5 Questions to Ask Yourself When Buying Used Equipment


Buying used equipment can be a cost-effective purchase option for many businesses in the construction and industrial industries. However, this purchase decision generally carries a greater amount of risk than if buying new scissor lifts. Fortunately, there are several things you can take into consideration when purchasing used equipment that will help mitigate that risk.

1. What's the Seller’s Reputation?

Doing some research on the seller could save you a lot of frustration and money down the road. Does the seller have good reviews? Do they have an established presence in the industry? If the answer to these questions is “yes,” there are better odds that the used equipment will be in line with the seller's reported equipment specs and condition.

2. Does the Condition Match the Inspection?

Go through the seller's inspection process that was used before placing the equipment for sale in addition to your own checklist. Make sure all of the reported discrepancies are the only discrepancies. Chances are if the seller missed one thing, they may have missed more issues or didn’t perform an inspection at all. It's highly recommended that you test run used equipment prior to purchase, regardless of how it stacks up during the inspection process.

3. What's the Listing Price?

Compare prices between other used equipment traders and the cost of new equipment. Used scissor lift equipment should not cost the same as newer models. If the cost is too low or seems too good to be true, it probably is. It's also a good idea to consider the salvage value and depreciation when pricing used equipment.

4. Has the Equipment Been Properly Maintained?

How often was the machine maintained? Equipment that hasn’t been properly serviced and maintained at regular intervals stands a greater risk of failing, possibly well before its anticipated end of service date. Were there any major repairs? This could be indicative of a problem with the machine overall or give a better idea of how well the equipment was maintained. Consider asking what type of work the seller used it for—some lines of work are naturally tougher on machines than others. Cosmetic blemishes like rust and dents don't necessarily impact a scissor lift's functionality. Does anything currently need to be replaced? If something was missing from the seller’s inspection, ensure they replace it before it passes into your possession.

5. What's Included?

Is the seller offering a warranty? Are they giving you the opportunity to test before you buy? Is any necessary documentation provided? Sometimes buying used construction equipment without these offerings could be a signal the seller is trying to hide something or doesn’t have access to the machine’s maintenance and use history.

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