Ebay and similar sites are a fantastic resource for professional sanders to resell their old equipment. However, we have seen a number of illegitimate sales appearing on the auction site recently. Floor sanding equipment – especially professional sanding machines – are high value items in high demand, and we’ve spoken to many people who have been left between £600 to £3,000 out of pocket trying to bag a bargain. Remember, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
With that in mind, there are a few things you can do to ensure you get quality used equipment at the right price:
- View the machine! This is rule number one and if you don’t do this, there’s little hope. The majority of floor sander auctions on ebay are completed offline as it is imperative that you see the machine in person before you hand over your money. Take the same approach you would if you were buying a car…
- That means taking a test drive. If there’s room in the van, take some plywood and a new abrasive with you and test the machine. This is a great way to check for chatter marks, uneven drum pressure, dust extraction and unusual noises. It’s harder than you think to tell fully-functioning kit from used and abused workhorses on their last legs by eye alone.
- A machine is only the sum of its parts. Take a look at the drum, chassis, motor, belts and anything else that is easily accessible. All of these items can be pricey to replace. We have often had to rebuild machines from the ground up that the owner first thought were a steal. Ask the seller for a service history, or get the item’s serial number (and even the seller’s company name) to check the machine with the national distributors or service centres. If they’ve never been in for a tune-up, that should be cause for concern.
- Check the seller’s reputation, score, feedback and previous sales. Brand new users who have never sold an item before are likely to disappear as soon as they get hold of your (or someone else’s) cash. If they claim to be an experienced company, see if they’ve listed any of these details on their profile.
- Stolen Goods are also a frequent problem. Work vans are a hot target for thieves and machines that get left inside overnight will often go missing. These have been known to pop up online a few weeks or months later. Even if it’s a brand new machine, buying a stolen item will get you in trouble sooner or later. Floor sanding is a small world and someone will link the machines to its previous owner.
- Get a second opinion, especially if it’s a machine you haven’t used extensively before. Get a trusted buddy or colleague with experience with the item to check the pictures over. They’ll have a much better chance of noticing conspicuous cracks or missing pieces than you will.
Follow these tips and you’ll have a head start in picking out good deals online and avoiding the pitfalls that many fall into.There will always be a sense of urgency when a dream-machine appears on ebay at a bargain price, but never let that stop you from seeing the product in person before you hand over your cash!If you have any stories, advice or experiences (good or bad) about buying or selling floor sanding equipment online, please get in touch and let us know in the comments below.
At KHR Company Ltd. we are happy to give advice and second opinions on online used Lagler machines sales where possible. We also offer fully comprehensive servicing and repairs for newly acquired machines on a while-U-wait or collection service with a no-obligation quote.
We also offer simple finance plans on new Lagler machine packages, breaking up the cost of equipment into manageable monthly payments. Find out more here.