Buying used (rather than brand new) machinery will save both you and your business a lot of money. It’s better for the environment too, since it means less waste and fewer new machines on the production line. If you’re considering going down the secondhand route for the first time, here are some things to consider.
1 Inspect the condition in person
First and foremost, used equipment can vary wildly in quality depending on how it’s been used and for how long. For example, 2 ram balers that are nearly new and have hardly been used will be in far better shape than five year old machines that have taken on heavy workloads. Don’t just take the word of the product description. Always pay the seller a visit and inspect the machine in person. Taking it for a test is even better and will reveal any faults.
2 Explore the features
Not everybody who sells used machinery is an expert, many are simply dealers working as intermediaries. Don’t presume that features are uniform across the board or that the product description is necessarily correct. Again, performing an inspection in person pays dividends. Ask what features the machine comes with and then check to make sure that they’re all present/functioning.
3 Research the model
Machines come in various models and makes, sometimes radically different from each other. Fortunately, it’s easy to research model history via a quick internet search. Look for common issues and faults on your chosen model and also try to get a feel for more general factors like reliability and longevity. If you find that a particular fault is common with a specific model, be much more thorough with your checks. You might even be able to negotiate a discount.
4 Switch brands
Brand loyalty can be both positive and negative. On the one hand, getting to know a brand gives you a feel for its unique features and quirks, but it can also mean that you don’t take advantage of better (or cheaper) machines from different manufacturers. Buying used frees you up to explore the marketplace. Research machines from different brands, comparing prices, features and reliability.
5 Assess your needs
When buying used for the first time, many people are struck by cheap prices and make rash purchases. Rather than letting yourself be allured by a bargain, consider your needs and capabilities. Multi-functional machinery is fantastic, but more basic models are cheaper and might be all that you need. Similarly, a low-cost machine is useless if it’s too big to be stored on your property.
6 Look for cover
New machines often come with insurance and warranties that cover you should something go wrong. Although you won’t always get the same level of protection with used, there will usually be some kind of cover available. Most secondhand machines come with warranties, and you’ll have the option to take out various types of coverage. Some dealers will even offer ongoing support and assistance. Shop around until you find the best package and don’t be afraid to negotiate.