Used Furnace Sales in the Age of COVID-19

At least for the time being COVID-19 has altered the world and our industry in terms that are still hard to grasp, and this includes used furnace sales. A rough rule of thumb would be that any used furnace with an asking price of over $20,000 USD warrants an in person inspection, which means driving or flying. With current travel restrictions many times an actual visit has become an impossibility which has lead to “virtual inspections”-an example is in order. Recently “The Monty” had listed a “like new” vacuum furnace with an asking price of $300,000 USD. Like new yes, but still a used piece of equipment. A potential buyer surfaced but for obvious reasons did not feel comfortable taking a 4 hour flight to look at the furnace in person. The solution was that the vendor offered a virtual inspection of the furnace which was basically a live stream video of the furnace with the potential buyer requesting different camera angles. The buyer was satisfied, the deal was done and last we heard both buyer and seller were very happy with the outcome. Since that time “The Monty” has sold several other items by means of virtual inspections and to date each transaction has been successful for all parties involved. Whether this will become a long term trend remains to be seen but at least for the present virtual inspections appear to be a viable alternative to an in person visit.