Rouble Trouble – The Benefits Of Buying Used Equipment

Russian company owners turn to the used market as a result of rouble depreciation and negative economic forecasts

The first quarter of 2009 is bringing about a strong devaluation of the rouble, due to Russia’s attempt to adjust to lower oil prices and a bleak economic outlook. Last year, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev described 31-32 roubles to the dollar as a “red mark” that could have been violated as the credit crunch was triggering an ongoing currency depreciation. He was right, because the rouble went past the 32 mark on 15th January – for the first time in modern history. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Russian economy is deteriorating at a fast pace. The main problems Russia has to face are the sharp fall in gas and oil prices and the withdrawal of foreign capital, caused by the fact that investing in the former Soviet republic is considered a risky affair.

Up to now, the situation doesn’t look good for Russian enterprises, especially start-ups and SMEs, which don’t have huge budgets to invest in the purchase of brand new equipment. Even if the country is benefiting from steady government intervention, the credit crunch casts a dark shadow over the economy, causing uncertainty and even panic. As a consequence, many company owners might need to twist some fingers in the quest for cheaper equipment outsourcing. More and more Russian businesses are turning to the used market for their equipment needs, be it a massive crane or a portable computer. Buying tractors, combines and trucks on the used market allows company owners to save thousands of roubles while still purchasing high value, environmentally-friendly industrial assets. A recent research done by online marketplace AssetTrader shows that
when agricultural or construction businesses allow their assets to go unused for more than 50% of their work span, they become a huge drain on resources in storage and depreciating costs. These gradually accumulating losses are a particularly unwelcome factor in our times of financial turmoil and economic uncertainty. Trading machinery on the used market allows making money while saving money: for instance, you can sell an item you no longer need in order to purchase something essential for your company.

Eric Usher, CEO at AssetTrader, reports a noticeable increase in Russian customer base: “We are seeing more and more interest coming from Russia and Eastern Europe. This is one of the reasons behind our decision to launch a brand new Polish platform: AssetTrader Polska, which is available online at A Russian website is also under development; we hope it will be up and running soon. Our Russian partners are confident in the quality of industrial equipment produced in Western Europe and the States. They want to invest in high value assets that will enhance their company’s productivity and raise its profile. However, they might find it too expensive to buy new items straight from the original manufacturer. Given the circustances, buying used machinery is the perfect compromise between quality and price. Besides, B2B portals like AssetTrader simplify the trading procedures, making the whole experience extremely easy and user-friendly. We are confident that Russia will find solutions to stimulate the growth of small and medium enterprises. Even if the crisis is hitting hard, Russian companies are rising up to the challenge of a more diversified economy.”

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