Tips from a Dealer. Whether you are importing machinery from the United States or buying from the dealer next door., there are certain steps you should take to make sure that your used machinery purchase provides everything you hope for. Following three machine rules should increase your chances of being satisfied with your purchase.
  1. Purchase machinery from a Reputable Dealer
  2. Make sure the Dealer has the ability to provide the equipment in the condition you require
  3. Make sure you read all contract thoroughly
Buy from a Reputable Dealer

Since past performance is the best indicator of future performance, machinery dealers with a proven track record offer a sense of security for the machinery buyer.  If a dealer has been around for a number of years, they will have a proven track record of delivering as promised.  Dealers that stock equipment, purchasing and storing equipment in their own warehouse, because of their investment and roots have the added feel of stability.  If a machinery dealer has been around for many years and built up his inventory, he is probably selling you a machine with your satisfaction as his driving motivation; after all he wants to receive your future business. Check out industry associations such as the MDNA (Machinery Dealers Network Association) to see if the dealer is a member.  Associations have strict codes of ethics a company must adhere to.

While you always want to know from whom you are buying machinery, there are some special concerns when importing machinery.

"Import" -ant Concerns

When importing a machine, you you want to be certain you are buying from a reputable machinery dealer:  the stakes are higher and legal battles are harder fight.  By exercising caution, you can limit your risk in your machinery purchases.  To research how well the dealer can take care of your specific needs, ask the following question:

How often do they export machinery?  Companies that export machinery regularly will know the pitfalls of exporting, will know how to fill out paperwork properly, and will be able to make recommendations based on your specific situation. Have they shipped machinery to your country before?  Certain countries have a specific order in which forms need to be filled out out as well as tariff and customs certificates.  Inspections may be required of the container or equipment BEFORE leaving the initial destination. If the dealer is familiar with your country, they may be able to facilitate a smoother shipment. Do they have any customer references in your country?  Assuming the dealer has shipped your your country before, they should have a list of satisfied customers they can provide to you.  Ask for the list of reference and talk to the other buyers in your region.  They too, may have helpful tips in importing equipment specific to your area. Do they have anyone in the office that speaks your language? If you are working with a dealer whose primary language is different than your own, it helps to have someone who is not only familiar with the language, but also with the jargon of the industry.  They can also help facilitate the preparation of documents in your language. You Get What You Pay For

Your budget and resources will determine the condition off the machinery you wish to purchase. If you have little money and highly trained mechanics, you may want to to purchase an older machine in "as is" condition.  If you have a limited staff of mechanics, you may want to purchase machines in running condition. If you do not have access to mechanics or you live in a country outside of the machine's origin, you may opt to have the machine completely refurbished.

If you are purchasing machinery that you plan to import into your country, you should strongly consider having the machinery completely refurbished to your specifications.  A good machinery dealer will be able to change the voltage (or supply a transformer) and provide the parts that may not be readily available in your country.  Rather than taking your staff's time to refurbish the machine, let the dealer (who has probably fixed hundreds of machines like yours) take care of your special needs.  Additionally you can ask for a video of the machine powered up to verify its operational status. Of course each machine is different; machines that are rather new, have a minimal number of running hours, or are currently in production may not need any work at all.

Read Your Contract Carefully

Whether you are buying used machinery or sell you your machinery that is out of production, you must read your contracts carefully. Most machinery dealers are legitimate and will prove to be an excellent resource for you machinery needs. As with any industry, you must watch out for the hustlers.

Before you send money to a dealer, be sure that you have a signed contract and that you agree to all the terms within that contract.  The contract should specifically outline what each party is responsible for and contain an outline of deadlines that must be met.  Do not leave your contract with an open ended completion date.

Most used equipment dealers are honest and provide a great value for their customers.  Used machinery does not have to be available in your immediate area or even your own country to still be a bargain.