Some of you out there are great at buying used machinery while others of you are not so skilled. My father had a customer named Ronnie Ridgeway who ran Specialties Bindery in Maryland, both now defunct. He used to buy machines from my Dad, sell them back, and buy them again. Sometimes maybe three or four times. He didn’t care that he lost money on the machines so long as he made more money on the jobs. That’s the problem with binderies—They hang on to their machinery as if they were family heirlooms. That’s why so many binderies look like museums.
Sometimes buying on price is the best way to go, especially if you have an employee with mechanical ability. If you do not, it pays to purchase machines that are rebuilt or reconditioned. What’s the difference? “As is” means exactly that, like at an auction. “Good running” means the machine works but it doesn’t mean that it works perfectly. “Reconditioned” should mean that it works perfectly and also carries a warranty. “Rebuilt” means that it should run like a new machine, the machine gets stripped down and rebuilt with good or new parts.
Also there are some machines that are better to buy used than others. A good machine to buy used would be a drill or a punch. A bad one to buy used would be a shrink wrap machine. Recently I called a prospect who was mad as hell. He had purchased an index tabbing machine, as is, from a dealer in Idaho. He complained that it didn’t work right and he couldn’t get anyone to fix it. When I told him I would fix it, he declined. Some people ought to stay away from used equipment all together.