7 Tips When Buying Used Equipment For Your Business

by Josh Biggs in Business on 21st September 2021

Buying used equipment for your business is meant to be a cost-saving strategy. True enough, a high number of enterprises rely on second-hand assets for their core operations.  

From assembly lines to construction sites, used equipment is reliable workhorses–working double time to finish good-quality products within the desired timeframe.  

But as with any other type of machinery, knowing how to inspect and choose the right one is critical. In this article, you’ll find some valuable tips in identifying whether a piece of equipment still has a lot of life left to serve your business well.

  1. Be Clear With The Features Your Business Needs    

Similar to purchasing essential office tools, your business needs to determine the non-negotiables. Put simply, identify and list down which features are must-haves for the equipment. To come up with a list, consider the equipment’s primary purpose and how it fits your business goals. If you’re unable to find the specific products you require on the used market, another great option is to contact a company that makes bespoke products. For instance, if you’re looking for specific measured forged hooks, rod ends, or custom heavy construction products you should reach out to a trusted custom forge company.

For example, if you’re buying another machinery to meet the additional 5,000 monthly requirements of the new client, your equipment should be fast enough to make up at least twice this quantity as a buffer. Never choose a product just because of some fancy add-ons.         

  1. Compare Similar Products From Reputable Brands 

Some may advise your business to choose the highest-selling product in the market. While this could be a tempting idea, don’t rule out other brands yet.  

Use the internet to search for pieces of machinery of the same line and compare them. You may be surprised to realize that other brands have become competitive, too, offering better features in a piece of equipment that’s also meant to last. If buying a new equipment is not yet an option for your business, there are reputable companies that offer equipment for rental options, you can check Lakeshide-Hire for more information.    

  1. Don’t Forget To Check And Compare Prices  

Always include price checks when comparing products that have similar features. You’d never know if it’s a great deal or not if you don’t have a baseline price. Additionally, finding out the market value for both new and used business equipment is essential. This way, you don’t fall into the trap of paying for more than the machine is worth. Scour their prices by checking out reputable dealers, like Federal Equipment.   

There are many reasons why the previous owner decides to sell a piece of business machinery. It could be because of unexpected closure or needing to downgrade or upgrade. Whatever the reason, used items that are still of high quality or are ‘gently used’ often command higher prices. But don’t just jump at the most expensive tool on the line. Make sure it can hold up well by checking its qualities. 

  1. Durability And Performance Matter 

Once you’re done with price and feature comparisons, start researching these products for performance and reliability. Look for unbiased customer reviews or ask your colleagues whether they’ve used the product, and then ask about their experience. 

As mentioned, don’t be tied to one brand. Consider competitive and lower-priced brands that can do the job, too. Since you don’t want your business to suffer from frequent interruptions because of a piece of faulty equipment, find out how the equipment performs over time. Your staff may contribute to the equipment’s life span, so check for the required maintenance works and costs.

Also, check the equipment papers and maintenance records. Is the machine prone to breaking down? What are the common technical issues experienced by the previous owner? Was it properly maintained? These are the questions you need to have answers to when checking for performance.

  1. Master The Art Of Detailed Equipment Inspection   

Buying a piece of business equipment is like buying a car; never pay for the one you haven’t personally checked and tested yourself. If you don’t have the experience or familiarity that a thorough inspection requires, ask a third-party equipment expert to check on the item. Have this person test the machine while you perform the superficial and physical checks.   

If you’re purchasing a piece of construction equipment or manufacturing machinery, check the engine and engine panel for missing, worn out, or any art that’s out of place. Take a look at the hydraulic cylinders for any leaks, dents, and deep scratches. Make sure that the hoses function well and are sealed well. Check if there are no missing couplings, too. If possible, ask for oil samples to have a fair idea of the engine quality and performance.     

While minor scratches aren’t a big deal, significant cracks and other structural issues are a no-no. So, take a look at the machine closely and make sure there are no corrosions and brittle metal parts.

  1. Be Wary Of Red Flags  

As you won’t expect a perfectly conditioned product, check which machinery parts your business should spend for diligently. Also, check which spare parts need to be replaced with a new one, even if it looks good, and which ones are safe to use even if repaired or refurbished. In heavy pieces of machinery, you may want to focus on the engine quality and invest in other essential parts, like fuel injectors and electric motors,    

That said, you must also have many reasons to turn your back away from a piece of used machinery. You can brush off slight cosmetic issues but never ignore any problem with the major components. For example, if the machine takes too long to turn on and off, or if the transmission is faulty, don’t push through with the deal, especially in the case of vehicles. 

If the equipment has electronics, make sure its replacement parts are still available in the market so you can refurbish it in case of a breakdown.   

  1. Work With Reputable Sellers   

With online selling being open to anyone these days, individual sellers may come with a tempting offer. However, a good deal may not be so good if the seller is engaged in fraudulent practices. Worse, you may end up paying thousands worth of cash for a lemon.  

Before handing over your cash, perform due diligence by researching the equipment and checking out the seller’s reputation. If sellers can investigate their buyers to make sure they’re legitimate, you, as a buyer, can surely do the same.   

The Bottom Line  

Having the right equipment is essential in every business, as it provides employees with tools to become more efficient and productive. As such, it pays to never skimp on these significant investments.  

While buying used equipment can save your business some money, there are certain risks if you don’t know how to choose the right one. With the help of any of your experienced staff or a professional equipment inspector, you can make sure you’re getting the value of what you’re paying for, if not more.

Categories: Business