How can you tell if a used forklift price is fair? It's an important question to ask; forklifts are useful tools, but nobody can deny they're often the pricier pieces of machinery a business might need.
When weighing your options between used vs new forklifts, it is easy to get pulled in by the lowest price you see. However, with this article we'll discuss why that isn't all you need to be considering.
What's a Good Used Forklift Price?
As should be obvious, there is no single "good" used forklift price. There are dozens and dozens of models out there that are built for a variety of user needs.
That said, there are some general rules that can help you determine what sort of pricing makes sense for the model you're looking at:
- For the models most businesses need a forklift with the capacity of 3000 to 5000 lbs.
- Electric forklifts are generally cheaper than internal combustion models that are otherwise similar
- Pneumatic models will be the priciest of all but also tend to have the highest lift capabilities of similarly sized models
Decide How Much Power You Need
If your business involves unpacking pallets of products that weigh a few hundred to, at most, a few thousand pounds, you probably want to focus on electric models. They will be the most affordable option for you and should still be more than enough to suit your needs.
Meanwhile, if your business needs some serious lifting power, you will want to do a deeper dive into your exact needs. Figure out at least roughly how much weight your machines will be lifting. Then you need to determine the maximum weight you expect the machine will need to handle.
These two numbers will guide what a good price is for you. It doesn't matter how cheap a model is if it can't handle the weights you've determined you'll be dealing with.
If you cheap out and push your forklift, it not only can break the machine, but it could be dangerous and even illegal. Forklift use is regulated and for good reason; these are powerful machines that deal with loads that could be big trouble if they tip or fall.
Watch Out for Tricks
There is plenty of general advice one should keep in mind to avoid being scammed. As a general set of rules, you should be able to meet someone in person and test the lift before you purchase it.
Places like Craigslist and other traditional used sites may sell forklifts, but you should go with a professional used lift seller like CITrucks. We fell that we sell the best used forklifts, but this isn't just some advertisement; professional sellers are invested in actually getting repeat business while amateur sellers just want to get rid of their lift and get the best price they can.
Once you actually make a purchase, it is hard to get your money back from an amateur seller even if they ripped you off. It's unlikely you'll want to go to court over the purchase (and may have a hard time even if you do) and sellers know that. This doesn't make every smaller sale a ripoff but it is something to always keep in mind.
As for common seller scamming tactics specific to forklifts (or at least industrial machinery), watch out for any changes to plating or inaccuracies in the listing. If you notice what seems like a willful inaccuracy in the way a lift is presented, walk away. The used market is fraught with cheats and it could be downright deadly to buy a forklift that isn't what the seller claims.