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How to Find a Cheap Small Excavator Without Sacrificing Quality


Small excavators are essential for a variety of construction and landscaping projects. However, finding a cheap small excavator without compromising on quality can be a challenging task. In this guide, we’ll explore several tips and strategies to help you find a cost-effective small excavator that meets your needs.

Research Online Marketplaces

Cheap Small Excavator
How to Find a Cheap Small Excavator Without Sacrificing Quality 23

When researching online marketplaces for a cheap small excavator, it’s essential to consider several key factors to ensure you find a quality machine at a competitive price. Here are some tips to help you navigate online marketplaces effectively:

Compare Prices

  • Check Multiple Websites: Don’t just rely on one website. Check prices on multiple platforms like eBay, Craigslist, MachineryTrader, and others to get a sense of the market.
  • Consider Location: Prices can vary based on the seller’s location. Sometimes, buying from a seller in a different region can save you money, even after factoring in shipping costs.

Check the Condition

  • New vs. Used: Decide whether you want a new or used excavator. Used machines are often cheaper but may come with more wear and tear.
  • Inspect Photos Carefully: Look for clear, detailed photos of the excavator. Zoom in to see any potential damage or signs of poor maintenance.

Read Reviews and Ratings

  • Seller Reputation: Check the seller’s reputation on the website. Look for sellers with high ratings and positive reviews from previous buyers.
  • Product Reviews: If available, read reviews of the specific excavator model you’re interested in. This can give you insight into its performance and durability.

Consider Additional Costs

  • Shipping and Handling: Factor in the cost of shipping and any additional fees. Sometimes, a slightly more expensive listing may end up being cheaper after considering these costs.
  • Taxes and Duties: If buying from a different country, be aware of any taxes or duties you may need to pay upon import.

Negotiate and Ask Questions

  • Don’t Hesitate to Negotiate: Sellers on online marketplaces are often open to negotiation, especially if the listing has been up for a while.
  • Ask Questions: If you have any doubts about the listing or the excavator’s condition, don’t hesitate to ask the seller for more information.

Check for Warranty and Return Policies

  • Warranty: Some sellers offer warranties on their used machines. This can provide peace of mind in case of any issues.
  • Return Policy: Check the seller’s return policy. Make sure you can return the excavator if it doesn’t meet your expectations.

Consider Buying Used

Buying a used small excavator can be a cost-effective way to acquire the machinery you need without breaking the bank. However, it’s crucial to approach the process carefully to ensure you get a quality machine that meets your requirements. Here are some key points to consider when buying a used small excavator:

Inspect the Machine Thoroughly

  • Physical Inspection: Look for signs of wear and tear, rust, or damage on the body, bucket, tracks, and hydraulic components.
  • Check Fluids: Inspect the oil, hydraulic fluid, and coolant for cleanliness and proper levels. Dirty or low fluids can be a sign of poor maintenance.
  • Operational Test: If possible, test the excavator’s operation to ensure all functions work correctly, including the boom, arm, bucket, and tracks.

Check Maintenance Records

  • Ask for Records: Request maintenance and service records from the seller. Regular maintenance indicates that the excavator has been well cared for.
  • Verify Hours: Check the machine’s operating hours. Lower hours generally indicate less wear and tear, but be wary of machines with suspiciously low hours that may have been tampered with.

Consider the Brand and Model

  • Reputation: Research the reputation of the brand and model of the excavator. Some brands are known for their durability and longevity.
  • Availability of Parts: Ensure that parts for the excavator are readily available in case of repairs or maintenance.

Evaluate the Seller

  • Professionalism: Deal with reputable sellers who are transparent about the excavator’s condition and history.
  • Ask Questions: Don’t hesitate to ask the seller about the excavator’s usage, maintenance, and any past issues.

Negotiate the Price

  • Comparison Shop: Compare prices of similar excavators on the market to ensure you’re getting a fair deal.
  • Consider Additional Costs: Factor in any additional costs such as transportation, taxes, or refurbishment.

Consider Buying from a Dealer

  • Warranty: Some dealers offer warranties on used equipment, providing added peace of mind.
  • Financing Options: Dealers may offer financing options that make purchasing a used excavator more manageable.

Get a Professional Inspection

  • Mechanic Inspection: Consider hiring a professional mechanic to inspect the excavator before purchase. They can identify any potential issues that may not be apparent to the untrained eye.

Look for Discounts and Special Offers

Finding discounts and special offers can help you save money when purchasing a small excavator. Here are some strategies to consider:

Manufacturer Promotions

  • Check Manufacturer Websites: Visit the websites of excavator manufacturers to see if they are running any promotions or offering discounts on their machines.
  • Subscribe to Newsletters: Subscribe to newsletters or mailing lists of manufacturers to receive updates on promotions and special offers.

Dealer Incentives

  • Visit Local Dealers: Visit local dealerships and inquire about any current incentives or discounts they may be offering on small excavators.
  • Ask About Demo or Display Models: Dealers sometimes offer discounts on demo or display models that have been lightly used for demonstrations or exhibitions.

Seasonal Sales

  • End-of-Year Sales: Dealers often offer discounts at the end of the year to clear out old inventory and make room for new models.
  • Off-Season Purchases: Consider buying a small excavator during the off-season when demand is lower, as dealers may be more willing to negotiate on price.

Package Deals

  • Bundle with Other Equipment: Some dealers offer discounts if you purchase multiple pieces of equipment together, such as a small excavator and a trailer.
  • Include Attachments: Ask if the dealer can include attachments, such as buckets or hammers, at a discounted price with the purchase of the excavator.

Government and Trade-In Programs

  • Check Government Programs: Some government agencies offer grants or subsidies for purchasing certain types of equipment, including small excavators.
  • Trade-In Discounts: If you have an old excavator or other equipment to trade in, dealers may offer a discount on the new purchase.

Online Marketplaces and Auctions

  • Monitor Online Auctions: Websites like eBay often have auctions for new and used equipment where you can potentially snag a deal.
  • Look for Overstock Sales: Some sellers offer discounts on overstocked items to clear out inventory quickly.

Negotiate with Sellers

  • Be Prepared to Negotiate: Even if there are no advertised discounts, don’t be afraid to negotiate with sellers to see if they are willing to offer a lower price or throw in additional equipment or services.
Discount/Special OfferDescription
Manufacturer PromotionsCheck manufacturer websites for promotions and discounts on new small excavators.
Dealer IncentivesVisit local dealerships to inquire about incentives, such as discounts on demo or display models.
Seasonal SalesTake advantage of end-of-year sales and off-season discounts offered by dealers.
Package DealsBundle your purchase with other equipment or attachments for a discounted price.
Government and Trade-In ProgramsCheck for government grants or subsidies and trade-in discounts offered by dealerships.
Online Marketplaces and AuctionsMonitor online auctions and look for overstock sales on websites like eBay for potential discounts.
Negotiate with SellersBe prepared to negotiate the price with sellers, especially for used excavators or bulk purchases.

Negotiate with Sellers

Negotiating with sellers can be an effective way to get a better price on a small excavator. Here are some tips to help you negotiate successfully:

Research Prices

  • Know the Market: Research the prices of small excavators similar to the one you’re interested in. This will give you a benchmark for negotiating.

Be Prepared to Walk Away

  • Set a Limit: Determine the maximum price you’re willing to pay and stick to it. If the seller won’t meet your price, be prepared to walk away and look elsewhere.

Highlight Your Benefits

  • Highlight Quick Sale: If you’re ready to buy immediately, let the seller know. They may be more willing to negotiate for a quick sale.
  • Mention Repeat Business: If you’re a repeat customer or have the potential for future business, mention this as a bargaining point.

Bundle Offers

  • Include Attachments: If the seller is unwilling to budge on the price of the excavator, ask if they can include attachments, such as buckets or hammers, at no extra cost.

Ask for Extras

  • Free Maintenance: Request free maintenance or a service package for the first few months to sweeten the deal.
  • Free Delivery: If the seller is far away, ask if they can provide free delivery or a discount on transportation costs.

Be Polite and Professional

  • Build Rapport: Establishing a good rapport with the seller can make them more willing to negotiate.
  • Stay Calm: Even if negotiations get tense, remain calm and polite. Getting angry or aggressive can ruin the deal.

Know When to Walk Away

  • Don’t Settle: If you’re not happy with the price or terms, don’t be afraid to walk away. There are plenty of other sellers out there.

Consider Financing Options

  • Flexible Payment Plans: If the seller won’t lower the price, ask if they can offer a flexible payment plan or financing options to make the purchase more manageable.

Get Everything in Writing

  • Finalize the Deal: Once you’ve agreed on a price, make sure to get all the details in writing, including any extras or special terms negotiated.

Consider Financing Options

How to Find a Cheap Small Excavator Without Sacrificing Quality 24

Financing can be a helpful option if you’re looking to purchase a small excavator without paying the full price upfront. Here are some financing options to consider:

Manufacturer Financing

  • Low-Interest Rates: Many manufacturers offer financing options with low-interest rates for purchasing their equipment.
  • Promotional Offers: Look out for promotional offers such as zero-percent financing for a certain period.

Dealer Financing

  • Flexible Terms: Dealerships often have financing programs with flexible terms and competitive rates.
  • Trade-In Options: Some dealers may accept a trade-in of your old equipment as part of the down payment.

Bank Loans

  • Traditional Loans: Banks and financial institutions offer equipment loans with fixed or variable interest rates.
  • SBA Loans: Small Business Administration (SBA) loans are another option for financing equipment purchases.

Equipment Leasing

  • Lower Upfront Costs: Leasing allows you to use the equipment without the high upfront costs of purchasing.
  • Tax Benefits: Lease payments may be tax-deductible as a business expense.

Online Lenders

  • Quick Approval: Online lenders may offer fast approval processes and competitive rates for equipment financing.
  • Comparison Shopping: Consider comparing offers from multiple online lenders to find the best deal.

Equipment Rental

  • Short-Term Needs: If you only need the excavator for a short period, renting may be more cost-effective than buying.
  • Rent-to-Own Options: Some rental companies offer rent-to-own programs where a portion of your rental payments goes towards purchasing the equipment.

Credit Cards

  • Use with Caution: While using a credit card to finance a small excavator can be convenient, be mindful of high-interest rates and fees.

Government Programs

  • Grants and Subsidies: Some government agencies offer grants or subsidies for purchasing equipment, especially if it benefits the local community or environment.

Conclusion:Cheap Small Excavator

Finding a cheap small excavator without sacrificing quality is possible with the right approach. By researching online marketplaces, considering buying used, looking for discounts and special offers, negotiating with sellers, and exploring financing options, you can find a cost-effective excavator that meets your needs.


Q: Are cheap small excavators reliable?

A: While some cheap small excavators may be less reliable than their more expensive counterparts, many are still capable of performing well if properly maintained.

Q: How can I ensure that a used excavator is in good condition?

A: Before purchasing a used excavator, be sure to inspect it thoroughly and ask for maintenance records. Additionally, consider hiring a professional mechanic to inspect the machine before making a purchase.

Q: Are there any additional costs associated with buying a small excavator?

A: Yes, there are several additional costs to consider, including insurance, maintenance, and transportation costs.

Q: Can I use a small excavator for landscaping projects?

A: Yes, small excavators are well-suited for a variety of landscaping projects, including digging trenches, grading land, and moving large amounts of soil.

Q: How long do small excavators typically last?

A: With proper maintenance, small excavators can last for many years. However, the lifespan of a small excavator can vary depending on the make and model, as well as how it’s used and maintained.

About Us

Shandong Qilu Industrial Co., Ltd. is a professional manufacturer and exporter integrating the development and production of excavators, loaders and tractors. We provide the best service, absolutely.

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