Almost 50% of restaurant owners use their extra revenue for equipment purchases or repairs. Equipment like ovens, freezers, microwaves, electric grills, and mixers are essential to any restaurant. For the restaurant to keep making money and run smoothly, these tools must always be in great shape.
However, there are several expenses that come with operating a restaurant. Aside from equipment costs, you also need to pay salaries, rent, utility bills, and many more. With all of these expenses, is it really worth it to buy brand new and expensive restaurant equipment? Is there more value in buying second-hand appliances and tools? Read on to learn how to look for quality used restaurant equipment and discover the value these items can give your business.
How To Buy Quality Used Restaurant Equipment
Buying used restaurant equipment requires more than just looking for the cheapest option. Making an impulsive purchase might cost you more down the line than buying brand-new items. You have to account for several factors and look into different places to ensure that you get the best deal.
Look for Reputable Sellers
There are many online and physical places to find used restaurant equipment. Social media sites like Facebook—specifically its marketplace—have a plethora of second-hand offerings. There are also other dedicated websites that focus on selling these appliances.
Even though these online options are convenient, you have to do more research because you can’t look at the product in person. Moreover, look into seller ratings to ensure that you’re buying from someone reputable.
Alternatively, you can search your city for stores that sell used restaurant equipment. There may be garage sales where you can get a moderately used kitchen appliance for less. Resale shops are also good places to get refurbished machinery and tools. You can even go straight to the source and look for other restaurateurs who are selling used equipment.
Participate in Auction Sales
Another great place to find used restaurant equipment is at auctions. Many restaurant owners store appliances and furniture in rented storage lockers, and some of these lockers end up getting auctioned.
In storage locker auctions, you get a lot of things for a single purchase. However, you can also end up with a lot of junk. Make sure to properly peruse each locker first and make sure that there are at least one or two items in there that your restaurant can use.
You can also participate in single-item auctions or auctions where you’re free to inspect and choose the items you want to bid on. These targeted purchases remove the risk of getting useless items. Moreover, there are live online auctions like the ones held by TAGeX Brands where you can bid on second-hand restaurant equipment from the comfort of your home.
Conduct a Brand and Product Research
Established brands generally make high-quality and long-lasting products, so you should consider the brand of the restaurant equipment you are buying. If the brand is not well-known, research it and check its reputation for quality control.
More importantly, look for reviews of the product itself. What features does the product offer? What materials is it made of? Is it rated highly for durability and longevity? How was the experience of the actual owners? Buying used restaurant equipment is an investment, so you should still conduct proper research before spending your hard-earned money.
Inspect the Merchandise
After you’re done with your research, inspect the merchandise if possible. Look for major rust buildup, dents, broken handles, and missing parts. Moreover, open the unit if you can and search for signs of damaged circuitry or internal components.
You can also request a test run for electronic units. Aside from assuring you that the equipment is functional, this will help you see if there are other problems like broken light fixtures, sound alarms, and automatic mechanisms.
When you can, check the equipment carefully to make sure you’re getting a good deal and not wasting your money.
Determine Part Availability
The equipment you bought may be functioning well, but it’s still a second-hand item. This means that it may have issues down the line and need some parts replaced. Try to find out if the product still has available parts in your region or on online platforms.
Generally, the older the equipment is, the harder it is to find parts. However, these units are often sold for much less. You have to reconcile these factors and determine how long you plan on using the used kitchen equipment before buying.
Purchase Less Complicated Equipment
If you can, buy units that aren’t as complicated so they don’t break down or need expensive repairs. Simple units may not have all the features of complex restaurant equipment, but they can cover the basics. Moreover, simple equipment has fewer moving parts, digital components, or software.
This means that there are less things that can break, so you can use the unit to its fullest without having to spend extra money on repairs. Basic and simple appliances are more affordable too, especially when sold secondhand.
However, this criterion is not applicable if your restaurant needs state-of-the-art kitchen equipment with modern features. In this case, you shouldn’t compromise; just exercise more diligence when buying.
The Value of Purchasing Used Restaurant Equipment
Buying brand-new restaurant equipment is not always the best choice, especially if you’ve just opened your business and are on a tight budget. While buying new merchandise has perks like long warranties, less maintenance, and latest tech integrations, there is also value in purchasing used restaurant equipment.
Less Selling Price
The most obvious benefit of buying second-hand equipment is that they’re cheaper. Instead of spending thousands of dollars for a brand-new commercial freezer, you can get a slightly used one for half of the cost. Moreover, the money you save from buying used items can be allocated to purchase other restaurant essentials like furniture, glassware, utensils, and other kitchen equipment.
Option To Bargain
Normally, there’s no room for negotiation when buying brand-new restaurant equipment. You either buy the merchandise at its set price or wait for it to go on sale. In contrast, you can negotiate with a second-hand equipment seller.
You can ask for a price discount, especially if you’re buying in bulk. They can also give you a price deduction if the unit has minor blemishes or damage. The seller’s discounts may vary, and your requests may get denied. However, just having the ability to bargain and potentially make the deal better is a clear advantage of buying used equipment.
Less Concern for Value Depreciation
A new car starts losing value from the first moment you drive it. Similarly, the price of new restaurant equipment — like a grill — depreciates from the first time it is fired up. This means that you’ll get the full sting of this fast depreciation process if you buy brand-new items. If you want to sell a unit after one or two years, you’ll get significantly less than what you paid for it.
Naturally, this issue is not as prevalent when you purchase second-hand items. Moreover, if you buy only one- or two-year-old equipment, you’ll be spending way less than what it’s worth because it has already lost much of its initial value.
Positive Environmental Impact
Buying used restaurant equipment benefits not only your business but also the environment. There are around eight million tons of home and commercial appliance waste in landfills with only a small portion being recycled.
This waste produces methane and other gasses that are harmful to human health and contribute to climate change. The landfills also destroy natural habitats and displace much wildlife.
By buying used restaurant items and keeping them in use for longer, you can help cut down on waste and keep the planet habitable.
It’s a good idea to buy used restaurant equipment, as long as you take the right steps when buying. From helping you save money for other restaurant essentials to reducing the risk of climate change, buying second-hand merchandise offers many material and ecological benefits.
If you’re searching for a place to buy quality used restaurant equipment, TAGeX Brands is a great place to look. We have a marketplace where you can purchase surplus and used restaurant supplies. Moreover, we conduct live auctions where you can get good restaurant equipment deals. Visit our site to learn more.