How to Get the Most Money


It seems like every few weeks we get asked the question: "What recommendations do you have for preparing a used diesel generator for appraisal?" This article is intended to be a brief overview of some strategies to ensure you are getting the most return on investment possible when it comes time to sell your generator. There are few easy steps that will maximize the value of your generator, optimizing your ROI.

First off, you want to go through your generator, or have a qualified tech do so. Check and replace as needed the fluids, loose harnesses and cables, batteries and filters. Also, run the generator for approximately an hour and let it warm up. Make sure you use a Fluke to measure the output voltages and frequencies. In other words, do a full service on your machine and ensure that the unit runs well and is in good working order. Take this opportunity to thoroughly clean with a pressure washer. With degreaser and a rag, scrub the alternator housing and engine block. When you are all through take 4 or 5 pictures of the generator from each angle, getting a close up of the hour meter and control panel. Also, jot down the spec number, model number, kW, hours, number of leads and output voltage and keep this handy.

Next, upload your pictures and nameplate data to your email platform and send the equipment and data to and another trusted generator dealer or two. It is always good to send this along to at least 2 used generator dealers to ensure you are getting the best price. You may want to shy away from "brokers" as these guys typically try to "flip" equipment in order to make as much money as possible on each transaction without any commitment to the integrity of the product, honesty in their business dealings, or you as a repeat customer. An established new and used generator dealer with a full service shop is preferable to a used equipment broker. In short, be sure to send the information off to the dealers you trust and ask them to make you an offer.

Once you have two or three firm offers, it is always a good idea to check the online inventories of ebay, searching "used diesel generator" and checking out the listings that come up. If there is a huge gap in price and your generator is newer with less hours, you may be able to go back to the used generator dealer and negotiate. While there are a few generator dealers who give fair, reasonable prices for your used equipment, there are many who want to pay practically nothing for something that is then immediately sold for a 300% markup. Remember that everything is negotiable. The worst thing that can happen is the dealer says "no thanks" and you sell your generator to someone else.

Lastly, the best way to make sure you optimize your Return on Investment is to simply take your time. The best offer is often not the first offer. Take it from the pros, sometimes it is critical to slow things down to make a good return.