Niche, low-cost items help drive slow transportation market

The market for trucks and trailers is holding steady while boats and recreational vehicles perform poorly at auction, National Auctioneers Association members say.

For commercial vehicles, Ron Bradeen, CAI, says he attributes strong auction prices to increasing costs of new equipment and high demand for used vehicles. As long as trucks are certified by the Department of Transportation, Bradeen says they’re usually good sellers.

Sales of other transportation-related products, such as recreational vehicles, boats and campers are taking a hit in this economy, says Bradeen, of Bradeen Real Estate & Auction, Custer, S.D. The only bright spot in his area is in the market for all-terrain vehicles and side-by-sides.

“They’ll buy a cheap boat to put in the water, but you start looking at $10,000 boats, you get the deer-in-the-headlights look out here,” Bradeen says.

LeAnn Boardman, of Stokes Auction-Boardman Orwiler Inc., Port Orchard, Wash., agrees.

Her company sells boats, but auctions have been slow the past two to three years, she says. She attributes this to the sluggish economy and fewer trade-ins for new boats.

There also has been a considerable drop in boat quality, she says. Stokes Auction used to sell eight to 15 boats per month in the spring and summer, and the company is now down to five to eight per month during the same period.

Boardman says many buyers are turning to less expensive forms of recreation as fuel, storage and maintenance costs become too high.

Click here to read about the market for recreational vehicles and find out how one NAA member has found a niche in surplus transit buses, which have more than tripled in value.

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Filed under Auction Industry, Auction marketing, Auctioneer magazine, NAA Members

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