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The Smart Buyers Guide To Used Machinery

Ever heard the saying that a car loses half it’s value when you drive it off the lot? The same can be said for industrial machinery. In most cases, used equipment is a great way to get quality equipment at a great price. There are some downsides to buying used machinery equipment that you need to be aware of:

Potential Damage

Used equipment may have some degree of wear and tear that might need to be addressed. This will not always be apparent to the untrained eye.


Used equipment may have the same warranty as new equipment.

There are several ways that you can minimise the risks of buying used machinery and maximise the potential benefits:

1.) Analyse Your Needs

What do you actually need? This can be different to the machine that you currently have or think you need. It is a good idea to think about:

  • Current and Future Production Levels
  • Available power supply
  • Space in the factory
  • Future connectivity needs
  • Safety

2.) Research the market

Once you have these factors outlined, it is a good idea to do some research. Find a couple of machines that you think you’d be interested in, and try and find a few different reviews for them. Different machines will have different criteria that people will evaluate them on, but in general it is good to look at:

  • Price
  • Reliability
  • Ease of use
  • Reputation
  • Customer Service

3.) Documentation

It is important to make sure that you get the right documentation when buying used equipment. This includes:

  • Service Records – These will tell you when the machine was serviced, who this was by, and what issues you might expect to face with the machine.
  • Manuals – These will help with ongoing maintenance of the machinery. As machinery is complex, there may be multiple manuals (Parts, Maintenance, Electrical, Ladder, Programming just to name a few).  

Take the time to thoroughly investigate these documents, especially the service records, as they can be a signal that you might be buying a lemon.

4.) Inspection

Don’t ever buy used equipment without seeing it, or having a qualified technician look at it. While we offer some degree of protection to our buyers, when purchasing online it is always a good idea to physically inspect the machine. At this point, it is a good idea to get an idea of:

  • Condition of the machine – Inspect for wear and tear. E.g. What condition are the drive belts in?
  • Working – Is the machine able to be turned on? Beware of buyers who will not show you the machine in use.
  • As described – Is the machine as described (model, size etc).

5.) Ask an expert

It never hurts to seek an expert’s opinion. An expert machinery broker like Capital Machinery will usually have a good idea of:

  • How much the equipment is worth
  • What common issues to look for
  • Brand reputation (Longevity, Ease of use, quality etc.)
  • Who would have them in stock
  • Who might be getting rid of old stock

We are always happy to have a no-obligation, informal conversation with people who are looking at buying used equipment. Please call us on  1800 706 620 or email with your enquiry details.

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