Second-hand auction prices ‘grossly exceeding’ full retail as stock shortage bite

Second-hand auction prices ‘grossly exceeding’ full retail as stock shortage bite

Second-hand vehicles and machinery are selling for record prices as wait times balloon for essential equipment across multiple industries.

Key points:

  • Used vehicles and agricultural equipment are commanding record prices 
  • Pickles Auctions is launching an agricultural division to encourage farmers to sell unused machinery
  • With harvest looming, agricultural machinery dealers suspect some farmers won’t have all the machinery they need

Industrial auction markets selling everything from second-hand vehicles to agricultural equipment were setting records with some items “grossly exceeding” their full retail price, said Pickles Auctions head of agricultural sales Clay Redmond.

“There are plenty of products, now, where people are asking, as a second-hand price, more than that item would’ve been new. That’s across vehicles, agriculture, transport, all industries.”

Pickles, one of Australia’s largest transport and industrial auction companies, launched its agricultural division this month after more than a year of supply shortages and booming auction values in the industry.

a pickles auction yard

For 55 years, Pickles Auctions has sold vehicles and machinery for industries including transport, construction, mining and aviation.(Supplied: Pickles Auctions)

Harvest under pressure

The supply of new vehicles and machines into Australia has been limited for almost two years, forcing dealers to sell non-existent stock.

“I’ve got a tractor that was ordered in August last year and has been held up until August this year to be built,” said agricultural machinery dealer Shane Perkins, who runs a business in Narrogin in WA’s Great Southern region.

“All the manufacturers are experiencing the same issue.”

He echoed Mr Redmond’s assessment of the market and said the prolonged equipment shortage could mean some farmers were holding more land than they could harvest.

“There was a shortage last year and it’s only gotten worse for this season coming,” Mr Perkins said.

With wait times for new equipment and many replacement parts now stretching up to two full years, the second-hand auction market was under historic pressure.

“On many farms that I go to, you can walk around and see up to hundreds of thousands of dollars of surplus equipment that is under-utilised,” Mr Redmond said.

No return to normal

Mr Redmond said he did not expect the auction market to return to normal for another 18 months.

“Once we’ve got a consistent supply of new stock going into the country, that will start to plateau.”

However, he did not expect dealerships would go back to keeping as much stock as they did before the pandemic.

“It won’t be the 18- to 24-month wait that it is now, it’s probably going to be a two- to three-month wait [for new equipment],” he said.


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