Thanks to One Fat Frog Restaurant Equipment for this guide on buying new and used restaurant equipment online. We’re freshening up this guide and adding an additional section on phone support because we’ve just fielded several phone calls on this. One of our most recent phone calls was from a would-be client who has shopped with us several times but never buys. It seems they found an item at a great price, ordered it online and well the company they ordered it from just never answers the phone. This is no surprise to us. We’ve heard of many folks operating from their basement or mom’s garage. They throw up a website, offer stuff at below cost. Well, and how can it be below cost? They’re not offering support, they have no employees, they have no overhead. That means you need something, don’t call them, they just won’t be there.
Purchasing used restaurant and commercial equipment can greatly affect your company’s bottom line. Solid used equipment is lifesaver for a new startup business and a life line for an existing business that is expanding. And, one of the little known facts is that used equipment is financeable! This means you can use traditional bank financing to pay for the equipment. There are also other great finance companies that work with small businesses to provide quick approval.
One of the most important parts of purchasing used equipment is understanding the resources and support available. It is without a doubt that this equipment will become an integral part of your business and therefore any support links we provide to our customers are important.
Selling you an item is more than just the sale, it’s about helping your business to succeed, too. You’ll often find reference in our auctions that the equipment comes with user’s manual or that we have contact for US reps and distributors. After all, what good is equipment when you don’t know how to install it or its full capabilities and functions?
Thanks to the world wide web, we have easy and quick availability to archives and data from many manufacturers. As the digital age has come to fruition, we find ourselves with more and more tools to support our customers. This means that through a simple internet search we are able to access and download manufacturer’s specifications sheets, owner’s manuals, instructions for cleaning, parts lists, trouble shooting guides and technical specifications. Computerization has made it easier and easier to install equipment and maintain it to manufacturer’s standards. As a rule, One Fat Frog tries to include instruction manuals or support links for our equipment.
Many manufacturers will have service departments located across the nation. Service employees are amazing people- they know their stuff. These men and women normally are extremely knowledgeable about ordering additional parts, may be able to guide a repair over the phone or even fax you obsolete diagrams. However, don’t despair if there is not a local service department in your part of the United States. This may very well be indicative of quality machines that just don’t need on-going support and repair. There really is no one great rule of thumb on service. Sometimes we find that the regional service department is not of help, but that by calling other service departments we are able to find someone with spectacular knowledge and the interest in helping clients.
Support Distributors and Representatives
Sure, when you buy a new piece of equipment you often get great support from the sales reps and/ or distributor. But, did you know, they are often just as pleased to work with folks who have purchased used units?
Knowing someone who specializes in this equipment and can support you in any way is as important to our clients as it is to us. That’s why you’ll often find reference in our auctions to the sales representative or distributor. One Fat Frog makes it habit to contact the US Distributor or Representative of our large equipment.
Distributors and representatives are wonderful to work with. The little known secret is that they are eager to work with us to support the used equipment we sell.
Working with high-end equipment, we communicate and deal with both manufacturers and clients all over the world. Our ability to converse in various languages makes this simple. Just last week we made a quick call to Switzerland. This allowed us to pass on valuable information to our customers and also obtain information the client may need about special care, training or operations needs for the equipment. We’ve also been able to contact Italian manufacturer’s directly. We are a global marketplace and it’s about time that all companies respect that. This means that we need to speak more than one language and make international phone calls; in our book, this is what customer service is about- trying our best to get you the information you need.
Forums, Owner’s Groups, Professional Organizations
Other great resources for the used equipment owner are web forums. These groups often house the very best information you will find on a piece of equipment. Who better to share the strengths and weaknesses of a product than other business owners? When reading these groups understand that you will read more negative than positive; it’s just human dynamics. People are more likely to march to their computer and post a complaint then stop their day to sing praises.
Purchasing used equipment for your business is often a smart business decision. Even by factoring in money for repairs, it’s a wonderful way to expand your business and explore different equipment. Many of the machines are built to support decades of commercial use and therefore letting another business take the “drive the new car off the lot, automatic value drop” makes a lot of sense.
Take a look at our clean, used items. You’ll be pleasantly suprised by the values and quality. We also have the ability to work with business owners to finance anything that is in our store! So, if there is something you see (or conversely something you need but don’t see), let us know and we can help you expand! Also, if you’re ever looking for a Manufacturer, service or other contact feel free to drop us a line- they just might be in our “little black book.”