Used car sales and used fire truck sales are not all that different, although the clientele is much more specific in the world of fire trucks. When comparing actual dealers, there are many honest dealers out there trying to provide quality used fire apparatus. Unfortunately, there are also brokers that can give the wrong impression to customers that see a large inventory and assume the website is from a larger dealer.
In reality, used fire truck dealers and brokers work hand in hand. Dealers buy, maintain, and sell on property used fire engines that they hand select. When smaller dealers need help selling their fleet, they give their inventory to a broker. brokers can help with marketing and connecting customers to the dealer, but the broker never truly “owns” an apparatus. However, a broker does take home a referral commission everytime a customer becomes a buyer of a dealer’s used fire truck.
This article is meant to provide information about fire truck dealers and fire truck brokers, list their fundamental differences, and give readers the information needed to make the best decision for which type of fire truck sales company is best for their needs.
At the heart of the matter, both fire truck dealers and brokers are interested in finding the right used fire apparatus for a potential buyer. Since dealers tend to work with less customers, however, they tend to be more interested in placing the right customer with the used fire truck. Fire truck dealers and brokers typically have the appearance of much different inventories, however. Since brokers normally represent multiple dealers, their inventory has the appearance online of being much larger than fire truck dealers. In some cases, brokers can have as many as 4x the inventory of a singular dealer.
When brokers pass along a customer’s contact information to a dealer, the cost to the customer of buying that truck can be higher. After all, the dealer has to pay a fee to the broker, so they are less likely to be flexible on price with customers. Since dealers own the apparatus they are trying to sell and there is no broker involved in a dealer-to-customer sale, the middleman is cut out and there can be more room for price negotiation.
Dealers also tend to know their product line better than brokers. Since the tranasction of selling a used fire truck to a customer is a direct sale, most dealers do a full inspection of their vehicles, change filters/fluids, check the lining and safety systems, etc. Since brokers are simply working as a go-between, they don’t tend to have the intricate knowledge of the vehicles they represent.
As a way to save money, guarantee you are getting a quality used fire engine, and avoid getting contacted by tons of regional truck dealers trying to sell you product, avoid the extra step of working with a fire truck broker and make your next purchase dealer direct.