When looking to buy or sell a piece of construction equipment, options are often limited. There are a few big auction houses, a handful of websites and a local network of dealers, contractors and rental houses that might be interested. Online auction houses and equipment listing websites can provide other venues, but many don’t provide the tools for transactions, only connecting buyers and sellers of machines.
“Equipment is difficult,” says Mitchell Goldstein, founder and CEO of eqhq, a new equipment online marketplace that came out of beta testing into full public usage on Sept. 9. “Other industries have used data to move forward, but equipment is a bit of a dinosaur.”
Like other websites, eqhq connects buyers and sellers, but it also facilitates the transaction, providing an escrow for payments and helps arrange transport and transfer of title. “We eliminated all listing fees, all buying fees,” says Goldstein. “We only get paid when sellers are successful.”
The goal isn’t just to provide a listing site for equipment but also to apply machine learning to the vast stores of data eqhq has built up on equipment valuation for better search results and pricing. Equipment listings on eqhq are categorized as a “Great Deal” or a “Good Deal” based on algorithms that measure the price against the vital statistics of the heavy iron. “Our system has 36 signals and counter signals to calculate that, using a pretty complex neural network,” explains Goldstein. Once an offer has been made, the buyer has 24 hours to make the payment.
The marketplace of eqhq uses algorithms trained on past data to categorize sales and offer fleet management advice.
Photo courtesy EQHQ
But buying and selling is just one part of the site. According to Goldstein, many users are finding the most useful feature is the company’s My Fleet management service. Users upload a spreadsheet of their equipment’s make and model, and My Fleet generates a searchable database in the cloud of their fleet. This can be used to track machine age and valuation, as well as store key documents such as titles and liens for future reference. “You can break out your fleet by age, fleet value, most valuable pieces,” explains Goldstein. “The elastic search allows you to look at the data; it knows what different machines are to classify them properly.” The My Fleet service is available for free.
“With the market continuing to expand, eqhq helps us think about our fleet in a new way,” says Dave Kohler, equipment manager with Oakland-based Shimmick Construction. “We finally have the data we need at our fingertips. It’s easy and the costs are minimal compared to anything else out there.”