Classic Purchase Dilemma:
Buying New vs. Used Equipment
Lately, inquiries for used equipment are up, so let's look at the pros and cons of new vs. used machinery.
The Temptation to Buy Used
In a weaker economy, the appeal of purchasing used to save up-front costs can be strong. It even seems to make sense when considering quality used embroidery equipment or direct garment printers. And truthfully, for some, this can be a successful purchase.
But as one might suspect, comparing the real costs of new vs. used goes deeper than just the purchase price:
▪ Training & Support: With used equipment, be sure to add in the cost & effort to find qualified training, install and support - something normally built in to the costs of a new machine.
▪ Unknown Reliability: Even when considering really good embroidery equipment and garment printers, there are always unknowns when buying used. Allow for additional costs for inspection or repairs by a qualified tech. Older machines may also be harder to source parts for.
Starting out with a Handicap:
Feature & performance differences between current and older models can be significant. For example, new SWF multi-heads are faster than their previous generation counterparts. The difference in the long term can eliminate any savings from buying used. Additional features on newer machines like built-in networking (send designs from a remote location), flash drive ports (instead of old floppy drives) can also make a difference in convenience and user-friendliness.
Reminder: Advantages of Buying New
The advantages of buying new are simply the flip-side of the coin for the compromises of buying used:
▪ Training and Support - There is no substitute for full vendor support. The free initial consultation, expert training and support is a big helper especially for those starting out.
▪ Assured Reliability - A new machine with a fresh factory warranty, together with full support helps minimize unknown risks from machine-related problems.
▪ Latest and Greatest - As stated above, having the latest features/capabilities, can translate to Also, a less tangible yet meaningful benefit is the marketing advantage of being able to advertise that you're working with the newest equipment.
▪ Financing - It is easier to get favorable financing terms (i.e. longer terms or lower interest rates) for new equipment. .
It is hard to ignore the temptations of buying used equipment - there are definite advantages and there remains a steady market for it. But for those looking to minimize risk, especially starting out in the industry, the value and reassurance for your business when buying new can be a strong deciding factor.