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Used Coffee Maker for Sale: Your Guide to Finding Quality Equipment

October 2023
Used Coffee Maker for Sale: Your Guide to Finding Quality Equipment

Introduction to Buying Used Coffee Makers

Buying a used coffee maker can open up immense possibilities for home baristas or small cafes looking to get commercial-grade equipment on a budget. With the growing popularity and appreciation for specialty coffee, more high-end espresso machines, commercial batch brewers, professional grinders, and specialty coffee makers are becoming available on the secondhand market. Used equipment from leading brands like La Marzocco, Mahlkönig, Fetco, Bunn, Nuova Simonelli and others can provide cafe-quality coffee and advanced capabilities at home or in a small business at a fraction of the cost.

However, sorting through used listings to find a quality, well-maintained coffee maker takes knowledge and diligence. You need to thoroughly inspect equipment, evaluate condition and maintenance records, ask sellers the right questions, and negotiate to get the best value. Here is an in-depth guide on how to source excellent used coffee makers for sale and end up with gear that will last for years to come.

The Many Benefits of Purchasing Used Coffee Makers

Buying used coffee equipment has many advantages if you take the right approach:

  • Significant cost savings compared to brand new gear – often 50% or more off retail prices. This allows home enthusiasts to afford commercial gear.

  • Opportunity to get commercial-grade gear like top-tier espresso machines for a fraction of the usual cost. Used La Marzocco Linea Classics are attainable for home use.

  • More environmentally-friendly way to reduce waste and carbon footprint by reusing gear.

  • Ability to test equipment before investing in a more expensive purchase down the line.

  • Find rare or special models no longer in production but still in great shape. Vintage lever machines abound.

  • Experiment with different brew methods before committing long-term. Try out siphon brewers or cold drip without breaking the bank.

  • Upgrade incrementally over time by reselling gear once ready for a higher tier.

Where to Shop for Used Coffee Makers

Many places carry quality used coffee gear, including:

  • Online marketplaces – Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, eBay. Search locally and nationally.

  • Coffee forums and classifieds – Home-Barista.com, CoffeeGeek.com. Tight-knit communities.

  • Local coffee shops or roasters selling off old equipment. Great way to inspect in person.

  • Restaurant supply liquidators. Commercial equipment abounds.

  • Auctions and estate sales. Bid on gems.

  • Manufacturer trade-in programs – Some brands like La Marzocco offer used inventory.

  • Coffee equipment retailers – Many carry used and open box inventory.

When searching online, bookmark searches and set alerts for new listings so you don’t miss out on deals. Leverage different sites to cast a wide net.

Inspection Checklist for Used Coffee Makers

When evaluating a used coffee machine, thoroughly inspect:

  • The exterior for damage, rust and weathering.

  • The power cord, plug, buttons and knobs for wear.

  • Heating elements for dark spots or broken coils. Scale buildup?

  • Motors and pumps for odd noises or leakage. Listen closely.

  • The internals for scale buildup or corrosion. Descale if needed.

  • Groupheads for cracks, gasket seals, limescale.

  • Service records for any repairs or routine maintenance like descaling.

  • Burrs on grinders for nicks or dullness. Are they replaceable?

Test all functions:

  • Flow rate and pressure by pulling test shots.

  • Heating ability, recovery time, temperature accuracy.

  • All buttons and system logic functions.

  • Grinder adjustability and grind consistency.

Negotiation Tips for Used Coffee Makers

To get the best deal on used gear:

  • Price check sold listings and current offers to gauge fair market value.

  • Point out any flaws to request a lower price. Quantify repair costs.

  • Ask about accessories included – baskets, tampers, knockboxes.

  • Offer to pay cash for a better deal. Sellers avoid fees.

  • Time purchase at month’s end when sellers may need money.

  • Mention competitors offering similar gear for less.

  • Start lower than listing price, negotiate to a fair middle ground.

Come prepared with average resale prices for the specific model and condition. Politely make your case for a discount if needed repairs or cleaning will be required. Offering to pay in cash can sweeten the deal.

Evaluating Specific Used Commercial Coffee Makers

The ideal used coffee machine depends on your needs. Here is what to look for with popular commercial models:

Used Espresso Machines

When buying a used espresso machine, check:

  • Steam wand movement and steam pressure. Listen for odd sounds.

  • Condition of portafilters, baskets, gaskets. Examine for cracks.

  • Grouphead gaskets for wear and leakage. Replace if needed.

  • Boiler pressure gauge, any leaks, corrosion, scale buildup? Descaling may help.

  • Service records for overhauls, repairs, routine maintenance.

  • Operating pressure and temperature compared to specs.

  • Accessories like knockboxes, tamping mats, timers.

Thoroughly test shot quality. Examine internals closely. Scale can be professionally descaled by a technician to restore performance.

Used Automatic Batch Brewers

For used batch coffee brewers, verify:

  • Heating elements are working properly. Check all burners.

  • No water leaks from lines or valves. Examine closely.

  • Flow rate by running multiple brew cycles. Time them.

  • Accuracy of timers and batch settings. Test with stopwatch.

  • Condition of servers, funnel inserts, decanters. Replace if worn.

  • Any included batch brew accessories like filters, stands, airpots.

Run several test brew cycles and taste the results before purchasing. Check that water lines have no leaks.

Used Coffee Grinders

With used grinders, focus on:

  • Wear, nicks or unevenness of the burrs. Are replacements available?

  • Smoothness of grind adjustment. Move from espresso to drip.

  • Any odd noises, wobbling or vibrations. Listen closely.

  • Motor power and RPMs compared to specs.

  • Signs of overheating or damage from overuse.

  • Available accessories like hoppers, portafilters forks, stands.

Test grind various beans on multiple settings from espresso to French Press. Inspect burrs closely for damage. Replace if very worn.

Used Manual Pour Over Brewers

For used manual drippers:

  • Check water flow rate, heating, accuracy of built-in kettles.

  • Assess condition of brewer, carafe, filters, drippers. Staining?

  • Look for limescale buildup in kettles or water tanks. Descale as needed.

  • Verify all parts like drippers, carafes, kettles are included. Any accessories?

  • Test with multiple pours, taste the results. Time the brews.

Inspect for any internal buildup. Run several test brews to check flow rates. Examine exterior closely for damage.

Used Superautomatic Espresso Machines

With used superautomatics, inspect:

  • Condition of brew unit, seals, gaskets. Check for leaks.

  • Grinder burrs and grind performance. Replace if very worn.

  • Maintenance records and water filters. When was it last descaled?

  • Milk frothing system including wand, tubing, carafe.

  • Control panel and programming. Do all buttons work?

  • Any included accessories like knockboxes, cups, cleaning supplies.

Descale and backflush if needed. Test shot quality. Examine key components closely. Replace worn parts like steam wands. Verify milk frothing system operates smoothly.

Selecting Quality Used Coffee Roasters

Here’s what to look for with popular used coffee roaster models:

Used Drum Coffee Roasters

When buying a used drum roaster, check:

  • Condition of drum tines and interior. Signs of warping or damage?

  • Drum rotation and alignment on bearings. Any wobbling?

  • Maintenance records for motors, heating elements, thermocouples.

  • Integrity of gaskets, housing, chimney. Cracks or corrosion?

  • Included accessories like motors, probes, shields, ducting.

Listen for odd motor sounds. Examine interior tines closely. Test roast a sample batch. Verify all parts operational.

Used Air Roasters

With used air roasters, verify:

  • Condition of tumbling chamber interior. Corrosion or damage?

  • Blower motor power and airflow volume. Use anemometer.

  • Any hot spots on chamber interior indicating element issues.

  • Cracks or damage to external housing. Stress cracks?

  • Proper functioning of control panel, switches, drum speed.

  • Included accessories like chaff collectors, probes, software.

Inspect chamber closely. Test roast a sample batch, checking for evenness. Examine wiring and heating elements.

Used Fluid Bed Coffee Roasters

For used fluid bed roasters:

  • Check roasting chamber for clogs or damage. Corrosion?

  • Heating element condition and heat uniformity. Use thermometer.

  • Maintenance records for blower motors. Listen for odd sounds.

  • Integrity of cyclone separator and emissions system. Clogs?

  • Functionality of control panel, settings, probes. Calibrated?

  • Included accessories like chaff collectors, afterburners, destoners.

Do several test roasts, inspecting for evenness. Check heating elements and blowers thoroughly. Descale if needed. Verify all parts operational.

Used Sample Roasters

When evaluating used sample roasters:

  • Check chamber and paddles for wear. Nicks or damage?

  • Review heating elements or gas burners. Working properly?

  • Motor power and rotation speed compared to specs.

  • Any cracks in the external housing? Stress fractures?

  • Included accessories like drums, probes, tongs, cooling trays.

Listen closely for motor sounds. Check paddles and chamber interior closely. Run test batches to check roast evenness and time.

Used Coffee Roaster Accessories

Also examine the condition of:

  • Probes, thermocouples, blowers, motors. Calibrated?

  • Gaskets, valves, seals. Cracks or leaks?

  • Destoners, loaders, afterburners, cyclone separators. Functioning smoothly?

  • Any included software, programs, manuals. Current versions?

  • Urns, sample roasters, grinders. Match capacities.

Verify all parts are included for a complete setup. Test accessories together with the roaster. Replace any worn or damaged pieces.

Key Considerations When Buying Used

Keep these tips in mind to make smart purchases:

Create a Budget

  • Research prices for models in similar condition. Price check sold listings.

  • Factor in taxes, shipping, installation costs. Get quotes.

  • Budget for potential repair expenses. Have a technician inspect.

  • Set a maximum price you’re willing to spend. Stick to it.

  • Leave room to negotiate down 10-20% from listing price.

Inspect Thoroughly Before Buying

  • Examine closely for any flaws not shown. Look inside and out.

  • Test all functions yourself. Make coffee or roast batches.

  • Have seller run cleaning and maintenance cycles like backflushing.

  • Bring tools like pressure gauges, thermometers for close inspection.

  • Have an expert review it with you if possible. Get a second opinion.

Get Proper Documentation

  • Request equipment manuals, warranty paperwork. Digital copies are fine.

  • Get maintenance logs and repair invoices. Ask for details.

  • Verify serial numbers match documentation. Cross-check.

  • Review seller’s reputation in the community. Check references.

Make Smart Payment Choices

  • Avoid wire transfers with unknown sellers. Too risky.

  • Use credit card for buyer protection. Easier to dispute.

  • Consider escrow services for high-value purchases. Worth the small fee.

  • Only pay after inspecting equipment. Never before.

  • Get receipts for any shipping, taxes, fees. Document everything.

Conclusion and Key Takeaways

With diligent inspection and smart negotiating, quality used coffee gear can be an affordable way to upgrade your cafe or home brewing. Focus on condition, maintenance records, necessary repairs, and fair pricing from reputable sellers. Follow the tips here to find used coffee makers and roasters that will meet your needs and last for years to come. Let us know if you have any other questions about sourcing used coffee equipment!

<b>Interested in commercial coffee roasters? <a href="https://typhoon.coffee">Typhoon Roasters</a> manufactures high-quality fluid bed coffee roasters with patented fluid-bed technology for even roasting. <a href="https://typhoon.coffee">Check them out</a> to elevate your coffee program.</b>

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