How to avoid shocks during a secondhand purchase

A secondhand machine is an unknown entity. Sometimes a buyer is not 100% certain of a machine’s capabilities. Rahul Kumar explains why buying pre-owned need not throw up surprises.

22 Feb 2017 | By Rahul Kumar

A walk around the show shows how selecting a pre-owned kit is a tough experience. It is not as simple as buying a secondhand car. After all, printing machines are a very unwieldy and heavy bit of kit. Most machines I saw at the show are very complex pieces of equipment with a multitude of electronics and engineering that don’t like being moved.

And so, even though buying the machine is all about the price, but, on its own, cost is not enough.

Most serious buyers I talked to, always take a closer look at the the press, which meant going with the dealer, and looking at the physical machine.

But before that personal inspection, there are three areas to tick: Look for a well-maintained machine. Check. Find out what type of work had rolled off the press – was it book work or brochure work. Check. Look for a machine with a low impression count. Check.

If you are doing high quality work; then print should be number-one priority and you must look at the test sheets. Preferably run your own test sheets. If you have a bit of engineering genes in your system then do clock the cylinders.

Do remember: It is an old machine. So there will be wear and tear. With a brand-new model you can expect a couple of years’ trouble-free operation, which you can’t guarantee with a used press. But with low mileage and good care you are talking about only normal general maintenance.”

Buying secondhand may boil down to price but securing the finance is just as crucial. Do study the financial package. The key is: interest rate, the flexibility of the payment plan and the readiness of the dealer for a GST era..

Please ensure that your negotiations around the price involve things like buy back (if any); spare parts and labour and the all-important warranty.

Two things to do while bying

  1. Do not buy a used machine without a period of warranty, it’s an absolute necessity.
  2. 2. The process of installation after you have finalised the deal. Some dealers are keen to move a machine in two weeks. But after that the installation took six weeks.

Happy shopping

PrintPack 2017 had a fair representation of pre-owned machine dealers

Grafik Impex
Saawariya International
Pan Graphic Machinery
Printers Parts and Equipment
City Graphics
Media Printers
Batra Graphics
Shivalik Offset

Top Tips

Do your research
Are you seeking out a particular machine, or shopping in general? Whatever you do, background work on the secondhand market is vital.

Know the dealer
Knowing that you can trust the dealer is no less crucial. This can speed up timelines for money transfers and installation.

Take a close look
See the machine in action and make sure you’re able to run some test sheets to ensure print quality is good enough for your needs.

Get a good finance package
Try to negotiate the best deal involving beneficial interest rates and payment plans.

Scrutinise the machine’s history
Check its impression count, what it was producing in the past and how well it has been looked after and maintained.

Negotiate on price
Bear in mind parts and labour and the condition of the press and don’t be afraid to draw up a ‘snagging list’, taking account of fair wear and tear.

Get a good warranty
Do not consider buying a used machine without a period of warranty: “It’s an absolute necessity”.

Move carefully
Moving a secondhand press is a unique experience and even when done correctly, things can “come out of the woodwork”.