Making an Informed Choice
Let’s face it: Used equipment is great when it fits your needs. In fact, I can sell you some 96″ beams for about half what my new inventory would cost you. Who doesn’t want savings like that?
However, there are a handful of things you as the customer need to watch for:
When you elect to purchase used, you inherit any previous damage done to the equipment. This includes weather-related damage if the equipment is stored outside. Go to http://images.google.com and search for “used pallet rack” and look at just how many pictures pop up of used rack that is stored out of doors. Add lift truck damage to corrosion and rust and you could end up with racking that has only a small percentage of it’s original capacity.
When shopping for used rack, it’s important to ask for pictures before purchasing to get an idea of the quality of the equipment. Once you’ve purchased it, it’s just as important to inspect it for damage and rust.
Those used 96″ beams I mentioned? As of this writing, I only have 259 of them. If you need ten times that amount and are determined to get used, you’re going to have to shop around. At this point, you’ll want to consider what your time is worth to:
- Find them
- Ensure the quality is acceptable
- Inspect multiple shipments
You’ll also need to consider the expense that multiple shipments from multiple points of origin will add as well.
Yes, I know it’s odd to mention price as a concern with used. After all, what’s the point of used if it isn’t price? But now that the availability of used is starting to resemble normal levels as the economy improves, it’s entirely possible to find used racking that costs as much or more than new. Add this to the “soft costs” discussed above and there may not be any savings. This is particularly true when you’re looking for large quantities and may be able to negotiate a deal for new material.