How to Buy and Sell Heavy Marine Equipment
Are you out searching the market place for used, rebuilt, or new surplus marine engines or other marine equipment? While you can certainly try and track down exactly what you are looking for on your own, many companies will use the services of a marine broker to do this for them, which saves them time and effort. A heavy marine equipment broker lives and breathes this machinery day in and day out and knows where to look for certain items.
A simple solution for avoiding pitfalls, and making sure you are being led in the right direction, is choosing to buy from a company you know and trust. Granted, problems may still arise, but there are some points to keep in mind regardless of whether you’re buying from a used marine equipment company, individual seller, or broker. Much of this information can be researched on a company’s website. If the information is not available there, be sure to ask your contact directly; you might be surprised by what you learn. Keep in mind, if an equipment company is reluctant to offer answers, take it as a warning sign. These questions are standard, and they should be easily addressed by any reputable organization.
- Find out if the used equipment company has operated under a different name in the past. If it has, this can be a warning flag. Some brokers may be working under their third, fourth, or fifth company name and may be trying to take advantage of buyers under each name.
- Request references and contact information. This is a standard rule of thumb for any used machinery purchase. If the seller doesn’t supply the information, move on.
- Inquire about how the company has dealt with problems in the past and ask if it provides a guarantee. Even successful companies run into an occasional problem; knowing how their team deals with a complication saves you time and money while also ensuring peace of mind.
- Ask if any mechanic has test run the machinery before shipment. If they do, secure a statement that the machine is in good working order before it’s shipped.
- Review all machinery under power if possible or arrange for a pre-purchase inspection beforehand, either in-person or by using a third-party (typically less costly), unless you are fairly close to the equipment location. Determine how long the equipment has been at its current location and how long it has been out of service.
- Find out how long the company has been with its current bank and ask for a contact there.
- Review the warranty if any is being offered. Reputable used equipment companies work with you to assure your satisfaction and future business.
- Ask if the machine or engine has any maintenance records, owner’s or operator’s manuals, or extra spare parts that go with it.
- A fresh and detailed paint job on an engine certainly makes a prospective buyer feel better about an item, but be sure and inspect beyond the surface for the machine’s ‘real’ condition. More than one buyer has been fooled by a ‘rattle-can overhaul’.
- Consider any parts that may be missing and could be expensive to replace. Examples could be wet-exhaust elbows, motor mounts, genset control panels, etc. It’s also important to look for proper removal of the unit from its previous installation. Cutting torches and hack saws are enemies of proper removal.