Private Seller Equipment Financing: Pros, Cons and How-To
Buying equipment from a private seller can save you *big* when compared to buying from a dealer... but there are some things to watch out for -...
17 min read
Rob Misheloff Feb 14, 2023 2:07:01 PM
Reading reviews is super important before working with any company... and that most certainly includes equipment financing.
You (probably) wouldn't book a hotel without checking out their reviews first, and since most equipment financing contracts are for WAYYYYY longer than a hotel stay...
You should probably research any company before financing equipment with them.
In this episodes, we'll show you some ways to check out equipment financing companies (including us...)
As promised in the episode, here is a link to our TrustPilot page:
And here is a link to our Indeed page:
We work hard to EARN your positive reviews, and are very proud of the work we do.
Rob 00;00;06;21 - 00;00;32;00
Today we're going to talk about five tips for finding the right equipment financing company for you. And before we get in to the meat of the topic, I want to talk a little bit about an article I saw in well its Not the newspaper Anymore. No one nobody reads newspapers but we get our news online. And there was an article about a Raising Cane's.
Rob 00;00;33;23 - 00;00;40;21
And I don't know if they have raising Cane's everywhere. They're just kind of recent to Las Vegas it’s that chicken finger place.
Chet 00;00;41;01 - 00;00;42;23
If you have it near you, you know what it is
Rob 00;00;43;02 - 00;00;51;22
Yeah, There's always there's always a big giant line of people wanting to buy the chicken fingers. And actually, they're pretty good. I don't eat a lot of that kind of stuff, but they're pretty good.
Chet 00;00;52;00 - 00;00;52;19
Best in the world.
Rob 00;00;52;25 - 00;01;18;08
Yeah. Well, anyway, Raising Cane's signed a lease to move into a mall in Indiana. They signed a ten year lease, and it turned out there was also a McDonald's in the mall, which isn't that interesting, except for the fact that the McDonald's had a clause in their lease that said nobody else in that mall could sell any form of fried chicken, which obviously includes chicken fingers.
Rob 00;01;18;09 - 00;01;20;12
And by this time.
Chet 00;01;20;22 - 00;01;25;14
They're already they spent like $1,000,000 by the time that they figure this out. Right.
Rob 00;01;26;15 - 00;01;50;12
Not only they spent $1,000,000, but they are on the hook for this lease for ten years. I mean, you're talking I don't know how many million dollars, but it's a lot. It's a lot of money. Right. And they are suing Raising Cane's is suing this mall And the folks at the mall said, well, you should have read the contract better.
Rob 00;01;50;19 - 00;02;18;02
This sort of thing happens a lot where a company will hide something in a contract, whether it's for real estate or buying something online or anything else. And when you're trying to do business with a company that isn't playing straight with you, you have to play detective or you have to play lawyer in order to negotiate a good business deal.
Rob 00;02;18;16 - 00;02;26;17
But if you deal with the right kind of company, you don't have to worry that something's going to hit you on the back on the way out.
Chet 00;02;27;01 - 00;02;48;02
Well, that's exactly right. You know that that whole story about raising cane's in that mall in Indiana really resonated with me being in this industry now for over 20 years. I have seen a lot go down and the whole you should have read your contract is a very common phrase in this in this industry.
Rob 00;02;48;13 - 00;02;56;22
What happens? Like what if people see what are people not see in a contract? What are the gotchas in like the contracts in our industry?
Chet 00;02;56;29 - 00;03;17;01
Yeah, sure. So, you know, you don’t have to take my word for it. You can you can find these things on the internet usually like trustpilot and things like that will will hone in on it. But a lot of them have to do with well, they told me that this was going to be a purchase agreement or a dollar buyout lease, and now it turns out it's a fair market value lease
Chet 00;03;17;03 - 00;03;38;01
So somebody's buying like a let's just say they buy a $75,000 dump truck, for instance. You know, they pay all their monthly payments and then at the end they think that they own it. But in a sense, they were actually only renting it for the duration of the lease. And now if they want to own it, they have to pay what it's worth.
Chet 00;03;38;01 - 00;04;00;05
Well, they're in a five year contract. Five years ago, that truck may cost $75,000. Today, it may be worth still 50 or $60,000. It depends on the market. And there are a lot of companies out there that are being told, nope, you don't own that equipment, you've been renting it, you've completed your term and now you have the option to purchase it if you'd like.
Chet 00;04;00;06 - 00;04;15;02
Here you go. So there's $75,000 dump truck turns into, you know, potentially a $200,000 purchase after all said and done, if the company decides to buy the dump truck. That's just that's one example.
Rob 00;04;15;15 - 00;04;44;05
So I'm glad you mentioned that because that gets us into our first tip, which is looking at online reviews. And you mentioned Trustpilot, but there's other places that us and other companies in the industry get reviewed who like the Better Business Bureau. There's Google, there's Yelp, obviously there's Trustpilot and there's got to be at least a dozen other places that theoretically you could find reviews.
Rob 00;04;44;15 - 00;04;52;00
But what should someone look at or what does someone look for in terms of reviews?
Chet 00;04;52;11 - 00;05;14;26
Well, when you're reading reviews, you have to kind of take some of it at face value, right? Because you don't know the situation. You can't look at a pissed off customer and just assume that they were 100% in the right and the company was 100% in the wrong. So what I tend to do is I tend to read through and I just look for the overall tone is what I is what I've done in the past.
Chet 00;05;15;11 - 00;05;40;11
When when I see customer after customer talking about smoke and mirrors being lied to, this company is a fraud. You know, these are all headlines from actual reviews on Trustpilot that I've seen of some of our competitors. That tells me something about the organization, you know, how they train their salespeople and what they're willing to accept as far as negative reviews.
Chet 00;05;40;11 - 00;05;57;15
And, you know, how much do they even care about what the customer has to say at the end of the day? So I look for the whole general vibe of what I'm seeing, right? You see one or two reviews. They probably haven't been around for that long. You see 200 reviews for, for example, maybe only 10% of those are negative reviews.
Chet 00;05;57;15 - 00;06;10;10
So maybe 20 of those. But if all 20 of them are talking about how they're getting lied to, they're getting scammed. That tells me something that tells me that that 10% of the people are the only 10% that have uncovered something that their company is doing to their customers.
Rob 00;06;10;22 - 00;06;16;24
That leads us to the second tip, which is look for complaints.
Chet 00;06;17;05 - 00;06;19;22
Rob, what's the difference between a review and a complaint?
Rob 00;06;20;14 - 00;06;29;04
Well, a complaint is a bad review, but also there are certain sites that only do complaints. One of them is like there's there's pissed consumer.
Chet 00;06;29;09 - 00;06;30;09
Consumer pissed off.
Rob 00;06;30;09 - 00;06;58;20
Customer pissed. Yeah pissed off pissed consumer dot com or the rip off report. More importantly, you could go look at the reviews and you could filter by one star reviews and look through them. But don't only look at what the customers are saying. It's important to look at what the company is saying in response to these reviews because the company's attitude will tell you a lot about what they are like to deal with.
Rob 00;06;58;21 - 00;07;09;29
For example, there was one company that you showed me that had an angry review or a negative review, and they had something really bad.
Chet 00;07;09;29 - 00;07;34;11
Yeah. So the customer or potential customer rather had, you know, been stating that they've been ripped off like that. They were being told one thing and they were being presented something else. And then their explanation was always, well, there was a mistake. Sorry about that. And so the customer ended up not doing business with this particular competitor and decided to write about it.
Chet 00;07;34;29 - 00;07;51;11
And instead of taking the high road and, you know, at this point, the high road could have been just ignore the complaint for this company. But what they did is they responded and said things like, Well, it looks like you go around on review sites and write bad reviews for for a lot of companies. So it doesn't look like anybody can help you.
Chet 00;07;52;05 - 00;08;11;21
I think that was the response. Like they didn't have anything, anything to say about the customers comments. They spent their time reviewing or responding to the review by trashing the reviewer, which just shows how much or how little they actually care about what's going on behind closed doors in their business.
Rob 00;08;11;24 - 00;08;54;29
Absolutely. Because they will mention they're searching for financing for your business. If you have challenged credit or if you're a startup business can be a very emotional time. And so a lot of times we'll get a customer who's nervous or even accusatory or yelling at us. But it's important to understand where they're coming from. And if you can understand where folks are coming from, it's a lot easier to be able to help them, even if the help them is telling them why you need to have better credit and then you can come back to us by treating treating them like a mark or treating them like a nuisance is never good for anybody.
Chet 00;08;55;17 - 00;09;18;10
No. At that point, you're you're almost just like belittling them as a human being when you know, they're just out there trying to do the best that they can. They're trying to make good decisions when they buy equipment because that impacts them, their business, their families, their employees families, their customers. You know, there's a big chain reaction. And so they're trying to make good, good business decisions.
Chet 00;09;18;10 - 00;09;42;29
And when when companies talk poorly about their customers in that way, quite frankly, again, it just shows it's it's a real peek behind the curtain. What is that companies main intent. Yeah, self-preservation comes to mind when I when I see something like that right. It's not about making the customer experience better for the next customer or owning up and having some taking some responsibility.
Chet 00;09;43;06 - 00;10;05;19
It's simply self-preservation at that point, to the point of feeling like you need to be defensive. And what do you what is there to be defensive about? Not everybody's going to agree. Not every customer is going to take the deal. But getting defensive is just an emotional response to the customer's decision. And if you're in a situation where there's a disagreement, I don't know.
Chet 00;10;05;26 - 00;10;10;29
We tend to err on the side of compassion. And if we don't understand, we get curious.
Rob 00;10;11;13 - 00;10;25;24
Yeah, totally. And so let's move on past what you can find online, because tip number three is to be cautious of companies that ask for money before they've given you a full approval.
Chet 00;10;26;07 - 00;10;52;03
So we work with the same lenders that all of our competitors work with. None of our lenders ask us for any money to get an approval. There's an approval. Getting an approval. Does that cost us time and money? Yeah, of course it does. Right? We have the salesperson, we have the technology, we have the credit person. Then obviously the bank is spending time reviewing and analyzing a deal, but that's part of a cost of doing business.
Rob 00;10;52;17 - 00;11;17;28
Yeah, it is part of the cost of doing business. But if you do your business right, those costs all wash out just like we have to spend money on marketing online. We spend thousands of dollars every month with Google, but we only expect a small portion of the people that actually click on that ad to actually end up becoming a customer.
Chet 00;11;18;06 - 00;11;32;18
Right? It's just strong arm tactics, like, Here, give me some money, What's my payment? Oh, I don't know. It's probably going to be right around here, but I need some money in order to go get you an approval. What happens when we get the approval? Then we'll fund the deal. What if I don't like the terms? Well, then we keep your money.
Chet 00;11;32;18 - 00;11;38;11
That's basically what a customer is looking forward to when they send in money before they have an approval. Am I right?
Rob 00;11;38;21 - 00;11;48;10
Yeah. That's pretty gangster. Yeah, because what it does is you're essentially taking away the customer's negotiating power, Right?
Chet 00;11;48;11 - 00;11;49;07
What are you worried about?
Rob 00;11;49;19 - 00;12;16;25
Yeah. And when you're taking away that customers negotiating power before they've even made a choice, that's. That's. That's fundamentally dishonest. Yes. And as a business owner, you want to make the most appropriate choice for your business as to the financing. And so once you've sent in money to a company that hasn't given you a real approval, they are going to hold your money hostage.
Rob 00;12;17;10 - 00;12;28;19
And yeah, it's only a couple thousand dollars in most cases. But I've been in the same boat as a lot of business owners. When you're starting up thousand, couple thousand dollars is a lot of money.
Chet 00;12;29;15 - 00;12;53;27
Absolutely. Absolutely. And so, you know, we look at that approach as, you know, quite frankly, it's it's weak, in my opinion. That's that means that you don't have enough confidence in your ability to provide the customer what they want so that the customer will willingly accept it. Instead, you have to make this like roundabout offer, but like, you know, dangle a carrot.
Chet 00;12;53;27 - 00;13;01;17
You need to submit the money in order for me to go get it. In order for me to maybe get this for you, maybe you'll get lucky. Maybe I'll get you this approval.
Rob 00;13;02;00 - 00;13;24;02
Yeah. And in fact, here's where it can get really tricky. We had an employee maybe five years ago or so. Who. Who left us to go to graduate school. But he was at a company where the company would actually, quote, sometimes 0% rates or negative rates in order to collect the first and last payment just to take the deal off the street.
Rob 00;13;24;19 - 00;13;31;10
And that's terrible. That means I am a thief. That is what that means. Right?
Chet 00;13;31;19 - 00;13;50;16
Right. He was so glad that he found us because he was just done with that and it's done with the industry because of this is how a lot of companies are unfortunately run. Yeah. Which is, you know, do whatever you do, do whatever you can do to close the deal. Don't worry about the repercussions because we're going to get paid.
Chet 00;13;51;05 - 00;14;09;07
And it's pretty rough. But we we do see this a lot. We see, you know, we'll we'll we'll work a deal with a client and a customer. We'll be we'll we'll talk about how, you know, they're nervous to give us a social leave and even complete the application because of what had happened at one of our competitors. Right.
Chet 00;14;09;07 - 00;14;22;22
They lost a couple thousand dollars. You know, the other sales rep won't call them back. They're just sitting there. They're just trying to buy equipment so that they can grow their business and support their families. And what's happening? They're getting ripped off.
Rob 00;14;23;15 - 00;15;00;23
Absolutely. Tip number four, you're going to want to look for if the company's marketing materials or if their website, because marketing materials these days pretty much is the website. Yeah. And well, the search their social media too. But are they just a sales brochure or are they providing real information? And here's what I mean by that. I did a quick Google search before we started the podcast for I just typed in dump truck financing and one of the headlines that a company had was dump truck financing from three and a half percent.
Rob 00;15;01;28 - 00;15;03;01
Well, number one.
Chet 00;15;03;02 - 00;15;03;20
It's not a bank.
Rob 00;15;04;10 - 00;15;15;28
No. Okay. No, it was it was a Charlotte thing, right? Yeah. Because number one, you can't even get a home mortgage for three and a half percent right now. Nobody, nobody on the planet three.
Chet 00;15;15;28 - 00;15;20;26
Being a depreciating asset with wheels that falls apart after 20 years, that's not going to be cheaper than a house.
Rob 00;15;21;08 - 00;15;55;04
Right? Okay. Got it. Right. Absolutely not. But more importantly, even that doesn't matter, because only quoting one rate means that you are lying because there are there's a large pool of potential applicants ranging from startup businesses to businesses that have been in business 20 years and have perfect credit to your your your small business owner. That hell has that.
Rob 00;15;55;04 - 00;16;11;24
Let's face it, as a small business owner, every once in a while you're going to have a hiccup. It may have a couple of things on the credit that are perfect, but still is a decent business that you'd want to lend to, but it's not going to get through it. Well, nobody's going to get three and a half.
Rob 00;16;11;24 - 00;16;32;23
I mean, that's just a terrible thing to say. But more importantly, that and that that's from the ad. But if you go to the company's website, what is it actually? Do they give you real information or are they going to have a calculator that spits out the same rate no matter what you put in? That's not a company to trust.
Chet 00;16;33;08 - 00;16;45;17
So what you're telling me is that a lot of what you're seeing out there with regards to marketing just happens to be companies that are telling you only things that they can do, but they may not even be able to do them.
Rob 00;16;46;13 - 00;16;50;18
So yeah, here's the thing, right? If I'm online selling t shirts.
Chet 00;16;50;29 - 00;16;51;09
Rob 00;16;51;25 - 00;17;18;05
What I say really isn't that important. Hopefully that like if I do it, I do like funny t shirts and they make me laugh. So it's all right telling you everything you need to know, right? But here we're talking about your money and making the wrong decision can have a negative impact on your business. So if I'm not being transparent with people, telling them the whole truth and telling them not only all the positives about our product, but they better know the negatives too.
Rob 00;17;18;07 - 00;17;43;26
Yeah, if I'm not doing that, I'm being a bad corporate citizen and there's no way around that. If you are not willing to tell somebody the whole truth about your product and where it might be appropriate and where it might not be appropriate, you're better off not having a website. No, you won't get any leads from the internet if you don't have a website, but you have to live with yourself.
Rob 00;17;44;02 - 00;18;11;15
You have to be able to sleep at night. And I don't know how somebody that only tells people the positives of a product that can affect their financial health actually sleeps at night because this is a product that can affect your financial health. And it's often not just the person you're ripping off, it's their employees, too, right? If you're not willing to tell somebody the whole truth on your website, you'd be a better person just not to have a website.
Rob 00;18;11;15 - 00;18;32;04
If you need to use smoke and mirrors to get business, you're just not a nice person. And you And if you're watching this and you're a business, you should do business with nice people. This is our last tip, but this one's actually pretty important and something not a lot of business owners or not a lot of anyone knows.
Rob 00;18;32;09 - 00;18;55;28
You shouldn't just look at the companies reviews. You should go to sites like Glassdoor or Indeed.com and look at the company pages and see what the employees are saying about it. Because reviews can be manipulated and employee reviews can be manipulated, too. But if you see a lot of employees talking about how they had to take a shower after being at work.
Chet 00;18;55;29 - 00;18;58;23
Yes, there's a lot of that.
Rob 00;18;59;00 - 00;19;17;18
There is a lot of that. And was we actually we did some research for the I was surprised at how many companies there were were folks had gone to work at that company and they just after a couple of weeks from the reviews felt sound like they felt pretty icky about the whole place.
Chet 00;19;17;19 - 00;19;18;01
Rob 00;19;18;12 - 00;19;42;24
If you're considering working with a company and you look at what the employees are saying and it sounds like nobody liked working there because they were stealing from people or they expected you to be less than honest, That's a pretty good red flag that maybe this isn't the right company for you to be working with.
Chet 00;19;43;11 - 00;19;47;04
When you were looking around on the Internet, did you see our employees writing stuff about us?
Rob 00;19;48;03 - 00;20;11;26
Yeah, I actually I did. And I was pleasantly surprised. Okay. Because there are indeed we don't have a Glassdoor page. We should probably set one up, but there was we have an employer page on Indeed.com, which is where the vast majority of people go to if they're looking for a job these days. This indeed, and we have 15 reviews and none of them said bad stuff about us.
Rob 00;20;11;26 - 00;20;16;17
The worst thing anyone said about working here was they don't like how early we start work.
Chet 00;20;17;10 - 00;20;20;26
You got any other challenges of being on the West Coast?
Rob 00;20;21;24 - 00;20;31;23
Totally. So I know you you had made some comments about something you saw when you looked at the employee reviews from one of our competitors. What did you see?
Chet 00;20;31;26 - 00;20;51;23
Yeah, I did, actually. There was again, I kind of just, you know, you get to see some good reviews. A lot of good reviews. You're going to see you can tell like, you know, a company might have been like, oh my God, everybody, we need you to go and write a review. And then you can tell when people are being honest, right?
Chet 00;20;51;23 - 00;21;16;09
When they're picking up on specific things that they love about the business. The negative reviews that I saw were pretty interesting. Again, same type of thing. They kind of followed a similar path where, you know, many employees at a specific company were talking about how they were told to lie to their customers. They never know if they're going to have a job the next day.
Chet 00;21;16;09 - 00;21;43;29
The the ownership clearly doesn't care about the new people that are coming in. I mean, these are the the future of the organization are saying that they're telling us to lie. We're not important. Do whatever you have to do. Hit your numbers or you're going to get fired real fast. Start walking and and these are people that this company is entrusting to not only maintain, but to help grow the business on a going forward basis.
Rob 00;21;44;08 - 00;21;50;09
Yeah, And that's not who you want to give your Social Security number to. No, no, really not.
Chet 00;21;50;22 - 00;22;11;11
No. You know, it can get it can get pretty nasty. I was you know, we've both gone through and read reviews of companies, but when we started digging in on the employees, I thought it was really interesting that some of the people that I know that had worked at different organizations had said these things, and other employees are saying the exact same thing.
Chet 00;22;12;25 - 00;22;19;28
It's just a it really tells you about the culture of the company that you're potentially doing business with right there. Right.
Rob 00;22;20;12 - 00;22;28;00
Right. And you probably don't want to do business with a company that has a gangster culture. You really unless you're a gangster.
Chet 00;22;29;11 - 00;22;31;12
If you are that you don't come here, that's fine.
Rob 00;22;31;28 - 00;23;04;02
Right? Well, yeah, Hopefully these tips will help you. If you ever need to find a company to finance equipment for your business in the show notes, we're going to leave a link to both our TRUSTPILOT as well as our indeed reviews and what our employees are saying. But I have a big ask. We came up with a number of show ideas in a big brainstorming session, but it would be even more valuable to know what you think would be a good show or podcast topic to cover.
Rob 00;23;04;11 - 00;23;17;23
So on our podcast page, there's a little form that you can fill out for an idea. If you have an idea, if there's anything you would like us to talk about, we'd be happy to do that and we'd be very thankful.
Chet 00;23;19;16 - 00;23;26;17
Rob 00;23;26;17 - 00;24;04;11
Thanks for watching or listening. If you're listening through a podcast app, we would love it if you would be so kind as to leave a review. If you are watching this on YouTube, it would mean the world to us if you left a comment or gave us a big thumbs up. And lastly, if you're looking at us on the website, if you would let us know an episode that's of interest to you, that would be fantastic.
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