There are so many things to think about when buying screen printing equipment. Whether it is your first automatic, first gas-fired dryer, or your fifth press line, there are many things to consider. Of course, there are the obvious things — how many colors, what dryer belt width, which flash cure unit. Then there are the less “mechanical” issues — what kind of technical service is available, where do parts come from, who is the local representative. But there is one point that rarely comes up in most printer’s thought process and that is equipment resale value.
For screen printers contemplating buying their first automatic, most shops are in small commercial spaces. It is important to work up a floor plan to make sure the new equipment will fit, with space left for blanks storage, finishing, screen making, and offices. Equipment sales people should be equipped with tools and enough experience to help in the process by knowing critical dimensions and making suggestions regarding work flow. Many times a first time buyer finds out they are cramped for space and there just isn’t enough room for that 12 color press they have been dreaming of, so they have to compromise.
If screen printing is going to be your long term career, your business plan should include plans for expansion. So when you realize you can only get an 8 color press in your shop and that will take care of things for a couple years, the next step in your business plan is probably to move into a bigger space and upgrade your equipment. That next step will be a lot easier if you know that there is residual value in the equipment that you have on your floor and that you will be able to sell it quickly. That money can then be funneled into your next purchase. With M&R equipment, you can see that we have a proud tradition of presses and dryers that hold their value, while providing years of high-volume production just by visiting industry forums. Machines that have countless thousands of prints on them are still sought after and valuable for printers that know the M&R brand.
Whether it is a manual press, flash, dryer, automatic, or pre-press equipment, buying equipment that holds its value is good business. It allows you to move up to bigger equipment when the time comes if it is a liquid asset. If the worst happens and you have to walk away, knowing that the equipment in your shop is worth money makes that transition less painful.
What affects resale value? First and foremost is the equipment’s condition. Keeping it maintained and in good working order is critical when it comes time to sell. The equipment manufacturer’s reputation in the industry plays a big role in resale value. When buying equipment, you are really entering into a partnership with the manufacturer. You are going to be relying on them to continue servicing the equipment with technical support and fast parts distribution. Buying an off brand with no history of performance longevity is risky. Many screen printing manufacturers have come and gone over the years and people that own their equipment are forced to work out service issues themselves and when it comes time to sell the equipment they are lucky to get scrap value. M&R is known throughout the industry for the availability and quality of their parts and the excellent, professional service they provide for their equipment. M&R equipment has the highest resale values of any equipment manufacturer in the industry.
So when buying a new piece of screen printing equipment, ask the manufacturer about the life expectancy. Ask them about their service and parts department. Check used equipment pricing and see which manufacturers have a good history of resale value. You will be glad you did.
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