Loeb’s Guide to Buying and Selling Used Equipment
10 Things to Keep in Mind When Purchasing Used Equipment
One simple solution to avoiding pitfalls such as these is choosing to buy only from a company you know and trust. Granted, problems may still arise, but here are some points to keep in mind regardless whenever buying from a used machinery company, individual seller or broker.
Many can be researched on a company’s website. If the information is not available there, be sure to ask your contact directly; you might be surprised by what you learn. Keep in mind, if an equipment company is reluctant to offer answers, take it as a warning sign. These questions are standard, and should be easily and willingly addressed by any reputable organization.
- Find out if the used equipment company has operated under a different name in the past. If it has, this is a big warning flag. Some brokers may be working under their fourth, fifth and even sixth company names, taking advantage of buyers under each name.
- Request references and contact information. This is a standard rule of thumb for any used machinery purchase. If the seller doesn’t supply the information, move on.
- Inquire about how the company has dealt with problems in the past, and ask if it provides a guarantee. Even successful companies run into an occasional problem; knowing how their team deals with a complication saves you time and money while ensuring peace of mind.
- Ask if mechanics and electricians test-run the machinery before shipment. If they do, secure a guarantee that the machine is in good working order before it’s shipped.
- Review all machinery under power before purchasing it. Though not all companies use a reconditioning facility, those that do offer you a firsthand experience of the machinery’s specific working capabilities.
- Determine how long the equipment company has been at its current location, and whether it owns a warehouse. Both of these facts indicate a company’s stability, financial strength and its commitment to the industry.
- Examine the return policy. Knowing you’re able to return machinery if not 100 percent happy with it is great peace of mind.
- Find out how long the company has been with its current bank, and ask for a contact there. Being able to return a machine is great, but only if your money is returned to you.
- Review the warranty program. Reputable used equipment companies work with you to assure your satisfaction and future business. Look for a solid warranty program that ensures you will receive timely assistance if a machine should have mechanical or electrical issues once in full production.
- Ask if the company stocks its machines or brokers them. This lets you know if you are talking to a middleman or the main company in charge. Be aware - if you are dealing with a broker, your purchase price may be higher to cover the brokers’ commissions.
10 Things to Keep in Mind When Redeploying or Selling Your Machinery
At Loeb, we know that redeploying or selling idle assets is a top priority. When the time comes to upgrade or transfer your machinery, we have found that by taking some preliminary steps this important process can be efficient, quick and profitable.
- Stop the scavenger hunts
A factory’s maintenance and engineering team focuses on keeping a facility running. At times, this means "raiding" idle machinery for spare parts to repair other units. These raids, however, hurt the resale process, raising questions with buyers such as, "What is missing that I haven’t noticed?" Selling used machinery that is still installed is critical; it prevents the scavenging that makes controllers, PLCs, drives, parts and resale value from being lost.
- More time = More money
By giving your dealer or asset management company plenty of time to do their job, they can create more interest in an item, thus assuring a competitive sale price. So, as soon as the decision is made to either redeploy or to sell machinery, let your machinery dealer or asset management partner know so he is able to do the best job possible.
- Remember the spares
As the price of OEM spare parts keeps spiraling upward, the spare parts you have are a benefit to buyers. Providing spare parts also shows new customers how the machinery was maintained and what components were areas of concern.
- Keep the manuals and prints
This seems like an obvious suggestion, but you would be surprised by the number of liquidations and redeployments we perform where the machine’s literature is missing. Manuals and prints are valued by the next user, and speed along the resale process.
- Handle with care
When you remove machinery from your plant, treat it well. For instance, one company moved idle machinery from two different warehouses without building skids to help the process. The move damaged some items and now, the repair costs overshadow the equipment’s value. Idle assets need to be treated with care.
- Trading up and out
Idle assets help you upgrade. If you are looking for faster, bigger or more efficient machinery, chances are a used machinery dealer either has or can find what you need. They should also be willing to take your surplus in on trade. One thing is certain: If you don’t ask, you will never know.
- Snap away
We all know a picture is worth a thousand words. When dealing with idle assets and used equipment, a picture can also be worth thousands of dollars. A photograph lets anyone interested in your equipment see how you maintained the machinery at a glance, along with showing the unit’s options and strengths.
- Make reassembly easy
A simple "snip" can create tens of thousands of dollars in electrical work. When you disconnect idle machines, make sure you prepare them to be reinstalled, so they show up at their next facility in good condition, like you would want them to show up at your own door. Instead of cutting through electrical cords, disconnect and label them.
- Keep samples of the package
Change parts used with packaging machinery are only valuable if someone else can use them. Since these parts often work with odd-sized containers, we tell our clients to include sample containers with each set of change parts, giving buyers an idea of the part’s distinct capabilities. Some customers even take a sample and tape it to the change parts; this makes referencing easy and lets buyers know more than just the size it was last used on.
- Clean your machine
First impressions count, so present the best-looking machinery possible. A good machine that looks like it’s in bad shape may not be redeployed or reviewed in detail. Customers may feel you didn’t maintain its quality, causing interest to wane.