Little is known about how farmers buy and sell used farm machinery and equipment (FME), particularly for topics such as internet transactions of used FME or farmer opinions of key players in used FME markets such as dealers or auctioneers. Understanding these issues is critical for several reasons. First, used FME is crucial asset on many farms throughout the U.S.. Second, the quality of used FME is highly variable and difficult for buyers to assess in many sales formats. Third, given increasing rural internet availability and decreasing numbers of auctions and dealers, more information about the experiences of those using internet-based venues is important to determine the potential desirability of internet markets for used FME.
To fill this informational void, we asked more than 5,200 U.S. farmers about used FME markets during early 2010. More than 2,500 (48%) responded and gave us information about recent used FME transactions, ratings of different ways to buy and sell used FME and attitudes and opinions regarding local FME dealers and used FME auction venues.