Tips on Buying or Selling a Used Espresso Machine


If you are in the market for a used espresso machine, it probably means you are hoping to save a few dollars. On the other hand, if you are planning on selling your used espresso machine, you are probably trying to sell at the best price possible.  Whether selling or purchasing, an espresso machine should be evaluated by a professional service technician before price negotiations begin.

Fundamentals of Espresso is temperature and temperature Stability

Many business savvy individuals purchase espresso machines that do more harm to their business' than help. Are you thinking, “I just want to sell an economical cup of coffee and any machine will do?” Inexpensive coffee can sell very well, however, like all food products, whether you sell a standard or a profiled cup, customers expect their coffee to taste the same every time they visit your business. Unlike traditional coffee machines, there are many variables to producing consistent shots of espresso, such as the freshness of your coffee, the grind, the timing of your shot, and everything in between.  A fundamental  of espresso is temperature and your machine’s ability to maintain that temperature. If your machine is unstable, your customers will learn quickly that your beverages are unpredictable and will go elsewhere for their coffee. 


Seller Provides the Equipment Evaluation for Potential Buyers

The seller holds the responsibility for the evaluation of their used machine. The seller should provide the evaluation, not the buyer, because it would not make sense for every potential buyer to purchase their own evaluation. The evaluation should always include an estimate for any needed or recommended repairs. For sellers, it is easy to hire an espresso technician to evaluate the machine for you. Local, professional service technicians can be found on our National Espresso Service Directory ( A professional evaluation is sometimes provided at a flat rate as an industry courtesy.

Inconsistent or Low Group Temperatures are Signs of Heavy Build-Up

The average time it takes to evaluate a commercial espresso machine is about sixt (60) to ninety (90) minutes. The evaluation will most likely not include a visual inspection of the machine’s boiler. The machine must be able to perform all basic functions for it to be tested. In some cases, the service technician may need to repair the machine before it can be evaluated. Those services would not be included in their flat fee.  During an inspection, the technician will evaluate the machine’s functionality. This will include the heating, refilling, and brewing systems along with the machine’s steaming and hot water performance.  Lastly, and most importantly, the evaluation will include the machine’s pressure and temperature consistency. If the machine holds excessive minerals, it will most likely cause inconsistent or low group temperatures. 

Looks Can be Deceiving

Know that a seemingly new espresso machine can have internal damage not visible on the outside. For example, the machine was stored in a freezing environment. Furthermore, a machine dispensing hot water does not necessarily mean that it is capable of temperature stability in an active environment.  If you are considering used equipment without an evaluation, your offer should reflect the high risk you will be taking if the machine needs extensive repairs or is unrepairable. If you are the seller of a used espresso machine, you will most likely want to receive top dollar for your machine, and an evaluation will be the best way to provide you with negotiating power. For additional information about buying a used espresso machine, check out this article for additional tips, Used Espresso Machines: What to Look for


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