finding a buyer, to negotiations, and even final closing procedures.

4. Scrap It

Can’t seem to get rid of your item? If your gear is too old or is too broken to repair, scrapping may be the only option. Recycling industrial equipment may still get you some money, and you can rest easy knowing you are helping the environment. There may even be services that will take your item away for free and give you cash.

Though any money you recoup for your used equipment is probably minimal, it is better than letting it sit around. If you are looking for more information about scrapping, such as the best place to scrap items near you, The Scrap Metal Forum is a community with a wealth of information. 

5. Auction It

Auctions are an excellent method of selling, especially for high-demand items. When you auction with a website like Aucto, you get three distinct benefits you will not get by selling privately: a process of sale that puts you in control, increased visibility, and a convenient way to sell several items.

The first benefit you get from an online auction is control. Where you would have to arrange a time with a potential buyer to look at and pick up your item, Aucto allows you to sell according to your schedule. We even have a comprehensive listing service, in case you want us to sell your item for you. Click here to learn more about our online industrial auction platform

The second benefit that an auction gives you is access to buyers you might not usually encounter. The more people that see your listing, the higher the potential demand for your item. As a result, you increase the chance you have to sell your item quickly for a favorable price.

Finally, if you have several items for sale, an auction is also a good way to get rid of them in one go. Where you would potentially have to set up several different sellers if you had many items, Aucto gives you a centralized place to sell them all. Since Aucto has no fees for sellers, you keep more of that money in your pocket. It’s like getting a broker’s network of contacts, but not having to pay their fee. 

Ready to auction? Here are some additional auction resources you may want to consider:


Used machinery, parts, and other equipment need not gather dust. You can still find ways to make use of them or dispose of them and get something in return. Consider your options in getting rid of used equipment and make the best decision that works for you. 

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