I'm a newer barista and I've been approached by a local businesses to help him open a coffee shop. I'm looking for a good website to buy used but good equipment (espresso machine, grinders, brewers, etc.). Do y'all have any good suggestions?

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Also cups.

Your local tech or coffee supplier may have some leads on refurbished gear. Not aware of a website selling refurbished stuff though.

"Used but good" is the key, isn't it. Short of finding refurbished, see if your prospective tech has any customers that are selling their gear. If it's been in their care for a few years, they'll have an idea of its condition, how well its been cared for, whether it's been fed good water, and what's been replaced so far. Anything else in the used espresso machine world is a total crapshoot.

Good luck.

Find a good local tech that is trusted in the area.  If you don't know one, go to shops and ask around.  EVERY machine will fail in some way or another, new or used, throughout its life.  Having a trustworthy tech at your disposal is key.  Have them check out and bench test any used machine, and verify they stock common parts for it.  Saving some $ on a machine may be nice up front, but closing shop for a day because you have to wait on a part to be over-nighted more or less negates those savings. 

While this wasn't necessarily a "Technician" question, I think anyone buying an espresso machine (or other equipment) needs to realize you shouldn't have one without the other.   A good tech will set you up with a PM schedule which when followed will almost always keep your machine up and running every minute of every day (even old used ones). 

Hey Ryan! Glad to see you on Barista Exchange!

Almost all of the equipment we're using was purchased second hand. We used a combination of craigslist, ebay and coffee classifieds (like the ones on barista exchange) to snag really good deals on our gear. Most of what we bought required a considerable amount of cleaning and refurbishment, though, which is something that you should be prepared to deal with. I've been very pleased with everything that we've bought used so far. 

Hi, Ryan:  Imagine instead that you are opening a gas station at the prime busy corner in town...would you install previously owned pumps, that might take your whole business down if they fail?? Your espresso production equipment will be your equivalent of those gas pumps. Get the best new machine that you/your partner can afford, then look around for a bargain, used backup unit, to keep in the back room "just in case". Save money and acquire bargains related to everything else in the store, if you must, but don't buy a used, primary espresso brewer if you don't absolutely have to do so....same goes for the espresso grinder...do what you have to do to match your funding realities, but if you can-get the new machine (but a functioning, used backup is fine)

I know we have been having a heck of a time sourcing machines to refurb.  We haven't been able to keep any any stock.  I have had success talking new customers into financing new equipment which is something we do.  You get the warranties and you have a little security just in case the business just doesn't take off.

EBAY is the way i would go. I have bought some very good products for good prices.

Ray, does that include commercial espresso machines?

As a tech, when someone asks me to come hook up a machine they bought on ebay or Craig's list, I block out the whole afternoon. More often than not, we're talking a couple of hours worth of repairs and a couple of hundred dollars in parts.

RAY LAMASCUS said:

EBAY is the way i would go. I have bought some very good products for good prices.

This is a great website- look in the classifieds. But, coffeegeek.com is another of my favorites. You can also check out coffeekid.com. Good luck

Word.  

But, as long as people know that going into it, you still will probably come out ahead - over buying a new machine.  


Brady said:

Ray, does that include commercial espresso machines?

As a tech, when someone asks me to come hook up a machine they bought on ebay or Craig's list, I block out the whole afternoon. More often than not, we're talking a couple of hours worth of repairs and a couple of hundred dollars in parts.

RAY LAMASCUS said:

EBAY is the way i would go. I have bought some very good products for good prices.

A good bet for savings and a cared for machine is to contact the manufacturers/distributors that typically have their machines at trade shows or competitions and ask if they have any trade show used/competition used machines available. And if they don't now, you may be able to put yourself in line to purchase something from an upcoming show. 

And as Kim said, don't skimp on the espresso machine, just find the best deal on the best machine for you. in the scheme of opening a store, $5K more shouldn't break you. Invest the most money where it's most appropriate.

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