There are two ways to go when you want to buy a piece of equipment for your custom apparel business. You can buy it brand new from the shop… or… you can buy it secondhand from private professionals.

Secondhand is awesome — it’s one of the best choices you can make, there are no questions!

Or is there…?

Well, as with buying just about anything used, there are certain risks and challenges that — you know, you better take into consideration before making a purchase.

Which is why our previous article is a good place to start; then, you can turn to this one to have more of your questions answered.

So, let’s take a look at some more critical questions we need answered when buying any used equipment.

#1 What Can You Tell Me About Item’s History?

Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you speak with a seller. There’s really no reason to be. Asking good ‘’inquiry questions’’ is an important part of the buying process to make sure you make the right decision (and are NOT missing anything).

How much information you’d like to get about the item will largely depend on you… and what are you going to use it for. So, it helps if you have a clear idea of what you want first.

BUT, before you start asking your questions, it’s a good idea (and potentially helpful) to invest some time into research upfront. This may mean picking up more than a few books on the subject… or… just sitting up and watching how-to videos all night.

It’s probably the best way to become familiar with the product you’re going to purchase.

When you take that time to gain deeper insight into the product, you can be more effective in communicating with the seller. For one thing, you’ll spend less time on back-and-forth messages. And for the second… to be honest… you won’t come off as annoying to them.

So, ask questions with respect.

used equipment history

#2 Should I Rent or Buy Used Equipment

A question to ask yourself is: ‘’Should I rent or buy?’’ Maybe someone’s hired you for a job where you need specific equipment you don’t have. In such a case — do you go and buy your own piece of equipment — or is it better to rent the equipment you need…

… there are positives and negatives in everything. It’s all down to how often will you use the equipment and will it translate to profits.

Think about it. If you’re going to use the equipment more than once, it makes sense to purchase it. And with a constant stream of work coming in, the item may pay itself back (and more) over time.

However, if the equipment is NOT needed frequently, you can have it rented. All you have to do is call someone local in the area and see if you can borrow their equipment. It can save you a significant amount of money.

By keeping the expense as low as possible, you keep more money in your pocket.

rent or buy used equipment

#3 Are Photos Available?

You can’t make a purchase decision unless you actually see the item. I mean, you can get the best look at an item in person, but the next best thing is photos, right? It’s nice to see them before you meet with anyone.

You have to make sure you like it first.

It’s possible you’ve seen some photos of the item already, but it won’t hurt to see more. It’s not uncommon for sellers to keep certain things hidden. So, make sure to ask a seller to email you more photos of the item, ideally from all possible angles so you can thoroughly inspect it.

If the seller you are looking to buy from is hesitant about sending extra photos — you’re better off NOT buying from that person.

Keep in mind, it’s better to be cautious and risk losing a deal rather than lose your hard-earned money.

ask for photos of used equipment

#4 Can I Try Before I Buy?

When you find an item (or items) that you like the look of… and… you’d like to move forward with the purchase, then you need to go out and meet in person with the seller.

You don’t want to get stuck with a product that doesn’t work or never arrives.

So, you’re going to try it before you buy it. Take the time to meet with the seller to inspect the equipment, just a quick visual checkup to ensure you get what you pay for is enough.

In a perfect world, you wouldn’t need to do this. You could just buy what your heart desires online and have it shipped to your doorstep. And sometimes you can — you can put all your trust in the merchant and have peace of mind knowing items will arrive in one piece.

You see my point.

try before buy

#5 Is Used Equipment Worth What You’re Paying For It?

With most items selling much higher than the market value these days… you should try and make a counteroffer with a price that’s below the seller’s asking price.

It’s perfectly normal to negotiate.

In fact, it’s expected from the seller’s point of view. That’s why it’s a common practice for them to set the prices a little higher than the amount they would like to get. So, just know: they are flexible in their prices and wait for you to throw out a new offer.

On the other hand, if you think the price is fair and you’ll get good value for your money, simply pull the trigger on buying it.

how much to pay for used equipment


While some of these questions seem simple, finding answers could be a little bit more complicated than one may hope. But, they are out there — it’s your job to get them!

With that said, I wish you the best of luck in your search for ANYTHING that is you’re looking for. I hope you’ll get to find it as soon as possible at the lowest possible price.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article.