Is it Safe to Buy Pre-Owned Equipment for Your New Business Online?

Is it Safe to Buy Pre-Owned Equipment for Your New Business Online?

When you are setting up a new business, business owners are always on the lookout for ways to keep the costs down. With high initial overheads, any way to bring the budget down is welcomed. This often leads business owners to explore the pre-owned equipment markets.

As they explore, many business owners ask the same question time and time again: is it safe to buy pre-owned equipment online? After all, no matter how much cheaper pre-owned equipment is than new equipment, if it is unsafe, it will prove to be a poor investment.

The short answer is yes. If you are buying used equipment through a reputable vendor or online marketplace, there will be mechanisms in place to ensure the equipment you place a bid online for is safe to use and in good working order. Many online auction sites send out independent inspectors to assess the condition and safety of the machine.

Seek Out the Maintenance Records

If you have any doubt, you can have a look at the machine’s maintenance records before purchase. These will hold information on any updates, repairs and modifications the equipment has undergone. It also reveals when it has been serviced and offers an insight into the previous owner’s maintenance schedule for the item.

Carry Out a Visual Inspection

Where possible, you should also try and carry out visual inspection of the machine. This should include looking for any obvious signs of wear and tear, testing the equipment to ensure it performs its functions safely, and asking any questions you may have about the safety and condition of the machine.

When you expect the equipment, bear in mind that any software associated with the equipment will also have to be transferred to you.  Check that the software is transferrable and any expiry date. Failure to do so could mean you are spending additional funds on software licenses down the road.

If You are Still in Doubt, Get a Professional Opinion

If you are still in doubt about the machine’s safety and performance, you can seek professional help. You can request assistance from a local specialist, or, in some cases, you can contact the company and ask them to send a representative.

Given the significant financial savings, you can expect to make from purchasing used equipment instead of new, seeking professional help in the purchase should be an option.

Minimising Financial Risk

In terms of payments and financial risk, it is easy to make your transactions for pre-owned equipment safer. Where possible, pay with a credit card. This way, in the event of a problem, you will have more recourse available to contest the charge and seek reimbursement.

Using a reputable online auction or used equipment marketplace is also essential for minimising financial risk. Online marketplaces with access to a reputable network of dealers build their reputations on facilitating safe sales and connecting trustworthy buyers with reliable sellers.

As with any purchase, be mindful that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably it. Listen to your instinct and if something doesn’t add up, don’t proceed with the sale.

Syed Ali Hyder

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