I read your Feb. 28, Page 9 story “Exec gives ins, outs of used equipment,” both with interest and great concern.
Let me begin with the fact that Aaron Equipment Co. [an Aaron executive was quoted in the story] is a well-known, respected used machinery dealer in the United States and around the world. I am sure the story's intent was to dispel many beliefs about used machinery dealers and brokers. However, the story may lead your readers to unrealistic expectations and pitfalls. It may be that some of the excerpts may have been taken out of context.
While many of the statements may be true in some markets, in other, more-specialized areas they do not apply. Moreland Machinery Co. Inc. deals in the areas of plastics, printing and converting in the flexible packaging industry. I would like to address the story from our view.
*While the statement “forget everything you think you know” might apply, I would add that you should learn everything you can about the products you wish to buy, the dealer you choose to work with and the market. While most dealers are reputable, it does not mean we are free from bad apples. Choose a dealer you wish to develop a long-term and trusting relationship with, one that is interested in developing that same relationship with you.
*Yes, many dealers offer rebuilt, refurbished and reconditioned equipment; it is important to understand the differences and what to expect from each. The story seems to imply all used machinery is sold in good condition. This is not the case. In our industry, less than 10-15 percent of machines are sold this way. When dealers offer such services, be prepared to pay much more — as much as 70 percent of the cost of new equipment. And be prepared to wait. Completely refurbishing equipment can take longer than building a new machine.
If you have a well-staffed, well-equipped maintenance department, you can save time and money having your own people inspect the machine to determine if the work can be done in-house.
*The Internet is a wonderful tool for marketing and makes finding machinery easy. It also is a tool that is highly abused, and scam artists use it as an avenue to present a false image with the intent of taking your money. Do your homework, especially if you have to put up money, which is the case most of the time.
*Original owners do not give warranties. Therefore, without dealer refurbishing, it would simply be foolish and unrealistic to give a warranty on a used machine, unless it is fairly new and the dealer wishes to take the risk. There is a product that some dealers offer, which basically is an insurance policy for main machine components. However, few machines qualify and it significantly adds to the cost.
Remember, if a machine is sold as-is and you don't inspect it, you are waiving your rights. If your company does not have the expertise to inspect machinery, then it is highly recommended that you hire a consultant.
I appreciate Plastics News giving the used equipment market some coverage. It is a market much larger than people realize and I think everyone would be surprised with its annual sales in North America alone.
Bill D. Moreland
Moreland Machinery Co. Inc.