Used machinery: Offline help drives online purchase

Building a good relationship plays a major role in buying equipment regardless if it is transacted offline or over the Internet. When lubricant manufacturer American Specialty Lubricants decided to invest in a used capper for its Knoxville, TN, facility, it found this to be true.

A business associate led ASL director of operations Bruce Larson to EquipNet Direct (www.equipnetdirect.com), a used equipment marketplace. Using this site, he found it easier to source used equipment online vs. offline.

However, the sheer variety of cappers available on EquipNet Direct made it difficult for Larson to buy based solely by what he saw onscreen. “I am not an expert in that field,” he says. “Basically, it was difficult to tell one capper from the other online, so I gave them a call.”

According to Larson, EquipNet Direct provided details on each machine, including machine capabilities and required change parts. “The customer service team did all the legwork for me,” says Larson. “I felt like there was a very honest approach to it.

“One of my biggest concerns about buying machinery over the Internet is whether the machine I buy will work for my application,” says Larson.

The buddy system

To make Larson confident in his purchase, EquipNet Direct customer service representative Kent Jackson suggested Larson visit a service provider partner of EquipNet Direct, C.B. Packaging Machinery Repair in nearby Johnson City, TN.

C.B.’s Paul Broedeur shared his 40-plus years of packaging expertise with Larson and discussed which capper featured on the site best matched ASL’s needs. As a packaging machinery refurbisher, rebuilder and converter, Broedeur also determined what was needed to upgrade the capper in order to work properly for ASL’s application.

“This is what gave us the warm and fuzzy feeling that we can buy the Resina S30 listed on the EquipNet Direct site,” says Larson.

Larson adds that the customer service team at EquipNet Direct “did everything they could to make sure I was confident in the machine I was getting.”

EquipNet Direct is a bid-ask matching exchange site, but it does perform quarterly auctions. The seller, who chose to remain anonymous for this story, had an asking price of $7귔. That was the bid Larson placed and on which he won.

A 10% buyer’s fee is added to the purchase price at EquipNet Direct. After upgrades, ASL will have invested about $13ꯠ in the used Resina S30 capper, less than a similar used capper ASL found offline for $25ꯠ.

As for delivery, EquipNet Direct offers arrangements with its strategic partners. In this case, ASL opted to organize transportation through its local services.

The online buying process saved ASL time and money. “For used equipment, I would [buy online] in a minute because you can save money,” says Larson.

ASL is looking to buy a filler next. “We feel like we have forged a relationship with EquipNet Direct that will meet our future needs,” he concludes.

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