Buying Used Equipment

It has never been so easy to buy used equipment. 

I mean, phone cameras have gotten so good that you can trust Craiglist and tons of resale sites have cropped up and integrated into our own social media channels. In fact, it might take more energy to try and buy new.

This connectivity is a little annoying when it comes to buying furniture. But things changed for niche industries where specialty machinery and heavy equipment cost thousands and thousands of dollars.

Sure, it’s a great feeling to buy new and know the whole history of the machine you’re working with. But is it worth the retail price? Buying used industrial equipment can save you up to 50% or more on the retail markup.

Some of the money you save might go into refurbishing the machine, fixing a few parts and giving it a fresh coat of paint but that’s a small price to pay for a massive discount on specialty machinery that will last for years to come.

Afterall, technology changes pretty quickly but machinery doesn’t develop quite that fast. Ovens and grills still cook food at high temperatures, it’s hard to bend metal without an industrial press and there’s only so many ways to build a sawmill and sow a field.

That doesn’t mean close your eyes and buy the first thing you see but why pay full price for something that does the same thing new or used?



There’s only one tip you need to be a savvy used equipment buyer:

Do research before you buy.

This applies to new and used but especially to used. Here are a few questions you should have answers to if you’re about to drop a few grand on used equipment:

  • Look up the model number and check the reviews. What’s in the bad reviews? Are the good ones substantive?
  • Get an estimate on the lifetime of the machine. Don’t get stuck with something that has been running for 13 years but is only made to last 15.
  • How much wear is on the machine?
  • How many times and what was repaired? Are there still faulty parts?
  • What are you willing to fix?
  • What will the transportation costs be? Other fees like buyer’s premium and tax? Always factor in those costs. You could save a thousand dollars off of retail but once you add up everything else you could find yourself paying over.