Looking to keep the lights on at your business? If so, a used generator is a must-have.
A solid one will be every bit as reliable and high-performing as a brand-new model. But, how do you know how to distinguish a great one from a dud?
Today, we’re sharing eight tips to keep in mind as you begin your research, call your contacts and weigh your options.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started!
1. Know the Age of the Generator
Before discussing numbers and pulling out your checkbook, make sure you know how old the machine is.
This isn’t being nosy. It’s being smart.
Think about it. You wouldn’t sign on the dotted line for a used vehicle without inquiring about its make, model and mileage. The same goes for any major appliance or tool you invest in.
Ask the owner about the generator’s year of manufacture, along with how many years of active use it received. A 20-year-old machine kept in storage and never fired up may work better than a five-year-old one that saw constant action.
Not getting a clear answer? Most generators will have a built-in odometer. Check it to get a glimpse into its use. One used for standby power will have a lower reading than one that supplied continuous power.
2. Research the Make and Model
Again, buying used generators is akin to buying used cars. The make and model count, and not all are equal.
Research the reputation of the generator manufacturer and model in question. Some of the most dependable and reputable players in this space include:
- John Deere
Don’t let rock-bottom dollar signs mislead you. Make sure you’re buying a generator from a brand with a history of quality. When it comes to these machines, you often get what you pay for and you don’t want to risk running into issues with a low-grade model in your quest to save a few bucks.
3. Match the Specs to Your Needs
Does the fuel type of your machine matter to you? What about its voltage, RPM, uptime hours, frequency, breaker size, and phase type?
These are some of the technical details that matter, and it’s helpful to know what you need before you begin your search.
Industrial machines will need more robust performance, so consider your power requirements as early as possible. One person might only need 100kW or fewer, while another requires a 1500kW machine!
Then, don’t buy a generator until you’ve received a copy of all of its manuals and specification sheets.
4. Receive a Written Quote
Did you see a used generator for sale online that fits your needs? If so, it’s important to request a written quote alongside any verbal ones you receive. This is true whether you buy direct from an online dealer or via a community exchange website such as Craigslist.
This gives you a copy of the transaction for your records. It can also help prevent miscommunication down the road. In most cases, this will require sharing your email address and receiving a detailed quote electronically.
5. Know Its Repair History
Another important piece of information you need to know to make an informed buying decision? Request to see a copy of the generator’s repair history. This is especially critical if you’re responding to a personal listing.
The owner should have records of every time a technician saw the generator for routine, preventative maintenance, as well as any restorative repairs it received. This documentation alone can speak volumes to the quality of the machine.
Did it go in every six months for a major fix? If so, it may be a lemon and it’s time to keep searching.
6. Require Dealer Testing and Certification
If you’re buying from an online dealer, ask about any testing and certification policies. A top-tier one will have rigorous standards against which it tests every generator available for purchase on its website.
Look for quality assurance measures at every vital checkpoint. The dealer should inspect every machine upon arrival, identify any defects, replace necessary parts, and perform load tests to ensure operability.
In addition, look for one that will also clean and paint each unit before listing it and preparing it for shipping.
7. Understand Shipping Procedures
Are you buying a used generator from a warehouse 3,000 miles away? If so, check to make sure the dealer can deliver it to your job site or office before you click the “Buy” button.
Find a dealer with global connections and a large buying capacity. This means they’ll have a sophisticated shipping system in place that can handle any request in a quick and reliable manner.
8. Discuss Payment Options
Even if you buy one pre-owned, a generator is a major investment.
To that end, you may not be ready to pay cash for it up-front. While it may not be possible to negotiate payment terms with a personal seller, you should have that ability when you buy from an online dealer.
Some of the flexible options to look for include:
- Cash or card
- Month-by-month financing or leasing
- Net 30 payment terms
- Wire transfers
- Letters of credit
Make sure you understand the kinds of payments that your dealer will accept before agreeing to do business together.
Find the Used Generator You Need Today
When you’re on the hunt for the perfect used generator, you know that quality matters.
Find the right one, and you’re set for years to come. Invest in the wrong machine and you’re out thousands of dollars with nothing to show for it
While the internet expands your buying options, it’s important to partner with a credible and trustworthy dealer, especially with a transaction of this size.
That’s where we come in.
We’re experts in the power equipment industry, with a hard-earned reputation of buying, selling and rebuilding top-quality machines that our global buyers rely on to power their most important assets.
To learn more about what we do and how we can help, contact us today. We’ll put the power back in your hands.