4 Tips for Buying Used Carpet Cleaning Equipment (Without Getting Ripped Off)
Buying used carpet cleaning equipment can be a great way to save money for your business – if you do it the right way.
However, if you’re not careful, buying a used piece of equipment can actually cost you more money.
Let me give you an example.
A Used Truck Mount Gone Awry
A customer of ours was looking for a used truck mount to use in the van. He came into our store excited that he found a 2008 van and truck mount that he was told was in great working condition. The entire package was selling for just under $20,000. Had this unit been as advertised, it would have been a fantastic deal.
Unfortunately, he showed up to our service department after purchasing this equipment with a unit needing more money in repairs than it was actually worth.
The truck mount wasn’t really a 2008 model. It was a 2003. And, the hoses and accessories that came with the unit were trashy looking and far from usable.
This customer had the hopes of going to work right after purchasing the equipment. Instead, he ended up with a truck mount that wasn’t even worth fixing.
How to Buy Used Carpet Cleaning Equipment
Unfortunately, that “working and clean” equipment is more of a mirage than reality in the cleaning and restoration industry. Oh, there are plenty of people willing to sell used equipment, but the unfortunate truth is that very few pieces are worth the time and effort for all parties involved.
So, how do you buy used cleaning and restoration equipment without getting ripped off? There are a few things we recommend to our customers:
1. Do your homework.
When considering a used equipment purchase, it’s important to do some research first. Oftentimes, people want to offload used equipment because it’s faulty or plagued with issues. Check forums, manufacturer websites and other resources to ensure you’re not considering a unit that’s a lemon.
2. Get the equipment inspected before purchase.
The biggest problem that customers have when buying used equipment is that they don’t have it property inspected before purchasing. Just because the used equipment looks clean on the outside or has low hours, doesn’t mean that the inside working parts are in good condition.
The way to combat this problem is to bring the used equipment to a qualified service department to have it thoroughly checked out before your purchase it. Even if you have to pay a small inspection fee, it will beat paying thousands of dollars for something that doesn’t work.
Let’s look at the example of our customer. If he would have taken the time to bring it to a service department like ours to have it inspected, we could have told him within five minutes that the unit wasn’t even close to worth what the seller was asking. The customer’s $20,000 could have been saved rather than wasted.
3. Get recommendations from experts.
When considering a piece of used equipment, check with a trusted service team or vendor. They might be able to recommend some used products that would work well.
4. Consider new equipment.
Although you might not want to pay full price for your carpet cleaning equipment, it can honestly be the most cost effective and beneficial option – especially when you consider the potential problems that come with a used unit.
Any savings you might reap from the initial purchase might be lost over time with the additional repairs needed for a used unit. The reality is that you don’t know what problems you might be inheriting with a used piece of equipment.
New equipment comes with a warranty and peace of mind, which might be very valuable to you.
So, what’s the lesson to be learned here?
Be careful when buying used carpet-cleaning and restoration equipment. What might seem like a good deal could turn out to be a terrible business decision and huge waste of money.