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Best Practices

Sweeper Buying and Selling Best Practices

When it comes to knowledge about buying and selling sweepers and other rolling stock, Mark Boyer is perhaps the top expert in America. The editor of both SweeperMarket and PaverMarket magazines, Boyer has been the conduit for many millions of dollars of equipment sales.

by Ranger Kidwell-Ross

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The intent of this article used to provide you with information that will assist you in both buying and selling a used sweeper or other vehicles. The approximately 17-minute audio interview with Mark Boyer is broken into two parts. The first covers best practices when you sell your sweeper; the second discusses best practices to utilize when you buy a used sweeper.

In the interview, Boyer emphasizes the topic of planning. He stresses that, for best coverage in his or any other paper-based publications, you need to recognize that there is a significant lead time between when you place your ad and when readers will first see it. From there, he discusses several aspects to consider when photographing and describing your unit.

"Keep in mind," said Boyer, "that space costs money and is limited when you put in a listing. Use abbreviations and list only the most important aspects. Including a photo is the best way to grab a reader's attention, though, so I definitely recommend you include a photo in your ad. This should be a three-quarter shot from the front.

If possible, do not take the picture in a shop or garage, and try to have an uncluttered background. Also consider adding whatever the publication has available that might help your ad stand out. This may include bolding, background color, boxes, etc.

Also write up a detailed information sheet on every sweeper when you place an ad for it. Keep this available by the phone so you have it to refer to when someone calls. Additionally consider having the information in a format where you can easily e-mail it to your prospects, along with a link to more photos. That way, even if someone who knows all the details about the sweeper is not in the office, whoever answers the phone can provide more information."

When asked about whether damage should be shown in the photo, Boyer says that is up to the seller. However, he makes it plain that you need to disclose all damage that exists on the sweeper to any potential prospects.

In terms of condition, you also need to be forthright so as to avoid wasting either your time or the prospective buyer's time. You can also offer to have the machine inspected by an independent third-party if the prospective buyer would like to do so. However, these costs must be borne upfront by the prospective buyer.

When it comes to buying a used sweeper, Boyer offers a number of other excellent tips. For example, he suggests that you not limit your buying radius to near your location. Instead, provide yourself with more choice by looking at machines around the country. Although you may not be able to see the machine in person, you can arrange to have it inspected and include that cost and the cost of shipping in your purchase price.

"In addition to producing SweeperMarket and PaverMarket," said Boyer, "our company is one of the largest pavement maintenance companies in the Seattle area. We operate over 50 pieces of rolling stock and have purchased used equipment from all over the country. To determine the condition, we hire an independent, local mechanic and then direct him as to what we want to find out in terms of information. Oil samples are also a good way to determine the condition of an engine.

"A sweeper can be shipped for a few hundred dollars in additional cost, and the flexibility this provides in terms of equipment choices more than make up for that extra expense. By not buying locally you are also not patronizing a competitor and/or getting their worst used machine."

When purchasing a sweeper, Boyer recommends checking out the used inventory of the different sweeper manufacturers and other purveyors of used sweeping equipment. Most of the time, he says, the manufacturers will be providing equipment that has been checked out and, in many cases, repaired or refurbished. Plus, anyone in the business of selling used equipment must make sure any vehicle sold meets minimum safety requirements in terms of electrical, brakes, tire condition and more.

For a complete rundown on all of the tips from Mark Boyer on buying and selling a sweeper, listen to the accompanying audio podcast. Even an experienced seller or purchaser will find some valuable tips in the interview.

Note: The audio interview with Mark Boyer will play without downloading any files onto your computer. If you hear the interview at 'chipmunk speed,' you will need to download the latest version of Adobe's free Flash player.

To play the interview, click this link or on the small triangle inside the circle you see to the left. If you have any trouble accessing the audio, please let us know.

Mark Boyer, editor of SweeperMarket and PaverMarket magazines, may be reached by calling 800.603.9089. The company's website is located at

If you have questions or comments about this article and interview, please, let us know and we can add it in as an addendum to this article.

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