Courtesy of IronPlanetThe ins and outs of buying and selling used heavy construction equipment online

By Judy Penz Sheluk

There was a time, not so long ago, when the only viable options for buying and selling used heavy construction equipment were onsite auctions and print ads. No longer. Today, online resources are gaining in popularity, and in a big way.

Mascus International BV: Online international marketplace 
Started in 2000, Mascus International BV is headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where more than 100 employees represent 29 nationalities. The company has 58 offices worldwide, including Mascus Canada Inc., a license holder located in Toronto, Ont.

“We went with the license holder model seven years ago because it offered Mascus the opportunity to grow both locally and globally,” said Tim Scholte, CEO. “You can find Mascus in Europe, Australia, Africa, Asia and North America. This is especially important today, when much of the equipment sold doesn’t remain in the country of the seller.”

Scholte compared the Mascus website to Craigslist, albeit for used equipment in seven major categories: agriculture, construction and mining, trucks and trailers, material handling, groundscare, forestry and spare parts. Within each category are several sub-categories. For example, under the master heading “Construction and Mining” is a sub-category of “Piling Equipment,” which is in turn broken down into additional categories, including piling rigs, accessories, hydraulic pile hammers, vibratory pile drivers and rotary drilling heads.

At present, 4,250,000 buyers visit the Mascus website every month. Heavy construction is the strongest category, with approximately 300,000 ads, of which 110,000 fall under construction and mining. Each ad includes photograph(s), a description of the item and the seller’s contact information. Buyers and sellers connect independent of any direct involvement from Mascus, although the company’s expertise is well established.

“I find the staff at Mascus to be knowledgeable about the heavy equipment industry,” said Skipp Fowler, assistant sales and marketing manager at A.L.P.A. Equipment Ltd. in Balmoral, N.B. “They offer up expert advice and have been a pleasure to work with.”

In addition to an online advertising resource, Mascus can also provide additional services, including building dealer websites, or placing an ad on both the Mascus website and existing dealer website and/or Facebook page. They can also work with their clients to enhance mobile solutions, a trend that is growing exponentially.

“Our objective is to streamline the process for the seller, whether that seller is a dealer or an auction company,” said Scholte. “We have a special auction tab, a dealer locator and a Buy/Sell Directory. Under the auction tab, there are more than 10,000 machines being auctioned on any given day by over 150 auction companies. There are another 7,000 dealers advertising.”

Buying and selling online takes trust, something Mascus clients develop quickly.

“Throughout the process of setting up my dealer account, I had nothing but good experiences, from setting up the back end for our website to meeting face-to-face with the Mascus staff at their head office in Amsterdam,” said Darcy Johnston, managing director of Leemar Excavator Components Inc. in Parksville, B.C. “I find the interface easy to use to put products for sale and the crossover to Google search results very high. I also use the site for research and for networking other suppliers all over the world. Lastly, if I ever have a problem, I can pick up the phone and be in touch with someone who can fix whatever issue might arise.”

The bottom line?

“If you’re looking to buy or sell a machine,” said Scholte, “we want Mascus to be the place you start.”


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Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.