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How to buy a used tractor and save thousands of dollars

The secret to getting a good deal on a used tractor is having information. Start by learning how to quickly determine the age, condition, and average selling price of any used tractor make and model. Then know which problem areas to watch closely. The final step is to learn the seven negotiating statements that will dramatically reduce the selling price of any tractor, including the one sound you can make that will reduce the price of any tractor by 10%.

Let’s start from the beginning. The first step to getting a great deal on a used tractor is to do some research and be an informed buyer. Let’s start from the beginning. When you’re thinking about buying a used tractor, don’t worry it may be older than you are. Buying a used tractor is not like buying a used car. Tractors are made to last forever and you can still get parts for just about any tractor, regardless of how old it is. Also, unlike your car, tractors are relatively easy to repair. Keep these facts in mind when looking for a used tractor.

When buying a used tractor, one of the most important things to look for is a hydraulic system, or three-point hitch as it is commonly called. The power take-off or PTO is part of this system. Ford introduced the three point hitch on their 9N tractor in 1939. Farmall and John Deere waited a bit later before introducing a three point hitch but still most tractors will have the three point hitch but make sure you check it.

The three point hitch and PTO system is very important because without it you will be limited in what you can do with your tractor. So my advice is to only look at 3 point hitch tractors. The next step is to determine the age of the tractor you are considering. The best way to determine the age is to find the serial number and look it up online. Cars change their design every year, but tractors only make changes every decade or two, so you can’t tell much about a tractor’s age just by looking at it.

The Internet has a wealth of information on tractors. A good website where you can use the serial number and find the date a tractor was built is Yesterday’s Tractors at YesterdaysTractors.com. When you arrive at this site, click on “Tractor Registration” on the left navigation bar. panel to find information about any tractor. You can also use this site to see how much a particular type of tractor has recently sold for.

The condition of a used car is more important than the age. To determine the condition of a used tractor, check to see if it has a tachometer that includes an hour meter. Many older tractors will not have an hour meter. You can tell a lot about the condition of a used tractor from petal wear, steering play and checking for oil leaks. All of these factors will help you estimate the condition of a tractor.

Don’t be fooled by a new paint job. It could be covering things up. Also look at the rims. Just because tires have good tread doesn’t mean they’re in good condition. Check for dry rot and cracks. A good set of tires could cost you anywhere from $500 to more than $1,000.

Of course, check how the tractor starts and how it works. If someone is trying to sell a tractor and can’t get it to start easily, there could be a problem. You may want to have a mechanic check out the tractor with you. If the tractor is hard to start in hot weather, it will be even harder to start in colder weather. After starting the tractor, check if there is too much smoke coming out of the exhaust.

Once you have checked all of the above points, you probably know more about the tractor than the owner does.

The next step is to check prices:

Two good places to check prices (other than yesterday’s tractors) are TractorHouse dot com and eBay. On eBay, be sure to check completed auctions to see which tractors like the one you’re looking for actually sold. You can use this information in your negotiations.

One final point: The amount of equipment (if any) that comes with a used tractor can be an important factor in determining the value of the tractor. Also, consider how you will get the tractor home. If you can get a trailer in the deal, that’s always a big plus.

When you’re armed with all of the above information, your final step is to “Trade Like a Pro.” Here’s how to do it.

Seven negotiation techniques for people who don’t like to negotiate:

1. Offer much less than you expect to have to pay.Some people say, “I don’t want to bargain or play games with you. I’ll give you $5,000 for the tractor and that’s it.” These people almost always end up negotiating and paying much more.

2. Always gasp and act shocked and surprised at the first price on the other side. Without saying a word, this lets the owner know that you think their price is totally unreasonable.

3. Never say yes to the first price quoted to you — even if the price is less than you expected to pay. If you say yes too quickly, the other party will know that the price of the tractor is too low. Then they can say something like, “Well, let me clear this up with my partner.” Then he will come back and say that his partner would not agree to the offer.

4. “You have to do better than that.”Always use this expression at some point in negotiations. This will almost always get you a lower price.

5. Use the “good cop/bad cop” technique.For example, say, “I’d love to buy your tractor at that price, but my wife would kill me. She’s determined I won’t pay more than $3,500 for a used tractor.”

6. Arm yourself with information.The more prepared you are with facts and information, the better deal you can negotiate. For example, say, “I’ve checked eBay and other Internet sources, and tractors like this never sell for more than $35,000.”

7. Never agree to split the difference.The other party is almost always willing to split the difference, so offer less than half the difference. Usually you will get it.

Use these techniques and you’ll get the best possible deal on a used tractor. Don’t forget that there are plenty of used tractors in good condition, so always be willing to back out of any bargain.


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