Buying Used Equipment for the First Time? These 5 Tips Will Ensure a Smooth Start

Estimated reading time: 2 mins

Even though there is a huge selection of used equipment available for sale and there are several economic advantages to doing this, there are some business owners who still shy away from this option. Many fear that the risk of buying used outweighs the reward. But, a bit of extra effort on the part of the buyer means that it’s possible to avoid the most common pitfalls associated with buying used.

There are several ways a person can take the risk out of buying used. Keep reading to learn what those methods are.

  1. Purchase from a Reputable Seller

While it is a good idea to go to to look at the used equipment available, it’s also important to make sure a quality seller is found. To do this, take some time to read online reviews for the seller, along with business reports and testimonials. This can help a buyer get an idea of if they are buying from a reputable or legitimate seller.

It’s also a good idea to look at the public records about the company and even check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any formal complaints have been filed about the company. Doing this is the best way to ensure that a quality seller has been located.

  1. Conduct a Background Check

Before buying any used equipment, it’s important to make sure the seller is the legal owner or that they have the legal authority to sell on the behalf of the owner. There are two main things a buyer needs to be aware of -; liens and stolen equipment.

If buying from a business, ask whether the equipment is truly owned by the seller and if they are unable to confirm this, the buyer should do their own check. If buying from a private seller, get them to provide the original invoice for the equipment and check the name of the seller matches what is on the invoice.

  1. Ensure the Equipment has a Clear Title

If a person makes the mistake of purchasing equipment that doesn’t have a clear title or that has a lien on it, ownership may have to be forfeited to the lending institution. If there is still a lien on the equipment, it means the seller hasn’t paid in full for the money that was borrowed to purchase it.

  1. Inspect the Equipment Before it Is Purchased

The majority of equipment is sold where-is and as-is. If it is possible, it’s a good idea to test and then inspect the equipment before making a purchase. If a person doesn’t have much knowledge of heavy equipment, get a qualified mechanic or an experienced operator to handle the functional and physical inspection.

  1. Leave a Payment Trail

If buying the equipment online or from a private or individual seller, be sure to have some course of action if the equipment arrives in a different condition from what was presented online. Also, look at the terms for the online sale before buying.

Buying used equipment does come with some level of risk; however, by using the tips and information here, it is possible to reduce or completely eliminate this risk making sure that the transaction is safe, secure, and successful, which is the goal of virtually every buyer of any type of used equipment.

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