Regardless of whether you own a laundromat or run laundry on-site, there will come a time when you need to purchase new equipment. At that point you will have to ask yourself: “What should I do with my used equipment?” In this scenario, there are several options, but these are the two most obvious ones you’ll be faced with.
Option 1 – Shop around at local laundry equipment dealers and see which ones offer trade-in value for your equipment. Most of them should, so it’s important to keep track of how much they’ll offer. More importantly though, it is imperative that you take into account how much they are offering you versus the price of the new equipment they would sell you. At the end of the day, the one that offers the highest trade-in value is not necessarily the one that will give you the best economic option for your business. It’s also obvious that you’ll need to ask if the package being offered includes service, warranties, and anything else you need to make it a smart purchase overall.
Option 2: You can try to sell your equipment as a private seller. There are pros and cons to this option. The obvious downside is that this option requires a bit more time and energy to get the process going. It will also take some out-of-pocket expenses to create a classified listing, whether in the newspaper, a trade magazine, or online. The advantage of selling a machine yourself is that you will undoubtedly get a higher monetary return that you can then put towards your new equipment. At the end of the day, it once again becomes a question of economics. Deduct the cost of privately listing the machine against the probable sale price to determine if you are generating a greater financial return than the value of doing a quick trade-in. Is it just a nominal increase in earnings? And a question that is often not asked, but very important, what is the value of my time? At the end of the day, this is all a business decision and one that each individual will have to make on their own, but by asking yourself the questions above, you’ll arrive at an answer that allows you to proceed with confidence.
Here are some other tips. Before dealers start giving you their trade-in appraisals on your machinery, have your own personal service technician look at the machine so you know the actual condition of what you’re trading in and can go into this process “eyes wide open”. For example, if the machine you’re trading in recently got a new motor, make sure you get credit for that new part. But if the computer board just blew up, be aware that it will work against you when the trade offer is returned to you.
At the end of the day, as with all businesses, you have to do your due diligence. Shop at various dealers and ask questions. There should be nothing that is off limits. As the old saying goes, “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”. This saying is also true in the commercial laundry business.