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Ice Sage Blog
A look inside the frozen beverage industry

A series of blogs and videos will that will acquaint you with the FBD family and give you insight into some of the industry’s best kept secrets for success.

How to Decide Whether to Buy New or Used Commercial Frozen Beverage Equipment

Our previous article examined all of the factors you will want to consider when deciding whether to buy, rent, or lease your commercial frozen beverage equipment.

If you’ve made the decision to purchase your equipment outright, you’ll then have to decide whether to buy brand new equipment fresh off the factory floor, or equipment that has been used by another business and is now being resold.

Here are the factors you’ll want to take into consideration when making your decision:

Your Company’s Image

The physical appearance of your equipment communicates a lot about your business. 

If your equipment looks old or broken down, what impression do customers get of the product inside and of your business overall?

How likely are customers to purchase a drink from a used, beat up machine vs a brand new, clean, shiny piece of equipment?

While the lower price of used equipment might be attractive, if the physical appearance of the equipment repels customers and discourages them from buying, your “cheaper”, used equipment could actually end up costing you money in the long-term.

Repair Costs

Used equipment that has been in heavy operation by another business will almost always need at least some work. You may be able to find relatively new, gently-used equipment, but more often than not, the used options that are available need costly repairs, are nearing the end of their lifecycles.

Oftentimes, after you factor in repair costs, maintenance, and downtime (plus the added hassle), it’s just as expensive to buy used equipment as it is to buy it new.

>Not only is used equipment often expensive to operate and repair, but it’s also incredibly frustrating for both business owners and consumers when product is unavailable for purchase.

Used equipment can often lead to frequent breakdowns, but even when it is working, it rarely works properly, leading to lower drink quality and decreased consumer satisfaction. Eventually, no more repairs can be done, and you have to completely replace the entire machine far sooner than you initially expected.

Overall, used equipment typically requires more maintenance, upkeep, and cleaning in order to function properly, which only increases downtime, labor costs, and lost revenue.

Consider Your Entire Cost of Ownership

When it comes to budgeting, many business owners only consider the initial acquisition cost when they choose to buy cheaper, used equipment. Unfortunately, used equipment tends to have much higher “hidden costs” that quickly erode ROI and profitability.

When considering whether to buy new or used equipment, look beyond merely the initial acquisition cost, and consider the entire cost of ownership, including:

  • Initial Equipment Acquisition Costs
  • Decreased Customer Satisfaction (Due to Poor Drink Quality)
  • Cleaning, Maintenance, and Downtime
  • Water and Utility Costs
  • Repair and Replacement

Make sure to account for all of these “hidden costs” when choosing whether to buy new or used.

You can typically achieve higher profitability if you invest a little more up-front with a newer and higher-quality piece of equipment from a Frozen Beverage Partner that fully stands behind their products.

Brand new, high-quality, efficient equipment with the latest technology can enable you to achieve positive ROI in as little as 2 years, and continue generating high profit margins for many years after that.

You can use our ROI calculator to estimate what profit margins you can expect, and how quickly you can expect to see a return on your investment.

Calculate the ROI of your New Frozen Beverage Machine

Warranty and Support

One of the most important, yet overlooked factors to consider when choosing whether to buy your equipment new or used is the support and service you can expect to receive after the sale.

When you purchase new equipment from a reputable vendor, responsive support and a strong warranty are included in your purchase. High-quality vendors will stand behind their product. This means helping you get the equipment installed and running at your location, and helping you fix any issues that may come up during the life of the equipment’s operation.

If the equipment proves to be defective, a reputable vendor will simply repair or replace it, according to their warranty.

In addition, when you buy your equipment new from the manufacturer, every piece of equipment should be fully inspected at the factory for flaws and defects. 

When you buy equipment used, the responsibility to inspect it for flaws is on your shoulders, and you often have no way of knowing what condition the equipment is really in.

Choosing lower-priced, used equipment might save you money initially, but those “hidden costs” add up quickly in the form of:

  • A lack of responsive support
  • Inadequate product training
  • A lack of a strong warranty
  • A shortage of certified technicians
  • Unavailability of spare parts

When making your decision, keep in mind that buying new equipment from a high-quality Frozen Beverage Partner means you get free, 24/hour technical support, a strong warranty, a wide network of service providers, and access to any spare parts you may need.

These added benefits are rarely found when buying equipment used or second-hand.

Technological Advances

When you buy new equipment, one of the biggest advantages is that you are getting the “latest and greatest” when it comes to technology. 

This technology typically makes the newest versions of equipment smaller, easier to use (requiring less employee training), more efficient, more durable, and more profitable than older versions.

While it might be slightly cheaper up-front to buy used equipment, if that older piece of equipment lacks these technological advancements, it could actually end up being more difficult and expensive to operate in the long-run.

If technology upgrades are available on the used model purchased, the cost of the upgrade (kit plus installation labor) could be significant.

Equipment Versatility

One of the most important factors to consider is whether the equipment you are considering buying is versatile enough to accommodate a large variety of different types of beverages, such as frozen energy drinks, coffee, tea, lemonade, alcoholic beverages, etc. 

If you’re considering buying older, used equipment, consider whether it will enable you to swap out the types of beverages you can offer so that you can keep up and remain competitive when your consumer’s preferences change.

Equipment Customizability 

Lastly, you will need to consider equipment customizations. 

If you are purchasing older, used equipment, are you able to choose the color of the machines to fit your store’s branding?

If you need a specific condensing method (self-contained condensing, remote condensing, or water-cooled condensing), are you able to select this when purchasing used equipment?

Are you able to select the dispenser valves that fit your needs; SDV, DDV, domed, or pneumatic dispense?

Does this used equipment come with modern features, such as touchscreens or digital/video merchandising so you can place eye-catching, video advertising directly on the front of the machine to drive increased sales?

Make sure to consider all of these customization options when making the decision to buy new or used equipment.

Set up a profitable frozen program, specific to your unique needs. Start Your Frozen Program

Ready to learn more about starting your own highly-profitable, Frozen Beverage Program?

FBD Frozen is trusted by 80% of the world’s frozen beverage retailers. We have the reliable equipment and responsive support team to help get your Convenience Store’s profitable frozen beverage program started today!

We work hand-in-hand with you to create a Frozen Beverage Program that addresses your specific capacity and footprint needs and meets shifting market demands. Whether dealing with seasonality, new technology, or changing market trends, FBD’s team of experts will help you adapt your frozen beverage program to maximize your margins.

With over 532 unique equipment configurations, we can completely transform the interface of our machines, whether crew-served or self-serve, to align with your marketing needs.

Let’s Get Started Building Your Profitable Frozen Program Today!

Schedule a call to have one of our experts help you:

  • Recommend the ideal products for your specific type of location
  • Identify the right equipment and customization
  • Estimate your ROI
  • Provide an operations implementation plan including labor, maintenance savings estimates.

Get Started >