Now, you may think that this article is biased because we sell new mixers… However, if you are considering investing hundreds or even thousands of dollars in a used paint mixer, you owe it to yourself to invest a minute or two into reading this first. Used mixers are like used cars, the value of a used car depends on a few factors and only once you know all of these factors can you determine whether or not you are paying a fair price, getting a screaming deal, or being sold a heap of junk.
The factors affecting the value of a used mixer are about the same as for a used car.
- How old is it?
- How much (and how hard) has it been used?
- Has it been damaged? If so, was it properly repaired?
- Was it maintained over the course of its life?
These factors affect value regardless of its “refurbished” status. If the unit is being sold as “Reconditioned” or “Refurbished”
- Who did the remanufacturing services?
- What parts did they use (used parts, 3rd party parts, or original parts)?
- How long does the seller warrant the refurbished unit?
- Is the warranty backed by a national company or is it provided by the seller only?
The above questions can often be answered by a Carfax® report for an automobile, however getting answers about paint equipment is much harder. A bit of detective work on your part can save you thousands of dollars in the long run when dealing with a used or “refurbished” unit.
The serial plate can tell a lot about a unit. Fluid Management, and Harbil mixers use the last 2 digits to denote year of manufacture. This beautiful unit was the 19th unit made in November of 1987!
How To Know If It’s A Deal Or A Dud?
Where Did The Seller Get The Unit?
If you ask the seller where the mixer is from, you can learn a lot about the mixer and the seller at the same time. If they are elusive or don’t really know the history of the mixer, that is not a good sign. If they say it came from a small hardware store that went out of business, you may have found a peach but you want proof!! The same laws regarding used car sales apply here, buyer beware! “I don’t know” or “I can’t prove it” should be your sign to walk on.
The vast majority of the used gear out there actually comes out of some of the highest volume paint dealers around, Lowes, Home Depot, Sherwin Williams company stores, etc. This is because they are the users likely to wear out equipment and replace it on a schedule. This used-up equipment is then sold in bulk or by weight to salvagers (refurbishers). This gear falls under the category of “Refurbished”. These mixers look rough but refurbishes are great at making the gear look nice with paint and new stickers. They also know how to steam clean dried paint off frames and replace a power cable or a plexiglass door.
What does Refurbished mean?
When you buy a used mixer it may look great but the cost of painting a mixer is low, the cost of replacing a load frame inside a 5 gallon mixer that has already mixed 4 million dollars worth of paint and has stress fatigue at the welds will be more than you pay for the unit from the refurbisher. And, when that stress fracture happens, the bearings will be worn too because of misalignment, but it is likely those won’t be tested or replaced unless they are screaming. If the frame cracks are noticed, they will replace just the frame, with another used frame, out of another worn out mixer… I don’t mean to paint such a dark picture but I hear this every day, all day. Did I mention that YOU will probably be the one replacing these parts? More on that under “Warranties” below. In short, most refurbished equipment is briefly tested to see if there are any obvious issues and either repairs are made on these obvious points or, if the damage is too severe, the unit is used as a parts machine to repair other worn out mixers. Used equipment fixed with used parts.
A Note On Warranties:
Refurbished mixers come with warranties ranging from no warranty at all to a full year of parts and labour coverage. Most have a 6 month warranty on parts and a “DIY” approach to repairs (meaning you have to figure out how to repair it yourself.) Also, refurbishers go in and out of business all the time and the equipment warranty is only as good as the company behind it. In contrast, our new mixers come with a 2 year warranty on all parts and on-site repair by a certified technician for the first year of ownership.
In Closing I Would Say:
- REFURBISHED does not equal NEW, it equals refurbished and you need to find out what that means in regard to this particular mixer.
- USED is a broad term and means nothing until you understand HOW it was USED.
If you would like to know more about a used mixer that you are interested in, please feel free to contact us as we would be happy to assist you in finding out more about the unit you are considering. If you have a serial number, we can likely tell you when it was made, who bought it, and if it has a long list of service calls attached to it. This can help you avoid buying someone else’s problem and that helps everyone! Good luck out there and I wish you the best in your search for paint equipment. On a side note: Don’t assume that our prices are too high on new gear! Call for a quote and find out for sure! Refurbishers list prices on eBay for “New Cost” and really have no idea what a new unit is going for…