This article describes how to read and interpret and use market sales comparison data, to effectively translate actual market data into asset valuation for collateral, lending, leasing, or for any other purpose.

It’s easy to find things for sale on the internet. If you go to ebay.com you can find iPhone, vintage toasters, 1972 Pintos, and whatever your heart desires for sale. You can even use ebay.com as a resource for commercial decisions about the used values of real assets like Bobcat skid steers.

Sources of Data

The best sources of data vary wildly depending on the asset type. One of the asset types for which abundant market value data is available is for trucks and trailers, Class 8 tractors and semi trailers. The two largest online data sets available for trucks and trailers are truckpaper.com and commercialtrucktrader.com. Type in any truck, as in the Kenworth T880, and you will find hundreds of data points for trucks currently for sale, and dozens of recent auction results for this truck model. Some more specialized equipment also has good online sales listings, as for medical / healthcare equipment like CT scanners and ultrasounds, look at dotmed.com, medwow.com, labx.com, and several other large marketplace data websites. Forklift and material handling sales listings and recent auction results can be found at liftstoday.com and machino.com.

For a Caterpillar 336 excavator, it is easy to go to rockanddirt.com and get dozens of recent auction sales results and current sale listings. Then you can put together a “market comp table” and estimate the value of your five-year-old Cat 336. Other asset types are more obscure and harder to get comparable market sales data. A used Berchtold operating room table may be worth $50,000, but finding market comp listings is more difficult. For healthcare equipment, many market comp data points can be found on medwow.com, dotmed.com, and many other medical equipment sales brokerage websites like avantehs.com, but for most medical / healthcare equipment it is important to talk to experienced healthcare equipment brokers who buy and sell this equipment all the time. Many brokers specialize on certain healthcare modalities such as ultrasound or MRI machines, so if you work with valuation of these healthcare assets often you need to have relationships with many different brokers. Used airplane values can be found, current sales listings with asking prices, on trade-a-plane.com and controller.com.

Used machine tool listing prices for machine tools currently for sale on the market can often be found on the Internet, at sites like kdequipment.com and machinio.com. But machine tools can get quite specialized and specific, so it’s good to have as a source of data a trusted machine tool broker who is active every day in buying and selling and knows that some machine tools are so specialized that they are hard to sell.

Another way to research equipment is through articles and discussions, that talk about the current trends in technology and OEM brands.

In sum, approaches to finding market sales data depends on the particular asset type. For example, a common asset to value would be a Toyota 7FDU 15,500 lb. forklift. Liftstoday.com currently has 36 of this model listed for sale. One current listing for this model is a 2006 vintage 7FDU listed for sale for $38,950. The three dozen listings include models from 2001 – 2020, at prices from $5,000 – $55,000 depending on condition and hours; it is important to match and adjust the comparable sale to your subject, adjusting for hours, condition, and age.

Chris Nugent is an Accredited Senior Appraiser of the American Society of Appraisers. He holds a BA in Statistics from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

BlueChip Asset Management is an appraisal and asset management services company which serves the ABL, banking, equipment finance, legal, and turnaround industries. Members of TMA, ELFA, and CFA. Contact us for asset valuation assistance at 415-515-1110, www.bcamasset.com, or schedule a free 15-minute consultation.

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