Tips on Buying a Used Machine

Pre-owned, surplus or used machine tools are attractive because they reduce costs and delivery is prompt. Buying used is a good idea for business for many reasons, including potential tax benefits. Here are a few tips to ensure a successful purchase:

Work with a seller you can trust. Ask for referrals from other used machinery buyers. Request references from the seller and check them out. Visit the sellers' websites. The website offers machines from established used machinery dealers. You can also locate a dealer by company name or location.

Explore used machinery from different sellers. Compare features and prices, and then weigh the quality of information and follow-up you receive from sellers. When you search for machines on, you can check several items and then click REQUEST INFO to inquire of several sellers via email. They'll receive your request along with contact information and which machine you are seeking.

Check out the machine. In most cases, you should inspect the machine and ask questions about usage and what, if any, repairs are necessary. Find out whether the seller will help arrange shipping and setup on your end. If you are not inspecting the machine, you would be wise to buy from a dealer in whom you have confidence.

Ask about the seller's policies regarding returns. Some dealers offer a return privilege for used machinery and may offer a warranty.

Ask about professional affiliations. Is the dealer a member of a trade association such as Machinery Dealers National Association (MDNA) or other professional groups?

Get it in writing. Once you've reached an agreement, have the seller confirm everything in writing. Be sure to double-check the specifications - description of the machine, price, payment terms, as well as arrangements for freight and return policies.