why is my wheelhorse worth so little?

makeparSeptember 16, 2007

was driving around the other day and saw a sign that said, "used mowers wanted." and, being that i want to outright sell or consign my wheelhorse 416-8 (298 hrs) 42" rear discharge deck . . . i stopped in.

the individual was an old timer (wheelhorse of course!) he gave me quite an education.

i thought, my low hour unit had several strengths (onan twin, very good shape, a true garden tractor- ('90-'91-'92-am not sure, can post serial nos) + matching chrome hubcaps . . .

granted, a 520hydro it is not . . . but i was amazed when he balked, after i told him, i thought it was worth $1,000.00. his inference was that it was worth far far far less-and i wouldn't get it. however he did offer to come by and see it and make a cash offer.

what is the collective wisdom of the wheelhorse men/women of this forum (he informed me that many of the parts/pieces on the classic tractors are no longer . . . should my value be decreasing? hmmm, also said he'd be going to the gettysburg , pa meet.

any and all feedback appreciated. robert a

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canguy(British Columbia)

Sounds like he is interested in refurbishing low dollar clunkers to supplement his pension and keep out of the missus' way.
Anything is worth what the buyer is willing to pay. As a dealer sales rep, I get a lot of requests for used tractors but most think they should pay less for a good used one than the cheapest new one. I ask them if they are looking for a new Yugo or a used Buick.
Unless you are in a hurry, don't accept the first offer. Get the word out and wait for a prospective buyer who knows what he is looking at.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 3:25PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

Since we're approaching the end of the mowing season, now isn't the best time to sell a tractor. Another factor working against you is the Onan engine. Onan tractor engines are no longer manufactured. Parts are still available but we don't know for how long. The same can be said for WH Classic parts.

Also, keep in mind that the dealer is thinking wholesale and you are thinking retail.

Condition determines value to a large extent with older tractors. I paid $669 on eBay for my 1995 312-8 with a 42" SD deck last year. It has a Kohler M12 engine that is still in production. The GT was in excellent condition but had 975 hours on it. Here's a picture.

If you can store your 416-8 until spring, it will be easier to sell and you'll get more for it.


    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 3:38PM
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I would be reluctant to sell to him beings he is looking to make money off it. Course it not worth much IHO cause he wants to get it as cheap as he can so his profit margin will be greater.

If you think it's worth a $1000.00 then start off at that price and see what offer's you get before you sell if off cheap.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2007 at 3:49PM
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My .02 - It's worth around $5-600 without any attachments such as a blower, blade, weights, tiller, bagger...

Do your research on eBay and you'll see a number of examples around $500 for 316's.

As far as retail vs. private party - Most people have come to understand that they will pay more at a dealership. However, dealers come with a bit of security, namely being that you likely have recourse in the event that the unit turns out to be a complete dud and the dealership will likely work with you to make it right. Private party - Hopefully the problem behind the sellers motivation to sell is not as big of an issue as they perceived.

Now don't get me wrong, often times I'll buy used only when I believe that I can fix whatever may come up for only the expense of the parts, but it should be pointed out that a new engine or new transmission will typically set you back somewhere in the neighborhood of $400+ in parts, not to mention the better part of a weekend screwing with it, afterall, don't we buy lawn/garden tractors so we can enjoy more time doing other things? So my bottom line expectation would be to buy a used unit for about $400 less than a comparable unit at a dealer.

Please let us know how it turns out.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 12:29AM
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why are you set on selling? If it works well maybe you should keep it.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 3:19AM
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That would also be me question: Why sell it? My tractors are both 25 years old and I'm not planning to downsize, so why not run them into the ground? If I had to replace them with new, it would cost well over 10K.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 5:51AM
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makepar, the 2 ?'s that I have are; why are you selling it? why are you considering selling it to a equipment reseller?
If you feel its worth a 1,000; then put a sign on it for 1,000 or OBO and see what happens. Its easier to move to price down than up.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 6:56AM
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why i am selling,
i am clearing out my lawn building of the quaility, little used pieces i have aquired over the past few years.
my wheelhorse and honda tiller and honda track snowthrower.
my reasons are because-even though, i am handicapable (significant drop foot/old and fat with a very iffy back)- did i mention it's a snug fit behind the steering wheel? i would like to move to a sub cut w/hydro, so i would have a more effective ground engaging machine, 3 pt. hitch capable. i have also sensed a shortage of parts, that will not be an issue on a newer machine.
i thank you all for your input . . . will keep you posted

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 9:10AM
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Sonuds like you ought to put the whole stable out with signs on each of what you want for it. Bigger selection of items will cause more people to stop and look.
If a item is out with a FOR SALE sign and without a price I never stop -

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 9:22AM
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Another reason for the lower value is the manual transmission. The majority of tractor buyers prefer hydros today, therefore used manual transmissions, although coveted by some, are not nearly as attractive in the market.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2007 at 10:24AM
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had false start the other day when i mistakenly posted a tractor comment in the lawn mower forum . . . DOH! . . .
anyway, i put a new battery in the 416-8, gave it a shot of ether and the engine roared to life with the sweetest purr and tone that i've heard in many a year(god bless this onan powered toro/wheelhorse!)
i cut my grass with it for the first time in 2 1/2 years with it and was darn glad to have it . . . had a mini case of disonance about selling it, (perhaps, i could find a dozer/snow blade or manufacture a hitch for a salt/fertilzer spreader.
at this point the lawn building is too crowded and small for everything that must go in it. i can't see pulling the battery and putting a tarp over it for the winter time.
i have a hard enough time with the sibling rivarly between my daughters . . . wouldn't it be worse for tractors trying to co-exist, and always be first?
will clean the old girl, and continue to ponder my decisions on her.
it is almost laughable, that i find it to difficult to mount and dismount the tractor due to my dead leg and big belly (not to self depricating enough?) and that they are two of factors in my decision to sell.
however, my new hubcaps may only be worth $100.00 but the actual tractor (heart and soul) is certainly worth more than the low estimates to date.
thank you for your time and attention. robert a.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2007 at 10:11AM
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I'd start at $2000.00. That person may have seen a 316 on e-bay for $500.oo, but that's like comparing a bronco II with a bronco.

    Bookmark   January 1, 2011 at 9:06PM
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So whats a 312-8 worth. I'm trying to sell mine

    Bookmark   October 5, 2014 at 2:45PM
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Anymore there are fewer and fewer people who are willing to hunt down parts and fiddle with oldies but (REALLY) goodies. There's nothing quite like needing a part that is NLA and having to hunt one down and pay what the seller wants if you really need it... IF you can even find one

It's worth what someone will pay for it.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2014 at 3:35PM
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