1978 - Volume #2, Issue #5, Page #08[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Find Used Equipment By Phone-Free
"Farmers and ranchers throughout the entire United States are already using our buying service," says Tom Mertz, who, along with James Loyd, operates the buying referral headquartered in Manhattan, Kan. Here's how it works:
You call the toll-free number to get help in locating equipment, machinery, pickups, trucks and a wide variety of other items. For example, suppose you're in the market for a certain model used tractor equipped with dual hydraulics, 4 wheel drive and other specific features you want. You call the toll-free number and a trained operator will quickly search the "Sellers" file and tell you where a tractor meeting your exact description is being offered for sale.
Individuals with new or used machinery and equipment to sell pay a small fee for having it listed with Mertz and Loyd. Most "for sale" listings are from dealers, but farmers - including you - with used equipment to sell are also welcome to use this service to help find buyers.
In addition to machinery and equipment, farmers and ranchers from all corners of the U.S. are calling Mertz and Loyd for help in locating pickups, trucks, hay, grain, and all classes of livestock - even pasture land for rent.
"I got the idea for this referral service a while back when I was shopping for a tractor," explains Mertz, who farms near Manhattan and holds a B.S. degree in Agircultural Economics from Kansas State University. "It became quite clear that there wasn't a convenient means by which I could find out what make and model tractors dealers have sitting on their lots. I spent hours trying to find a tractor to meet my specifications," says Mertz, who teamed up with Jim Loyd, an experienced computer programmer, to develop the referral service idea. "We ran it by a few farmers and got a lot of enthusiastic response," he told FARM SHOW.
There is no cost for the service if you are buying. You simply call the toll-free number. If you're selling, the cost for listing new or used machinery, equipment, livestock, or a service is $5.00 per item per month. The rate is discounted if you list 10 or more items, and if items are listed continuously for an extended period of time.
The referral service does not deal in machinery replacement parts. "Most full-line implement dealers don't like to compete with each other on new equipment. Consequently, we get mostly used equipment listings from them," Mertz explains. "Occasionally, however, we get listings for new equipment - such as one-man stacking systems that fullline dealers are overstocked on and willing to move at substantial discounts. With these exceptions, most new equipment listings generally involve short-line manufacturers. We have had a few dealers who have listed popular, hard to get combines, such as the new IH axial flow and the New Holland TR-70. We also list individuals or companies specializing in a service, such as grain bin erectors," explains Mertz.
He adds that "farmers shopping for new or used equipment really appreciate the convenience of calling toll-free, and having instant access and complete descriptions on hundreds of items," explains Mertz. "Operators taking the call have a complete description of each listing in front of them, which helps eliminate farmers making unnecessaryy calls to dealers. When the farmer calls in, the operator gives him the name of one or more dealers or sellers offering the particular make and model piece of machinery or equipment he wants to buy. The farmer then gets in touch with the selling party. Sometimes, our operators will spend up to a half hour or more helping a farmer who calls in," explains Mertz. "We can usually eliminate most of the "for sale" listings simply because. the farmer calling in isn't willing to drive more than several hundred miles from his farm to buy a particular piece of equipment. Ot
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