Buying commercial bakery equipment is an investment in your business and — if you’re the owner or manager — in your future. But it’s also a significant expense. Consequently, commercial bakeries look for ways to minimize the cost of new industrial mixers and other commercial kitchen equipment.
If you’ve thought about ways to reduce the cost of baking equipment, you may have considered purchasing equipment at auction. Many people swear by the deals you can get in the fast-paced world of restaurant equipment auctions — but is it really such a great deal, even if you pay pennies on the dollar?
Before you get too excited about the low price of industrial mixers, dough dividers and water chillers found on the auction block, consider what you won’t get when the hammer falls and the auctioneer cries, “SOLD!”
Bakery Equipment Warranties
One of the biggest selling points of new industrial mixers and other kitchen equipment is that they come with a manufacturer’s warranty. Buy used, and you’re on your own. If something goes wrong, you will have to pay out of pocket for repairs.
And just like buying a used car, you have no idea if the previous owner maintained the equipment properly or used it in accordance with the manufacturer’s standards. You could quickly find yourself paying more for repairs and maintenance than you paid for the equipment itself.
In a commercial bakery, production is profit. Any downtime cuts directly into your bottom line. So if your used baking equipment breaks down because it hasn’t been properly maintained, you’ll be offline until you can get — and pay for — the necessary repairs.
If the equipment has not been cared for and maintained, you may also find that it won’t meet the manufacturer’s standards for production. This means you’ll produce less product than you would if you had purchased new equipment.
When you buy used equipment, you won’t have access to technical support from the supplier or the manufacturer — at least not without a cost. If you want a user’s manual, for example, you’ll likely have to order and pay for one. If you need a simple question answered, you may have to pay someone to help you.
Do you know exactly what equipment you need for your commercial bakery? If not, you won’t get any assistance at an auction. You could end up with extra equipment you don’t need, or that won’t fit in your kitchen. You could even end up having to buy different pieces, if your auction purchases don’t fit your needs.
Buying from an established supplier will give you the benefit of your sales rep’s experience and industry knowledge, which can help keep your costs down.
These are just a few of the factors you should consider before you rush off to buy bakery equipment at a live or online auction. It’s easy to get caught up in the bargain-basement prices you see, so before you start bidding, think about how much more money it may cost you to get used items up and running, and to keep them working reliably in your kitchen.
Dough Tech is the national sales distributor for high-quality commercial and industrial bakery equipment, including Escher, Sitep and Artezen. Let us put our in-depth knowledge and extensive experience to work for you. We’re confident we can show you a better way to save money than taking the risks associated with buying used commercial bakery equipment.