Would you buy secondhand kit from an online auction?
Friday, 31 October 2008
We ask whether the economic downturn means printers are more willing to buy used machinery
I am not sure that we would be more inclined to have a look at auctions now, rather than say 12 months ago, but we have used auctions in the past. It is a good source of picking up kit cheaper. It is advantageous when looking for certain kit, especially finishing kit from a printer because they tend to use the machines less than finishers. We wouldn’t buy finishing kit from a trade finisher. We have bought a couple of bits of kit from auctions that we never used, its just they were a bargain. The only thing is, you always feel like you are picking over bones of what is left of a company. It is strange wandering around and seeing clocking-in cards still in the clocks.
George Thomas, director of printing services, Oxuniprint
There can be significant financial benefits in buying reliable secondhand equipment. Not only is the purchase price less than for new, the depreciation costs are very often less, even if the kit is written off over a shorter period. We have often bought secondhand equipment rather than new. The decision to buy secondhand depends on a number of factors: whether the equipment in question is still up to date in terms of technology, whether it is fully reconditioned and well maintained, the availability of spares and support, the reputation of the seller and the training required for successful implementation and utilisation.
Barry Liversidge, managing director, B&B Press
The economic climate is unlikely to change our stance on buying online. We’ve never considered buying secondhand because the warranties and reliability of new machinery is so good. We are involved in customer auctions that take place online, but have never purchased kit online. Problems can arise where you find yourself bidding against the seller, just like on eBay. Also, bidders who come second in the auction often find themselves being offered the kit after the auction. These are signs that all is not well. The process also suffers from a lack of transparency and we would certainly need to give the kit a full inspection and test before we considered
Neil McKie, director, Robson Print
I don’t think so, not in the press department anyway. These days, manufacturers are offering really good deals and packages to encourage you to buy new and, as a relatively new company ourselves, we want to do that. You also get the advantage of the warranty that goes with buying a new machine. We could possibly look into the finishing side of things as there is likely to be more longevity in the lifespan of pre-owned kit and, to a degree, platesetters in the pre-press department. More and more companies seem to be bringing finishing operations in-house and the pre-owned market is an area that these could benefit from.
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