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Jack Merriman

Content Marketing Manager

When is it Time to Sell your Used Coffee Equipment?

When looked after, coffee equipment can last a long time – especially well built traditional espresso machines and high quality grinders. However, even the best quality machines do eventually come to a point when the servicing and running costs just no longer make sense commercially when compared to using a more recent piece of equipment. In addition, many coffee-based businesses eventually outgrow their equipment: Business might take off thanks to your incredible coffees and suddenly your single boiler, single group head espresso machine is no longer up to the task. This would be a fantastic reason to upgrade your equipment and better tackle the queue forming outside the door.

Thirdly, your business might just want to upgrade for no other particular reason than just wanting to upgrade! And that’s perfectly within your right. Even if your current setup is handling your volumes well and is perfectly suited to the kind of service environment it’s operating within, you might just want to upgrade to something new and sleek with a more impressive feature set.

And finally, you might be looking to sell your commercial coffee equipment because you’re shifting business models or closing up shop for good. No matter your reason for wanting to sell your used coffee equipment, it’s highly likely you’ll want to get the most amount of money back from your initial investment. Continue reading to learn our top recommendations for maintaining resale value on your coffee gear.

How to Best Sell your Used Coffee Gear

Commercial coffee equipment is typically a large investment for businesses getting into coffee, whether it’s their first time dipping their toes into the (coffee) water, or if they’re upgrading to something better.

Whatever the situation, when coffee equipment is reaching the end of it’s lifespan, your existing setup is no longer serving your needs, or you simply want to upgrade to something more modern, you’ll want to make sure you can resell your used equipment for highest value possible to get the most return on your initial investment.

Here are our 8 initial best tips for looking after your coffee equipment so that, when it comes to selling, you can get the most resale value back from your initial investment.

8 Tips for Maximising Resale Value

1. Look after it from day one

When selling your coffee gear, you’re likely going to want to take the time and effort into making sure you get the best value possible. Coffee equipment, especially traditional espresso machines and well built coffee grinders, are able to maintain their value incredibly well when looked after properly. So, in order to get the best possible value back from your coffee equipment, make sure to look after it from day one of ownership. Below are a number of tips to follow in order to protect your gear and keeping it in perfect working order during the length of your ownership:

2. Maintain a regular cleaning schedule

This is a hugely overlooked factor by many businesses in the performance and longevity of coffee equipment. Here is our number one tip for maintaining the health and improving the lifespan of your coffee gear – Clean it every day.

For some tips on properly cleaning an espresso machine, learn more here.

3. Proper water filtration

The quality of water going through your equipment has a massive impact on the performance and longevity of the parts that come into contact with water, especially the boilers that operate under high pressure. Low quality water can produce limescale in these areas and reduce performance. Make sure your equipment is protected by a filtration system that suits your water supply and volumes. Learn more about BRITA filter systems for different setups here -> A Cafés Guide to BRITA Commercial Water Filters.

4. Annual servicing

Just like a car benefits from a yearly MOT and servicing, so does coffee equipment. Certain parts on your machine are built to wear down and be easily replaceable, such as the gaskets and seals around the group head of an espresso machine. These parts are cheap and easy replace, but can easily be forgotten about. There are other parts that fail less regularly, but can be more disastrous when they do go down. An annual service on your equipment by a fully qualified engineer will make sure any parts are replaced and everything is in working order, ensuring longevity and a higher resell value.

5. PSSR tests

A legal requirement for any coffee machine with a pressurised boiler (all espresso machines and most bean-to-cup machines) is for them to have a PSSR test every 12 months. Having this booked in and completed before you sell the equipment takes the responsibility off from the next owner, so getting this booked in will add additional value. Learn more about PSSR tests here -> PSSR Boiler Inspections

6. Service before selling

Prior to selling, make sure to have your equipment inspected and serviced by an engineer in case of any faults or replacements parts needed. This will help the next buyer be confident in their purchase, and reduce the likelihood that you’ll get a low offer because of any faults discovered.

7. Service log history

Having your equipment serviced and looked after is important for its health and performance, but having those processes documented is a necessary step in proving its completion. Make sure to keep accurate records for any work, maintenance and servicing completed on your equipment just as you would keep a log book of servicing in the glove box of your car.

8. Keep original packaging and documentation

This may be difficult for big machines that come in large wooden crates but if possible, keep a hold of the original packaging and documentation that were packaged with your machine at first purchase. This proves your original ownership of the equipment and its purchase date, and brings additional value to the new owner if they ever wanted to sell it themselves.

How to Get a Higher Offer for your Gear

Maintaining the resale value of your gear is obviously the most important factor in making sure that when it comes to selling it on, you are selling a piece of equipment that is in great condition and can command a high price. On top of maintaining the actual value of the gear, there are also some things you must do in order to make sure you can command that higher price point.

Take High Quality Photos

Here’s a few tips for getting high quality images for your used coffee gear.

  • Use a mixture of wide shots and up-close detail images to give viewers the full picture.
  • Keep the image vertical or horizontal, no quirky angles or rotating your phone – this looks cheap and unprofessional.
  • Lighting is everything – place the item near a window for plenty of natural light and take photos with the window on the left or right hand side of the item. You don’t want the source of light to be directly behind or in front of the item, off to the side is a good rule.
  • Your phone is good enough, but use a camera if you have one to hand. A lens with a lower aperture will give you a nice blurry background for professional looking images, but the portrait mode on your phone will also suffice.
  • Clean the equipment as best you can before taking the images, making sure to remove any coffee grounds lying around and polish the surfaces of any fingerprints.

Include Additional Items

Bundling all of your coffee gear together into one listing will likely help you sell faster. But, if you’re selling an espresso machine together with the grinder, buyer’s might see this as an opportunity to do you a favour in buying both and therefore submit a low offer. Instead of packing the big items together, what we mean is this: An espresso machine that also comes with barista towels, a tamper, tamping mat, milk steaming jug, bottomless portafilter, cleaning tablets, brushes and spare gaskets, is going to command a higher price than just the machine by itself. Don’t miss the opportunity to make your buyers’ life easier by giving them all of the small tools they’ll need to get started and capture more interest.

Writing a detailed description

Serious buyers want to know absolutely every detail about the item they’re about to purchase. Including who has used it, where it has been used and what kind of demand it went through on a daily basis, specific details of any wear and tear, any funny quirks or upgrades made, and a full history of any servicing it has undergone. Make sure to include as much detail as you possibly can in the product listing.

Filming a video overview

Stock imagery is useless when it comes to selling used gear – the potential buyer wants to see exactly what kind of condition they can expect the equipment to arrive in. In some scenarios like online bidding, they also want some sort of visual proof that you actual posses the item you are declaring for sale. Taking high quality photos is a fantastic way of boosting engagement and increasing buyer trust, but the ultimate tool is with a video overview. All you need is a phone to take a quick 30-60 second video overview of the item you are selling including any wear and tear, and a short demonstration to show that it is still fit for purpose.

Best Places to Sell Used Coffee Equipment

Listing your gear in a number of locations gives it more of a chance to reach potential buyers. And, with more clicks,  enquiries and offers coming in, you can command a higher price. Some of the most popular online selling platforms for used espresso gear includes Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree, and Ebay.

You can also try to find local online buy/sell groups where your potential buyers may already be lingering, there are many groups of this kind on Facebook. Instagram is also a great place to get the word out with a simple story share of the item you’re selling. There is a strong coffee community on instagram and word gets around fast if there is a good deal to be had.

Tapping into your coffee roastery for their network of wholesale partners is also a fantastic option for getting the word out on your coffee equipment. Some wholesale roasters or machine distributors might also give you the option of trading in your used gear when upgrading to something new. This will be one of the most hassle-free ways in which you could sell your used gear, as they will likely have experience providing this service before.

Looking to upgrade your coffee gear?

At Bridge Coffee Roasters, we have over 40 years of experience in helping businesses serve better coffee, which often involves upgrading to new coffee equipment that better suits their needs. If this sounds like you, and you want to have a chat about trading in your equipment for something more fit-for-purpose, we’d be happy to help. For any questions or enquiries without being hassled into a sale, feel free to get in touch with our team. Or, you can shop around for your new equipment here -> Coffee Equipment.

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