Chris Schmid Chris Schmid

Navigating the Shift: Adapting to the changing forklift market

In the ever-evolving landscape of the forklift industry, staying ahead of market trends is crucial for resellers to maintain a competitive edge. Recent data on our platform indicates a significant shift in the market dynamics compared to January 2023, with the number of machines available for sale experiencing a notable 40% increase.

Since mid-2023, the market for forklifts has transitioned from being predominantly seller-driven to favoring buyers, marking a substantial shift in dynamics. This shift has not only expanded the options available to buyers but has also instilled a sense of caution due to prevailing economic uncertainties. Consequently, we are observing an initial decline in prices, further exacerbated by rising interest costs. We even observe consolidation trends with bigger dealers swallowing up smaller ones.

Considering these developments, forklift dealers must strategize and adapt to this new reality to optimize their sales and capitalize on emerging opportunities. Thanks to modern technology today, operational excellence is not limited to big corporations only.

Let’s look at six strategies that can help forklift dealers in today’s:

1. Excel in your local market:

If your website only shows outdated equipment or no equipment at all, visitors will not give you a call but jump to the next website they find on Google. In light of more available choices for buyers, make sure your website is up to date with available equipment including good images and complete technical data. Big dealers have their own staff for that but that is not mandatory. Modern marketplace solutions have built-in features to effortlessly integrate your used stock into websites and make your website and local business perform stronger than ever.

2. Expand your markets:

Staying in your area is comfortable, but keeps you limited. Of course, it’s your favorite choice as a dealer to sell locally as you can add services. In a buyer’s market, this comfort is illusionary. Selling outside your area and selling to other dealers makes your company sell equipment faster and gain new customers.

3. Competitive Pricing and Timely Selling:
In response to the shifting market dynamics, resellers are encouraged to advertise their inventory at competitive prices. Selling now enables resellers to leverage the proceeds to invest in “new” used equipment later at potentially lower prices. Even if it’s hard to accept lower margins, waiting too long to adjust will only result in less profit.

4. Optimized Advertisements:
Enhance the visibility of listings by optimizing advertisements with high-quality images and compelling pricing. This proactive approach attracts more clicks and inquiries, maximizing the chances of successful transactions.

5. Agile Trading Approach:
In a market characterized by fluctuating prices, agility is paramount. Resellers should prioritize swift transactions over maximizing margins on individual devices. By promptly listing and selling equipment in its current condition, resellers can capitalize on market fluctuations and maximize profitability.

6. Market Awareness and Price Adjustment:
Stay vigilant of market trends and adjust pricing strategies accordingly. Every day a listing that remains active incurs costs, particularly with rising interest rates. Regularly updating prices to align with market conditions is essential to optimize returns.

Bonus: Get expert support
Navigating the complexities of a shifting market landscape can be challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. If you are a small to medium-sized dealer with the challenges above, let’s set up a free one-hour consultation – limited to the first 20 dealers who contact us at [email protected]

Together, let’s navigate the changing tides and unlock new opportunities for growth and profitability.

About the Author

Chris Schmid is the CEO of Motus Group, the company behind, the largest international marketplace for used forklifts and material handling equipment. Before joining Motus, he led Sales & Marketing for a technology incubator, releasing and marketing software and e-commerce products. He was COO of a tech startup in Switzerland and San Francisco. Chris holds a master’s degree in international management from Reims Business School in France as well as the European School of Business in Reutlingen, Germany, and lives with his wife and three kids in Regensburg, Germany.

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