Buying used machinery and parts online as an alternative to buying new equipment is becoming a popular way to save money. Companies of all sizes buy used equipment for multiple reasons, beyond just saving on the initial investment. For example, used equipment doesn’t depreciate as quickly and often you can get the equipment you need without any lead times. Buying online from auctions and liquidations has also become far more convenient than it used to be. Most auctions are now hosted online, so you can view and bid on equipment from the comfort of your desk.
However, one concern buyers have when purchasing any type of used item online is ensuring that they are dealing with reputable sellers. If you buy new from a manufacturer or authorized reseller, you know you can expect product support and easy returns. When buying used online, you may not know the seller. It’s difficult to give your trust completely to a party you don’t know. Before you buy, follow these ways to screen sellers when buying used equipment online:1. Contact the Seller Before Making an Offer
If you’re using a good online marketplace, you will be able to contact the seller first before you make an offer to buy. You can ask a simple question about the item or ask to talk to them over the phone or email. Set up a time with the seller to inspect the equipment in person if at all possible.
2. Do a Google Check
Use the Internet to your advantage and conduct your own investigation into the seller. Sellers that are selling on online marketplace will often have their own website, or may have sold on other platforms. Simply typing the word "review" after the seller's name in an online search engine will often bring up reviews by other customers.
3. Ask for a Reference
Any legitimate company you want to do business with won’t hesitate to give you a reference. Ask the seller for the contact information of someone they’ve done business with in the past and call them. When you do talk to the reference, ask about their experience in buying from the company and if there were any hitches or problems.
4. Use Reputable Sites to Source Equipment
If you’re buying online, make sure you use a marketplace with a good reputation. Aucto, for example, screens both sellers and buyers. Sellers must provide detailed information about themselves and their company before they are able to transact on the platform.
5. Pay through Protected Payment Methods
Protected payment gateways such as PayPal and credit cards also add an additional layer of secuity for buyers. Look for sellers that accept such payment methods. Some sites such as Aucto go even further to protect buyer payments by placing the funds in an escrow account, and only releasing the funds to the seller once the equipment has been delivered.
5. Watch for Red Flags
Sometimes, there are common red flags when transacting with sellers online. For example, if a seller asks to use an unknown payment method or asks for your bank account information, be wary. If they are communicating with you using public email addresses (like gmail or yahoo) instead of a company domain, this too is cause for concern. In general, trust your instinct – if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Buying used equipment online is an excellent way to save money and access the equipment you need, when you need it. But before you make any purchase, make sure you screen sellers and use only reputable industrial liquidation marketplaces.