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10 Tips for Taking Pictures When Selling Your Equipment

Pictures to sell used equipment

Ready to sell your used heavy equipment? If so, we want to help you build the best for-sale listing possible. The most effective listings have great photos, which can catch shoppers’ attention and convince them the machinery is the perfect unit for them. On Equipment Trader, listings with pictures generate 2.5X higher search result impressions, 4X higher click-through rates, and 9.9X higher equipment detail page-views than listings without photos.

Here are our 10 tips for taking pictures when selling your equipment:

1. Upload Real Pictures of the Equipment

When building a for-sale listing, it can be tempting to add professional stock photos from the OEM website or other online sources. However, especially when purchasing used equipment, buyers want to have confidence they are not being scammed by a seller misrepresenting the condition of the unit. Taking real, detailed pictures of the actual equipment for sale provides that credibility.

2. Use a High Quality Camera

If you’re still rocking a flip phone, that’s cool, but it’s not the right choice to snap photos of your for-sale equipment. Use a quality digital camera or smartphone to take pictures. Clear photos give shoppers a better idea of the unit condition, making them more likely to purchase the machinery.

3. Take A LOT of Pictures

Images communicate automatically and more powerfully than any written description, so the more pictures you can add, the better you’ll connect with buyers. Adding multiple images that focus on various parts of the equipment from a wide range of angles is the best sales pitch you can make.

4. Use Natural Daylight

Your equipment is going to look best in the natural light of the sun. If you’ve got a moment with clear skies, it’s time to snap some photos. While taking pictures outside, place the machinery in a clear area so that no buildings or trees are casting dark shadows onto the equipment. 

5. Check the Background & Surroundings

When taking pictures of for-sale equipment, you want the buyer’s focus on the machinery. That’s why you want to make sure there are no distractions in the image background. Before snapping a photo, clear the area and then do one last scan before starting the photoshoot.

6. Show Multiple Angles

Buyers want to see lots of photos, but not all from the same angle! Views should include 

  • the front,
  • each side,
  • the back,
  • the corners, 
  • the top,
  • the undercarriage, and
  • with and without attachments.

7. Use Wide Shots for the Body, Close-Ups for Parts

You want to show off the entire unit, as well as its specific parts. Take a few steps back to capture wide shot images that include the entire piece of equipment. Then get up close to provide buyers with detailed pictures of the engine, undercarriage, tracks and/or wheels, attachment joints, VIN/serial number, and any other relevant parts and components.

8. Demonstrate the Equipment in Action

Buyers want to purchase functioning machinery, so use pictures to prove that your equipment is in good working condition and can get the job done. Action photos could include an excavator with its boom extended, a tractor pulling a plow, a loader with its bucket full of dirt, a scissor lift fully raised, a harvester unloading grain into a trailer, or a forklift carrying cargo.

9. Show the Interior and Exterior

The exterior is an obvious subject for photos, but don’t forget to also show off the seat and/or cab. After all, the interior is where a buyer is likely to spend much of their time. Snap pictures of the seat, dashboard, steering wheel or controls, pedals, windows, and windshield.

10. Show Any Damage

It’s important to be honest and not misrepresent the condition of the equipment you are selling. If there is any scratch, dent, or other damage to the machinery, include that in your written description and in your photos.

Bonus Tip: Add Videos Too!

Pictures are a powerful advertising tool when you’re selling your used heavy equipment. But videos can be equally persuasive, if not more so! While taking photos, record videos of the unit too, whether it’s a simple walkaround or a demonstration video of the equipment in action.


Listings with photos have more buyers looking at them, clicking to view additional information, and contacting sellers to pursue a purchase. If you’re ready to snap some photos and sell your used heavy equipment, we encourage you to list your for-sale machinery on Equipment Trader’s nationwide online marketplace. From now until the end of the year, you can get 25% off your for-sale listing when you enter promo code SELL25.


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Ethan Smith
Ethan Smith
is the Marketing Manager at Trader Interactive, overseeing marketing campaigns for ATV Trader, Boatline, Commercial Truck Trader, Cycle Trader, Equipment Trader, RV Trader, and more. Ethan believes in using accessible language to elevate conversations about industry topics relevant to marketplace buyers and sellers.

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