Refurbished Equipment Benefits Few


Many liken the specialty coffee industry to one big family. For us to function as a happy one, each member needs to consider the interests of the other. For example, the job of a sales rep for an equipment manufacturer is to move equipment. When service companies place more emphasis on refurbishing used equipment rather than selling new, service companies become competitors to manufacturers not partners. Service provider practices regarding used equipment negatively impact sales representatives among others. Manufacturers depend on service companies to understand the importance of selling new equipment.    


Dismantle and Recycle Used Equipment

The commercial espresso service company is the primary means manufacturers have in removing their outdated equipment from public service. If an equipment owner is willing to relinquish their equipment to a service provider, that equipment should be dismantled and recycled, not refurbished and then resold. Commercial equipment retailers should work with service companies to have used equipment relinquished whenever new machines are being sold as replacements for older units. No matter what your position is on refurbishing equipment for resale, it is important to acknowledge that the practice has more negative effects than positive ones for the specialty coffee industry.


Refubished Equipment is Rarely Beneficial 

Service companies should not be dealers of used equipment. To be clear, I’m not saying used equipment doesn’t have a place in this industry. I argue that used equipment should be sold by someone other than a service company, such as the equipment owner. Refurbishing outdated equipment for resale is not the purpose to which a commercial espresso service company should dedicate themselves. There are many common practices in our community that are beneficial to some, and harmful to others. If you are a service provider, you have some very good reasons to resell used and refurbished equipment. Those reasons are easily comparable to the motivations of other retailers who dramatically reduce the price of new equipment. The practice of selling refurbished equipment causes more harm than good, especially for a new startup business.


New Equipment is the Cheapest to Operate

There will always be opportunities to refurbish equipment, but it is more beneficial to those entering the espresso industry to begin with new equipment. New equipment is the cheapest to operate. There are many service companies that do a competent job of refurbishment, but what is most important to a new espresso business is that their equipment is equal to or better than their competitors. For many who are in the market for used equipment, they hope to save money. As a professional service provider, you know that purchasing used equipment is a foolish way to cut costs or to be successful in the specialty coffee industry. Selling refurbished equipment to a new business owner sets them up for failure and creates unnecessary competition for current customers.


Used Espresso Equipment Undermines Specialty Coffee

When it comes to a service company’s growth and stability, most service technicians feel there are industry practices that undermine their business and quality of service. Consider how a committed espresso business in your community might feel about  the selling of used equipment. Speciality coffee is a relatively small industry, which forces manufacturers, roasters, service companies, and most importantly, espresso businesses into fierce competition. As a service provider, your commitment to quality beverages should match those of the equipment manufacturers, roasters, and businesses you work with. Saturating our communities with used espresso equipment turns the specialty coffee industry into something that is really just not all that special.


Grow Your Business with Incentives

Consider becoming more of a partner with the espresso businesses you already work with. Ask them how you can help them grow or expand into other locations. How wonderful would it be if someone from the coffee industry asked you the same questions? Neither you or your best customers need more competition. What is more reasonable for our small family is to work together to provide quality products and services to our communities. Exploring ways to develop  maintenance programs and services to better assist others is a great way for you to  build solid relationships and to start selling more new equipment. Keep reminding your customers that you offer sizable discounts on equipment trade-ins. Few retailers can offer this type of purchasing incentive, so why not take advantage? 


Selling Equipment Supports Growth

Last October, the Espresso Service Network asked service companies to complete a one-question survey. The question was, “What percentage of your customers know you sell equipment?” The response was overwhelming. Service companies are not informing their customers that they sell new equipment.  This pattern clearly reflects a disconnect between sales and service that benefits no one. The Espresso Service Network wants to help you build relationships, improve your sales, and grow your service company. That means helping you sell equipment with as much ease as possible. Let us know what you think about the various topics in this article? Your comments will be warmly received and very much appreciated.


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