Tips for Buying Used or Remanufactured Equipment
The three cardinal rules for buying used equipment:
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1) When purchasing used equipment it is always recommended that you send a mechanic to do a thorough inspection prior to buying. No matter how reputable the company, it is in your best interest to inspect the actual equipment prior to purchasing.
2) If it is not possible to perform an in-person inspection, request many, many photos of the equipment. These photos should include close-up shots - especially of wear areas. Ask for photos of any tags on the equipment. The photos should include a point of reference to determine the actual size of the equipment; a yardstick, close up photos with a tape measure or even a vehicle.
3) The vast majority of equipment brokers are very honest people performing a valuable and necessary job. There is, however, that small percentage that make life difficult for everyone so, if purchasing from a broker, always use a reputable broker and determine if they actually have the authority or right to sell the equipment being offered. It is not uncommon for an unscrupulous individual to photograph equipment in a company's yard without permission, offer it for sale, collect the money for it then disappear. If purchasing from a broker that you do not know it is in your best interest to get references. You should, also, get the name of the company that owns the equipment and contact them directly. It may be necessary to sign a guarantee with the broker; an assurance that you will not buy directly from the company without the broker's consent. It is always in your best interest to speak with the actual owner of the equipment before purchasing.
4) Whenever possible get the serial number of the equipment being purchased as well as the model number. Although this is not always possible when purchasing used equipment (tags are often lost, removed or damaged). It will somewhat safeguard you against a Bait-and-Switch.
5) Research the company you are buying from. Ask for references, talk to their customers and remember the old saying; If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
6) Insist that the condition of the equipment be spelled out thoroughly. If purchasing equipment in an as-is, where-is condition you are accepting the equipment in whatever shape it is in wherever it is sitting, so take care to fully understand the condition the equipment is in before you buy. If equipment is being reconditioned prior to your purchase, get details of the reconditioning process. Is it a top to bottom process or is the seller merely planning on throwing a coat of paint on the machine and sending it out the door?
7) GET IT IN WRITING. A promise over the phone is not worth much if the seller is not honest.
8) Be specific. Thoroughly explain the application in which the equipment is to be used. Get all your details lined up and have the information regarding specifics of the job the equipment will be used for available to discuss with the seller.
9) Don't be afraid to ask questions. Reputable sellers prefer to answer all your questions up front because it saves time, difficulties and money down the road.
10) If you are buying equipment that the seller will refurbish for you, make certain that both parties fully agree on what repairs are to be performed. For example, it is customary, in remanufacturing, to reuse parts that are within acceptable tolerances. If you require new bearings, linings, etc., rather than reusing the existing materials, make certain the seller understand this, and again, get it in writing. If you decide, after the purchase is made, to have parts or materials replaced rather than repaired or reused, it may be an additional charge, so it is always better to spell everything out up front.
11) If purchasing equipment that will be remanufactured, inspect the equipment prior to having it shipped to you. Once the repairs are completed it is advisable to send a mechanic to the seller's shop to do a final inspection. In this way you can catch any items that have not been repaired to your satisfaction while it is still in the repair shop. Again, if it is not possible for you to inspect the equipment in person, ask for detailed photos.
12) Make certain you understand the shipping terms. It is nearly always the buyer's responsibility to pay for shipping the equipment to their site. You need to ask if the seller will load the equipment onto the truck for you and, if so, is this an additional charge. The seller should be able to tell you what type of truck will be needed to haul the equipment (flatbed, drop or step deck, van, etc.) and provide you with the weight and dimensions of the equipment. If the seller cannot load the equipment for you, it will be necessary for you to hire someone to do this for you and that will mean additional charges.
13) When purchasing equipment that is to be refurbished, ask the seller for an estimate of the lead time required to complete the work. Understand that there may be unforeseen problems that could hold up the remanufacturing process (replacement parts for damaged internal parts that were not noticeable on the initial inspection are the cause of most delays). Try to order far enough ahead of time so that, if a delay is encountered, it will not cause you unnecessary problems.
14) Feel free to check with the seller throughout the remanufacturing process for updates on the progress of the work. It is perfectly acceptable to ask for photos of the work in progress.
15) Ask for literature. Most reputable equipment dealers have specification sheets, operator manuals, parts books and other data on the equipment they sell that can be provided to buyers, but you need to ask for it. In some instances there may be a charge for this literature. Sometimes this will not be available for older or unusual equipment, but request copies of any data available.
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