Buying used machines online – safely

Machineseeker United States

The online trade in used machines is booming. In 2016, the enquiry volume on leading online marketplace rose by 85 percent. Potential buyers often still feel vulnerable, however, due to the anonymity of the internet.

When used machinery changes hands, large sums of money are often involved, so a certain amount of caution is advisable. The leading online platform Machineseeker only links up dealers and buyers – the deal itself isn’t handled directly through the internet. Interested parties can simply send an enquiry to dealers by filling in a form or contact them directly by phone.

Ideally, both parties will meet on site so that the machine can be viewed and preferably also tested. Should this not be possible, there are a few things that buyers can check in advance:

  • Is the price appropriate? If the sale price of the machine is way below its value, this often means that something is wrong.
  • Does the company really exist? Does the dealer have a website with company information and can they be contacted through a landline number?
  • Always ensure that the purchase agreement stipulates that the machine is fully operational. This will put you on the safe side in case control boxes or switchgear are missing, for example.
  • Avoid advance payment whenever possible.
  • If you are unsure, use an escrow account – then the seller only gets the money if you are satisfied with the machine which you have received.

If you notice anything suspicious, please inform the operator of the platform immediately. At Machineseeker, reliable dealers are awarded a so-called “trust seal” after being subjected to a thorough examination. “The Machineseeker trust seal allows buyers to tell at a glance whether they are dealing with a trustworthy seller,” says founder and CEO Thorsten Muschler.

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