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Indianapolis Business Journal Article About Kensar




Publication: Indianapolis Business Journal
Date: September 26th, 2005
Section: Small Biz
Page #: 38

Just like the aerial lifts Kensar Equipment sells and rents, Ken Sarbaugh and Mitch Wallace’s business is going up.

The company has been selling used material handling equipment, forklifts and the like, since 1996. Like other businesses, Kensar has gotten a boost—and expanded its reach—with help from the Internet.

In April, Kensar’s Web site was redesigned to be more user-friendly. The site is updated daily, and customers can see product specifications and pictures.

“We’ve really grown our e-commerce sales,” said founder and co-owner Ken Sarbaugh. “We’re going to do over a $1 million this year in Internet sales.”

The Internet also has brought a change in customers’ buying patterns. No longer are companies strictly buying from local dealers, Sarbaugh said. Kensar’s business now extends from California to New England.

“[Customers] used to be local or within a tri-state area,” he said. “Today, we’ve grown into a national provider of used equipment.”

Three years after opening, Kensar began offering equipment for rent. That venture has paid off, as industrial and job-site rentals reached $600,000 in the past 12 months.

Sarbaugh attributes the sales growth to the value Kensar offers.

“We’ve done it all without outside sales reps, which is unique,” he said. “The reason we can do it is strictly offering better value. We can provide a piece of equipment with 90 percent use of life for about 50 percent [of] the price of a new piece.”

But that would mean nothing if customers weren’t interested.

“Customers care more about value than they do the bricks and mortar, and I think that’s been a big change in the industry,” Sarbaugh said. “They’re buying equipment that lasts for years before they want to know how big your business is.”

And that’s true for even the large companies, who previously may have bought only new equipment. Now, they’re turning to Kensar for used equipment.

The slow economy can result in companies renting a short-term stand-in instead of buying a new piece, Sarbaugh said.

Just three years after moving to a new Indianapolis location, Kensar is looking to open its first out-of-state location.

“We are considering other markets within the tri-state area right now,” Sarbaugh said, naming Cincinnati and Louisville as possible candidates. “We work with dealers in both of those cities now. We’d like to have a Kensar in one of those cities in the next year.”

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