It is possible to sell used machinery as a new startup business, but it is a very difficult business to get into. There are three circumstances whereby you may have more success. The first is if you have a lot of used machinery given to you to sell as your own. The second is if you already have lots of contacts in the used machinery industry who can help you. And, the final circumstance is if you have lots of time and very low overheads so that you can take your time selling your goods.
Having Enough Time to Sell Your Items
The used machinery market moves incredibly slowly. Even if you have the best items for the best prices, the fact is that your inventory will move very slowly. Running a used machinery business startup may require you to have very low overheads so that your slow-moving stock has time to sell whilst still earning a profit.
Lots of Machinery Gifted to You
As an extension of another business, such as an extension of a garage, it is possible to run a used machinery business without needing lots of stock. However, if you are looking to start up a business selling just used machinery, then having lots of stock given to you for free is one of the only ways you are going to make a profit for the first few years. You may be tempted to spend all your startup funds on buying cheap machinery and refurbishing it, but as mentioned in the previous section, it is going to take a long time to sell and new businesses can’t afford to have their money tied up in stock for months and years at a time.
Lots of Contacts in the Industry
As mentioned in the introduction, there are three circumstances whereupon starting a used machinery business can be done successfully, and one of the circumstances is having lots of contacts in the industry. This is because if you don’t have a very high startup fund and/or lots of stock you received for free, then contacts in the industry may save you. It means you know where to buy the cheapest used machinery, you know where to sell it, and you know how much to charge.
How Old is the Machinery?
When you are selling your stock, you obviously want the best possible price, but as a startup, you want your stock to turn over fairly quickly so that you have money coming in. Buying old items often means you get them for a cheaper price. If you are able to buy them and refurbish them, then you may be able to add enough value to make a profit. If not, you have to balance the low cost of purchase with the chance that your item will never sell for a profit. Under most circumstances, try to avoid items that are very energy inefficient. In many cases, your buyer is going to want something newer and more energy-efficient.
How Used is the Machinery?
Since you are probably going to be dealing with the same clients over and over again, it is not a good idea to try to hide how used an item is. By all means, you should refurbish and clean the item as much as possible, but do not try to hide how often it has been used. Fix wear and tear rather than trying to hide it. Under most circumstances, your buyer is going to spot your attempts to hide the wear/tear/damage and will start mistrusting you. On the other hand, if somebody buys from you and feels cheated in the long run, then you have lost a long-term potential customer, and that same person may start bad-mouthing you to your other buyers.
Reputation Counts For a Lot
As you have probably gathered, building a good reputation is important because you are often going to deal with the same people over and over again. Even if you don’t, there is a good chance that they have their own community and that they talk. It is very difficult to recover from a bad reputation, so before you try any trickery or deception, try to think about things long term. Do not let traders and customers take advantage of you. Make your profits, but do it as honestly as you can.