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Buying Used

How to buy used printing equipment

How  to buy

Although the used machinery sector sometimes attracts a critical press, there is no reason why buying used printing machinery should be any more risky than buying new, if sensible precautions are taken. After all, the overall size of the used market is greater than that of the new market. In other words, many more machines are bought and sold second-hand than are bought new, the vast majority very successfully, and to the complete satisfaction of both buyer and seller.

First, if you are buying from the UK, look to see if the dealer is a member of the British Used Printing Machinery Suppliers Association. All BUPMSA members operate a code of ethics to ensure that their customers get a fair deal. And if your chosen dealer is not a BUPMSA member, you should ask: why not?

Infrequently asked questions

Here are some questions you should ask your dealer before entering into any contract to buy or sell:

  • Which other printers have done business with this dealer? Are they satisfied with the service provided? Never fail to take up references if this is the first time you have dealt with the supplier.
  • Do I have a complete description of the machine being sold, its condition, its service history, its serial number?
  • Am I confident about the true legal ownership? Is the dealer selling as agent for the actual owner, or does the dealer own the machine himself? Are there any outstanding leasing or finance charges, or does any bank have a lien on the machine?
  • Does the dealer offer a warranty? If so, for how long and what does it cover? Is the warranty in writing or just a verbal assurance?
  • Does the machine comply with all current applicable health and safety legislation?
  • Does the price include removal, delivery and installation? If being imported, who is responsible for any import duties and taxes?
  • Is the machine bought ‘as is’ or is it fully rebuilt, refurbished or merely cleaned? Do I understand the different implications of these terms?
  • What happens if I am not satisfied with the machine or the after sales service? Is there a facility for bringing in an independent arbitrator without the expense of formal legal proceedings?
  • Are all the contract terms clearly stated in writing? Is a contract offered at all?

Take your time - it’s your money

All of these questions are common-sense but can be overlooked in the anxiety to secure what appears to be an attractive deal. There may well be other questions which occur to you. But if satisfactory reassurances are received, there will be less scope for any deal to go sour. If in doubt, pull out - it’s your money at stake. The cost in wasted management time and potential monetary loss with a misjudged deal will often far outweigh the benefits that the piece of kit will bring. Remember above all that the onus is on you the buyer to take sensible precautions -'caveat emptor'.

Nevertheless, most reputable dealers will offer good service and buying second-hand offers the scope to save substantial amounts of money over buying new. More equipment is bought used than is bought new and the vast majority of deals go through to the satisfaction of both sides.
Take advantage of UPEX@Ipex to see at first hand dealers you might like to do business with. Scan the UPEXchange pages to see the range of dealers and machines and scour the trade press to see what's available.

Good luck!


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