Are you about starting a catering service and you are shopping for equipment? If YES, here is a detailed comparison between buying new vs used catering equipment. There are a lot of things involved when setting up a catering business; from the legal costs to operating expenses, there is really a very long list of items to spend money on, so it is understandable that caterers would want to reduce start-up costs by buying used catering equipment.

Used catering equipment could really help to save some money compared to buying new equipment but it is important that you weigh the pros and cons of buying used equipment as against investing in new equipment so that you don’t end up shooting yourself in the foot. Some of the advantages of buy new catering equipment include-:

3 Advantages of Buying New Catering Equipment

a. You would have access to product warranty

When you purchase new equipment, you would have access to manufacturer’s guarantee that comes with new equipment and in the event that the equipment develops a fault or becomes damaged, you can easily get a replacement or have it repaired at no extra cost to you.

b. Free from wear and tear

Catering equipment need to be durable, rugged and reliable. When you buy brand new equipment, you would be able to use it for a longer period compared to buying used equipment which might need to be replaced within a short time. Buying used equipment might seem cheap in the beginning but in the long run, you may discover that it would cost you more.

c. Proper maintenance

When you buy used equipment, you have little or no idea about how the equipment has been maintained or whether it was serviced regularly or not but when you buy brand new equipment, you would be able to properly service and maintain it, so as to increase its useful life.

Buying new catering equipment is good; however, it comes with its own disadvantages. One major disadvantage of buying new catering equipment is that it costs more than used equipment. Therefore, if you are starting your business on a budget you might want to start with used equipment as it would help you to save as much as 50% on start-up costs.

Before you run off to order for used equipment, it is imperative that you are aware that buying used catering equipment is not without its own advantages and disadvantages too. Some of the advantages of buying used catering equipment include-:

4 Advantages of Buying Used Catering Equipment

i. Relatively Cheaper

Buying used catering equipment is relatively cheaper than buying new equipment. For instance, a new 6-range burner which would usually go for about $1,300 could be found for about half the price in the second hand market.

ii. Durable

Used equipment is usually of better quality, stronger and more durable especially when it has been properly used and maintained.

iii. More equipment

Also, because used equipment’s are cheaper than new equipment, you would be able to buy more equipment. Money that would have been used to buy two items could be spread out into buying four items.

iv. Ability to start small

Buying used equipment would also help you reduce start-up costs so that you can start your catering business with as little capital as possible. There are also some disadvantages of buying used equipment, some of which include-:

3 Disadvantages of Buying Used Catering Equipment

A. No product warranty

Of course, you don’t expect a product warranty on used equipment so if there’s any problem with it or if it gets damaged along the way, you should have to shoulder the costs yourself.

B. Wear and tear

Used equipment’s have also been subjected to a lot of wear and tear and may not last as long as new equipment.

C. Costly in the long run

Sometimes, there is this ‘penny-wise, pound-foolish’ realization that comes after buying used things especially when you have to replace equipment that you just bought after a short period. Buying used equipment is just like rolling a dice; you never can tell what you would end up with.

Sometimes you may be lucky enough to end up with equipment that would function well and last as long as new equipment but sometimes, the opposite is the case. If you would prefer to purchase used catering equipment, here are some tips that would guide you in making a better decision-:

6 Helpful Tips for Buying a Used Catering Equipment

1. Check out the physical condition of the equipment. This would give you an idea of how the equipment was used and maintained. Equipment with a lot of dents, scruffs and scratches might mean that it wasn’t properly maintained, you may want to avoid buying such equipment.

2. You should also look out for the age of the equipment. You don’t want to end up with equipment that is too old or ‘archaic’. A good way to find out the age of equipment is to check the date of manufacture as well as the date of purchase.

3. Ask to have the equipment tested, so that you can be sure that it is functioning perfectly.

4. You should also find out if there is an existing, valid manufacturer’s warranty on the equipment that can be transferred to you. If there isn’t, you could ask the seller to give you a personal guarantee, so that you can return it or have it repaired at no extra cost to you within the specified period.

5. It would also help if you can lay hands on the original product manual that came with the equipment so that you can learn as much as possible about the equipment. There might be some things that the seller would not be able to tell you that a manual would.

6. If you are buying used catering equipment on the internet, you need to be very careful with it and ensure that you choose a seller that is trusted and has enough positive reviews. You should also go with a seller that has a suitable refund policy.

Personally, I think that buying new catering equipment is the best option but buying used catering equipment is not bad either especially when you are on a budget. However, you must be smart and exercise a lot of caution when you want to buy used equipment. Just use the guide above and I’m certain that you would be fine.

Ajaero Tony Martins