How to Get the Maximum Trade-In Value for your Forklift

Selling a used forklift can give you or your company extra funds to upgrade an existing fleet or invest in a new make or model. Knowing what your forklift is worth “as-is” can be a difficult task because there are many things to consider. Understanding these top four selling criteria will ensure every re-seller gets their maximum trade-in value.


The age of your forklift should be your first consideration. Forklift ages are typically done by the number of hours used in operation. 7,500 to 9,500 hours is optimal for high selling prices. Anything above 12,000 hours will get a lower asking price, and the type of forklift matters also. For example, if the forklift is electric, the condition of your battery will matter more than the hours spent. However, just like a car – the more they all have been used the less valuable it becomes.


Of course, the appearance of the forklift matters a great deal during a resale. The fewer scuffs the better and it’s a good idea to clean it up before showing it to any potential buyers. A quick clean and technician tune-up can boost your potential sale price. Honesty is the best policy here, so be sure to explain any dents, marks, or scratches to anyone inquiring. Appearance isn’t the sole factor, though. If you have a well-functioning forklift, many buyers will prefer optimal functionality over a perfect appearance.


If you’ve maintained your forklift well you can expect a better market value. Unfortunately, this cannot be done before the sale so to ensure top dollar for your machine – value the maintenance of your fleet over time. Have routine checks and tune-ups to extend the forklift’s lifetime and re-sellability. A faulty forklift will do poorly on the resale market, so make sure it’s operational and functioning before selling.

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The type of forklift you’re selling will affect the market value. Electric forklifts get the best market value, but only if the battery is healthy and working. Gasoline and propane forklifts are lower in value, but can still be resold. Propane forklifts may be especially taxing to sell due to the over-saturation of availability. The accessibility of these forklifts makes them the least valuable.

Whether you’re selling a gas, electric, or propane forklift, it is important to know what will get you the most for your money when reselling. Being sensible to the current state of your machinery in terms of age, history, and type of forklift you’re selling will guide your valuation and ultimately secure you the maximum trade-in value.