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How to buy used equipment (and be sure its not stolen)


LawnSite Member
Tomorrow I will be looking at a used ZTR. What do I get the seller to sign or give me so I know its not stolen. Please tell me ask much as possible before I leave to look at it (8am Tuesday). I tell more about the mower in another thread tomorrow.


LawnSite Silver Member
Southern WI
Um, what exactly do you expect him to produce to you to prove it's not stolen?

If he's the original owner, I'd think he'd have the reciept from when he bought it.

If he bought it used, there may not be any documentation. Just because he has no paperwork on it does not mean it's stolen.

I guess you could get the serial number off it and do something with that, what i don't know though.

I remember there was a thread in the Exmark forum with the serial numbers of a bunch of stolen mowers a while back.

All in all, short of calling the local PD for whatever town the guy lives in, it would be hard to prove that it IS stolen. So you'll just have to take the guys word for it.

Do you already suspect it's stolen?


LawnSite Member
Just some general tips, if you are meeting in a generic parking lot, or anything that seems to be suspicious in the deal, they are nervous, jerky, looking around trying to be quick with the sale. If you meet at his shop or where the equipment is kept you may have more confidence. Remember a dog does not Sh*t where he sleeps. Also you can save the ad, if in a paper, or be subtle and write down the adress or vehichle plate numbers for future reference if needed.