Alex Dalton, Managing Director of woodworking machinery specialists Daltons Wadkin, looks at five reasons why businesses may benefit for using second hand equipment.

For many businesses, the equipment they use and the office-ware they purchase can be as much a part of their brand, as the services they offer. It serves as the first impression for potential clients, the working environment for their employees, and the assets they will invest in to predict the future of their company.

Especially for businesses working in the building, construction and electrical trade industries, there are so many benefits in choosing second hand equipment over new machinery. I’m not talking cables, or LEDs, I’m talking about tools, stepladders, knee pads and other equipment to support your job. 

It can make a big difference to both the environmental reputation of your company, as well as your bank balance. Ranging from a manufacturing chain conveyer belt, to a tool belt, second hand equipment certainly has its benefits. Here are Daltons Wadkin’s top five things to be aware of when considering buying second hand equipment. 

Image removed.Cost Effective 

Business equipment, whether you consider that to be tools and equipment, IT supplies or the heavier duty machinery, will always be retailed at a lower price when sold second hand.  The cost of shipping is likely to be lower, the VAT may also be lessened depending on the margin price, and most retailers will do reductions of between 25% - 50%. 

Many auction houses now have categories of office, industry, or retail equipment to be sold off at bidder’s prices, yet these still aren’t widely regarded as a popular source. This means that whilst the selection of equipment will be higher, the prices will be much lower with even more chance of bidding success. 

Efficiency and Control  

Buying second hand equipment can also help with controlling your purchases – as you’re able to filter through to get to the most cost effective option. For example, selecting and sourcing a seller within collection distance of the area you work to avoid costly shipping fees, or travelling to try its effectiveness out before buying. 

The option of local collection as opposed to special order/delivery can be particularly time effective for priority time management. 

Environmental Benefits 

Whilst this might not affect you as a business personally, it can affect your reputation within your community. The cost and environmental damage of producing new equipment can be incredibly toxic, as well as the excessive packaging arriving with it. Plastic wraps, non-biodegradable packing, bubble wrap, and even transportation costs can all have negative impacts on the environment, which increases your carbon footprint. 

Selecting the option of local collection, or even second hand delivery can reduce this unnecessary packaging – and be a selling point for your business’ eco-friendly approach. 

Growth Motivation 

Another reason to consider choosing second hand equipment is the potential for growth and expansion within your business. By investing too much of your budget in brand new, unused equipment, should trends or times change, you could be left with no savings to keep up with. 

By sticking with equipment at a used price, you can put forward money towards other expenses or even future equipment purchases – helping your business to grow and expand. 


It is a common misconception that second-hand equipment is typically un-safe and untested.  However, used equipment must always be regulated and safety assessed before sale – particularly heavy duty machinery or potentially hazardous assets. According to Conformance CE Marking and Product Safety, any machinery purchased second hand must be CE marked, and where possible, PAT tested for healthy and safety risks. 

To make sure you’re getting the best out of your second-hand selection, you can also put in a request for the original instructions to be posted with the equipment. 

There are so many benefits for investing in second hand equipment, it can define your small business. Savvy businesses will explore all options, including looking at used as well as new equipment. Decisions should be based on what best meets your needs. In the current economic climate, it is important to look at all options to cut costs and increase profits. In the long-run, buying used equipment is a viable option that may well save you money.


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