Compare Pros and Cons of Buying a New vs. a Used Spray Paint Booth
Whenever you buy a major piece of equipment for your business, you likely look at the viability of new versus used equipment.
Whether buying new or used, your first concern is getting the highest quality paint booth for your budget. Even when buying new, this requires some research. Buying used, though, rockets research to the top of your To Do list. What the booth looks like really doesn't matter. You need to know that all of its components work and that it produces a quality finish. This means you need to see the booth in action, preferably in person, but at a minimum via video by the seller.
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What to Look for in a Used Paint Booth
When buying a used spray paint booth, you want to look at five main criteria:
- Hours of use
- Cabin condition
- AMU condition
The first two items override everything else.
You want the best available model when buying used. First, top manufacturers typically earn their stellar reputations. A higher quality unit typically lasts longer. Second, you're more likely to find the support you need as regards maintenance, replacement parts, and repairs. Finally, you want to know that the manufacturer is still in business.
Hours of Use
Most high performance heated booths include a meter that displays the number of operation hours accumulated by the booth. Unfortunately, you likely won't find a meter on other types of paint booths.
Before buying a used paint booth, make sure the controls, including any safety features, are fully operational. You can gauge this via video demonstration or in person. You also want to look at the unit's electrical connections, since you'll see any evidence of jerry rigging, frayed connections, jumpers, and more. You may opt to purchase anyway, just remember to deduct the price for a new control panel.
First, look for signs of rust on the exterior; this is a red flag that dismantling and moving the booth may destroy it. Also, look for overspray paint caked onto parts, signs of mistreatment or neglect, and whether the door mechanisms work properly.
These booths include many more components, which means many more ways to fail. Always request a live demonstration for heated and other high performance models. Of course, many used booths have already been dismantled and stored, so give extra points to any booth you can see in action.
No matter what, don't be fooled by an attractive exterior. Having to replace mechanical components – in terms of both price tag and installation – significantly increase your cost. Much better to keep looking or just buy new.
What Are the Benefits of Buying a New Booth?
The main reason to buy any type of equipment new is the warranty; your investment has a level of protection that you can't get with used equipment. With a paint booth, though, you have two more excellent benefits. First, you receive all proper documentation, including the operator's manual. Second, you know for sure that your unit and modifications are compliant for your business type, application, and even your location. Since permit requirements vary, this documentation is vital.
Is Buying Used Worth the Savings?
On average, you'll spend about half the money on a used booth, and maybe even less. Whether those savings are worth the research time and loss of warranty depends on your needs. If you only occasionally have need of a spray paint booth, or produce low volume, used is probably fine. High volume outfits will likely find buying new to be more cost-effective in the long run.