When it comes to buying used gear, the biggest advantage over new equipment is often price. You can find great deals on used screen printing machines if you’re willing to put in the time and effort to look for them. However, if you’re new to screen printing and unfamiliar with the equipment, it can be virtually impossible for you to tell a good machine from a bad one. If you plan on making a used machine your first screen printing equipment purchase, make sure you have someone with industry experience to help you. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you can’t make an informed decision – and you don’t want to regret buying a lemon.
While used machines can save you money off the initial cost, remember that you get what you pay for. A used machine typically won’t come with training or a warranty. In most cases, you’ll also have to install the machine yourself. A new press will usually be installed by factory technician who will train you on how to operate it – a valuable experience if you’re a beginner screen printer. Depending on the model and its age, a used screen printing machine may no longer have parts or service available. If something goes wrong, will you be able to get the used machine up and running quickly? Find out if the manufacturer can still provide support, or even install the used machine for you.
If you’re looking for a specific model or configuration, it may not be immediately available on the used market. You might find yourself either settling for a machine that doesn’t exactly fit your needs, or having to wait until the right press becomes available. If you order a new press, you can be sure you’re getting a machine that’s tailored to fit your business perfectly.
Asking the right questions can point you in the right direction when you’re looking for a used press. Some helpful questions that can help you gauge whether you’re getting a good deal or not:
By getting a closer look at the machine before you buy, you can try to determine its quality. It’s a good idea to check moving parts to see if they’re worn from heavy use. Signs of abuse outside of regular wear and tear suggest the machine wasn’t properly cared for, which could lead to serious problems.
If there’s a particular press you’re interested in, it might be worth your time to check with the manufacturer to see if they have a used model for sale. Many manufacturers (including Anatol) take in used machines and refurbish them for resale. This way you get a machine you can count on, along with the manufacturer’s support. You may even be able to get a factory technician to install it for you and provide training. And if there’s any other equipment you need, you can get it all in one place.
The best advice regarding used equipment is to get as much information as possible. Before you buy, check machine values online for comparison and ask questions on internet forums to get other printers’ opinions. If you’ve decided to purchase a used machine, see if you can get a hold of an operator’s manual from the seller or manufacturer. Get as many resources as you can to help keep the press running smoothly.
Here at Anatol, we take in used machines from time to time, thoroughly inspect them and try to find them good new homes. Want to learn more about Anatol used equipment? Contact your Anatol representative and we’ll be happy to discuss what’s available – click here to find your rep.