Keeping Up the Resale Value of Your ToysRarely do people buy a vehicle and keep it through its lifespan. Unless you’re my neighbor. He bought a brand new ¾ ton Chevrolet pickup in 1977, and drives it to this day. I kid you not, there are model year 2012 vehicles in worse shape than that truck. However, old John is a rarity. He’s an old school breed of American who believes in taking pride in your belongings and staying on top of maintenance rather than driving something into the ground and simply replacing it when things get too hard to fix.

When it comes to boys and their toys, there are a wealth of off road recreationalists who, every so often, find it time for a replacement for their ride. Be it a new ATV, dirt bike, snowmobile, or even pick-up truck of toy hauler – it’s just not common for someone to buy a toy new off of the show room floor and hang onto it for the next 30 years. With ever evolving technology and innovation, it’s easy to understand why people want to replace their toys, but the switch leaves many in the predicament of having to find a reasonable way out from under their previous purchase.

Selling a used piece of equipment comes down to the resale value of the item, a large portion of which is affected by the use and maintenance of the vehicle during the course of ownership. To ensure that you get top dollar for your rig when it’s time to swap it out, here are a few tips on maintaining a reasonable resale value without leaving your toys parked in the garage 24/7.

1. Maintain, Maintain, Maintain!
Maintenance is an integral part of owning anything with moving parts. Whether we’re talking about draining old gas or putting in fuel stabilizer before the off-season, or changing oil as recommended, maintenance can have a major impact on the long-term condition, and thus value, of your toys. Be sure to pay proper attention to not only motor components, but other moving parts (like suspension and steering) as well to keep the vehicle as a whole in the best possible shape.

2. Keep it Clean.
Nobody wants to buy a nasty dirt vehicle. Think about it: if you were looking at a used truck that was covered in Big Mac wrappers and old cans of Copenhagen with some mysterious stains on the seat, you’d pay a whole lot less (if you were even brave enough to buy it) than you would for a well-kept, clean pickup. The same goes for ATV’s, boats, jet skis. As a rule of thumb, always wash your rides after use and put them away clean and dry. Clean out your junk before you store it and you’ll be in a much better position than you would be trying to scrub off that mud cake 6 months later.

3. Tone Down the Modifications:
A machine with internal engine modifications, or other major changes, like a snorkel may be cool to some, but to others is raises a red flag that the machine may have led a hard life. If you plan on selling your toy at some point down the road, consider keeping the modifications and personalization light to help increase the target market.

Off-road rigs are made for fun. However, if you’re planning on selling or have bought this vehicle as a stepping stone to a new ride in the coming months or year, you’ll want to be sure to have your fun while considering the long-term cost. On the other end of the spectrum, if you’re out for a good time – let ‘er rip; but consider that maintenance and cleaning just as important to keep your ride running for your own benefit. Because broken stuff ain’t fun.

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