Regardless of whether you're part of a new machine shop startup, your old, beat up shear finally gave out on you, or your vertical machining center (VMC) just can’t put out the amount of parts you need fast enough to meet your deadlines, one thing is certain: you need a new machine. Now, I don’t mean new like brand spankin’ new, never been turned on or unwrapped. I mean a great used machine to replace your current beater that can get the job done quicker, more efficiently, and that is much more cost effective for your business. Every shop owner in the fabrication industry has been in this predicament—whether to go all out and buy a shiny new piece of equipment and spend a fortune or to find exactly what he needs in a used machine and save thousands. In this article I will go over three reasons why buying used has major upside.

1) Lower Cost

Okay, yes, this one seems obvious, but there are those who think buying a brand-new machine is the best route to take. However, buying a new piece of equipment is a huge investment that could take away dollars better allocated towards other purchases, maintenance on other machinery, or tooling and upgrades. There is no reason to sacrifice quality and waste money simply because the machine has never had a previous owner.

Also, since used machines are available at bargain prices, they will pay for themselves much quicker, giving your business larger profit margins.


2) Depreciation

This is the same scenario when purchasing a new car right off the lot. Once you drive that thing off the dealership property, BOOM — now it is worth significantly less. Same thing happens when you're buying new machinery. In some cases, the total value of a new machine can depreciate as much as 20-40% in the first 12 months. Used machinery holds its value much better, especially if it is well taken care of. Your return on investment (ROI) is much greater with used machinery, and sometimes you can even turn a profit over the initial price you paid if its the right time to the right buyer.

3) Speed of Delivery

Another factor often overlooked is the time it takes to have a new machine delivered. Let's say your old beat up shear I mentioned earlier has finally given up the ghost and is worth only scrap. You could easily find a quality used shear from a place like Southern Fab and have it paid for and delivered to your shop in a matter of days.

Let's say you have a huge horizontal boring mill, or a laser cutting system. Some of the top brands for new machines like those currently have a 12-16 week long waiting period. Could you afford to wait that long for a machine that would cost two or three times the amount of a used one? Used machinery dealers have equipment that is available, in stock at the dealer’s warehouse ready to move. Once you buy it and have it shipped, it can start making your money back immediately.

If you need help finding the right piece of used manufacturing equipment for your shop floor on a moment's notice, contact the SFMS team today! We look forward to helping you out.