Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Location: Boston Area
| Posted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:54 pm Post subject: A few words from The Doc about buying used bargain machines.
|Many people have asked me about all the people that are out there selling used KIP machines and what their deal is. Well here are some of my thoughts about this subject.
There are many, many used machine brokers out there. Brokers are guys that have contacts at the leasing companies and end of life wholesalers. Brokers rarely own the equipment they sell. They simply work off a list they are given and try to make a commission on any units they sell. They usually never even see the machine except for a picture sent to them by the leasing companies. (Would you buy a used car from a salesman that just had a picture of it?)
Oh sure they will tell you the things you want to hear like “it was always under service contract”. “It was just refurbished”. “It was maintained by a factory certified technician”.
“ It is fully operational”. Well, most of the time these words are simply exaggerations or at worst, outright lies. So by now you are thinking “ why is The Doc saying all this? How does he know this? Well, because I have purchased machines from these brokers. I have had all these stories told to me plus more. Like the machine that only had 3 million sq ft on it, well what the brokers don’t know is that every machine has an internal software counter. That 3 million sq ft machine? Actually had 23 million sq ft on it.
Does that change the value of the used machine? You bet it does!
Then there is the issue of missing pieces. The machines that most of these guys sell come right out of lease return warehouses. Did you ever lease a car and return it? Did you make sure every little piece that came with it went back? Well you can see how things like spindles, paper trays, receiving racks, and software and manuals might get “forgotten” to be included. It happens. It happens to me also. So now your bargain machine is not such a bargain if you must purchase these missing items.
Now I am not trying to say that all these brokers are bad guys. I actually have a select few that I will buy equipment from. And if you want to buy good used equipment I will recommend them to you. But I will also tell you that you must be prepared to put time and money into these machines. You will need drums, fuser rollers, developer units and preventative maintenance done. Going back to the car analogy, would you put new tires on a car you were going to turn back in to the leasing company if the tires on it had just a little bit more life left on them? I wouldn’t either. Just the way it is.
So why I am telling you this? Because I don’t want to see anyone get screwed. Oh, and because I sell used machines also. So why are my used machines different? Glad you asked.
Firstly, I actually own and can put my hands on every machine I advertise for sale. I actually put each machine through a very intensive inspection and testing session in my rebuild shop. If anything is missing I try to source it out.
Some machines, only the best ones, qualify for my complete refurbishment process. These are machines that are gone through with a fine tooth comb. Anything even close to be needed to be replaced, is. In the end what you get when you buy a refurbished machine from me is a machine that has been, for all intensive purposes, completely restored. Not unlike the process a classic car goes through when it is restored. (Oh yeah, I do that to, and I am partial to Pontiac Trans Ams). A refurbished machine comes with a 100% warrantee. You will not need to put any additional money into one of my refurbished machines for a while. That’s the way it should be. Will you pay more for a machine like this? You bet your butt you will. I learned a long time ago you get what you pay for.
I also sell used fully checked out machines. These machines have not been refurbished, but have gone through my intense inspection and my quality checks to be sure they run and make prints. Some items may have some wear, but everything works. You may need to do some maintenance here and there, but you have the piece of mind knowing that I personally went through that machine and the condition I say it is in is accurate.
Will you pay more for this machine than the bargain machine form the broker? Yes you will. But you will know exactly what you are getting. No stories.
So basically, my advice to the used machine buyer is to always know whom you are dealing with and what you are actually purchasing. If you do this you will not be disappointed. Buy from me? Great. Buy from a reputable broker that you know? Great. Either way, it’s all-good. I don’t have the time to pump out numbers of used machines. I do a few a month and that is all I can effectively do. I will never be a used machine dealer in great numbers. I could not control the quality going out the door if I did that. Every machine I sell goes out with my name and 20 year reputation. Ask anyone about me. They will tell you.
Just be an educated buyer and you will end up with the right machine in the right condition at the right price. That’s all anyone can ask for.
What we have gained in technology, we have lost in humanity.