In our experience, used equipment in working condition has the potential to sell for 50 to 60 per cent of its ‘new’ value. This presents not only an opportunity for equipment owners to recuperate assets, but it gives potential buyers more purchasing options and price points. In fact, industry trends reveal that more and more business owners and companies are realizing that ‘buying used’ is a viable money saving option.
Despite used equipment sales’ increasing popularity, there are some who fear that the risks associated with purchasing used equipment may outweigh the reward. This week, we’re providing some hints and tips on how to reduce risk when purchasing used equipment.
- Buy from a Trusted Seller
To get a sense of if you’re buying from a legitimate seller, take the time to research. Here are two easily accessible sources of information you should consider reviewing:
i. Online reviews
Search engines, such as Google, and social media, like Facebook, are good places to find unbiased customer reviews. Business owners cannot edit or remove reviews posted on search engines or on social media – the business owner cannot ‘cherry pick’ their best reviews. As well, online marketplaces such as Amazon and eBay allow buyers to review their transaction with sellers.
ii. Customer testimonials
Testimonials are normally posted on a company’s website, profile or social media. They show that equipment buyers are willing to endorse the seller. Note: depending on the platform you’re buying from, sometimes a testimonial may not be available.
- Inspect Equipment
Used equipment is typically sold as-is. That’s why it’s important to inspect the equipment prior to purchase. Here are some things to keep in mind when inspecting an item in-person versus online:
If you feel you don't have enough product knowledge, have an experienced operator or mechanic accompany you during your viewing or inspection.
Sometimes, due to geography, physically inspecting equipment is not always possible when purchasing online or through an eCommerce platform. With that said, you aren’t without options. If you’re buying used equipment online, ensure the seller has included most, if not all, relevant details and specifications in their listing(s) and has attached photos of the used equipment. If needed, look for or request maintenance records.
- Payment Records
If you’re purchasing used equipment from a private seller, in person, not on a trusted platform, like eBay, Amazon or Aucto, ask for an invoice or receipt of the transaction. This may be useful if you need to prove ownership. Also pay through means that provide documentation and proof that can help prove you paid for the item, such as an electronic transfer or through Paypal. If you pay in cash, ensure the seller indicates you paid in cash for the item.
For more information on trusted used equipment marketplaces, read:
- 4 Things to Consider When Selecting an Online Marketplace
- Top 3 Marketplaces for Buying Used Industrial Equipment