MachinesUsed.com: A History of Ingenuity, Initiative, and Dedication

The story of MachinesUsed.com is one of ingenuity, initiative, and plain old hard work. Founded in 2003 as the used machine tool division of Productivity Inc., MachinesUsed.com has grown from a small operation run by one man at a single desk to a full team of industry specialists with 100+ years of experience, operating out of an 18,000 square-foot showroom.

That one man is the founder, John Lawton, and in many ways, the Company’s history mirrors his. Entering the machinery business in his early 20s, John was a quick study, although he admits it took some time to understand the industry in depth.

“I started out at 23 years old. I basically knew what a drill press was,” he said. Apparently, that was enough. “My boss told me, ‘Here’s your territory,’ and that’s how I got started.” Never one to back down from a challenge, John put in the time and effort to become a successful sales representative. “I wasn’t any good until 5 years in, maybe 10,” he said.

And while he jokes that some people might argue that he’s still not any good, the growth of MachinesUsed.com tells a different story. When John joined the business in 2003, Productivity, a top CNC machine tool metalworking distributor in the Midwest, offered new equipment sales only.

“Productivity had tried entering the used machine tool space a couple of times before they hired me,” John said, “but they hadn’t seen much success in that market.” All that changed when John encouraged Productivity to give the used market one more shot.

With the greenlight to launch MachinesUsed.com in 2003, John set to work immediately, applying his initiative and ingenuity to the task. Soon, he was selling anything from a single piece of equipment to an entire machine shop, and everything in between.

In addition to John’s expertise, coupled with our team’s wide range of industry experience, MachinesUsed.com also owes our success to the wide range of services offered. “We’re not just a dealer that buys and sells used machinery,” said John. “We also offer our clients the benefit of our own online auction platform.”

Thanks to their exclusive, business-owned online auction platform, MachinesUsed.com can sell equipment from anywhere in North America, offering turnkey solutions to clients hoping to liquidate an entire warehouse or just looking to sell one machine.

“We know manufacturing equipment,” said John. “We stay in our lane, but we cover that lane entirely.” Think machinery, tooling, capital assets, valuation services, liquidations and more. “We can assess the condition of the machines; create auction lots of all equipment and supplies; post pictures, videos, and specs of the equipment; and host the online sale,” said John.

After the sale, MachinesUsed.com even preps equipment for transport, arranges the shipping, and supervises the removal of the items. Because MachinesUsed.com sells all over North America, we can find the right buyer for the right machine at the right price.

“Thanks to the variety of sales services we offer, we can maximize the return on our clients’ assets.”  And with over 18 online sales events each year, coupled with the products available in our large showroom, Machinesused.com can meet clients’ needs for used machine tools at a price they can afford. All because one man took the initiative to launch MachinesUsed.com.