While buying refurbished or used electrical components (like the circuit breakers, transformers, bus ducts and plugs we sell here at EMSCO) can be a great way to save money (up to 60% less than new) it can also be extremely dangerous – if you don’t buy it from a reputable source. Sites like eBay may yield even deeper discounts but the high cost of increased safety risk is one you’re not likely to want to pay.
USE CAUTION WHEN BUYING USED OR REFURBISHED EQUIPMENT ON EBAY
Buying used or refurbished electrical equipment that has damage, rust, missing parts, or illegible labeling puts the buyer at risk. Besides the need for information such as amperage (to ensure you install the right kind of circuit breaker, for example) you have to consider the increased danger anytime you’re working with electricity – especially, if certain precautions are not taken.
HERE IS A LIST OF WHAT TO AVOID WHEN SEARCHING FOR AND BUYING USED OR REFURBISHED ELECTRICAL COMPONENTS:
- Don’t go in blind. When looking to buy used or refurbished electrical components, it’s in your best interest to know exactly what you’re looking for (the brand name and catalog number) before making your purchase. This can help protect you from unscrupulous sellers and ensure that you get exactly what you need.
- Don’t act on any ad or offer that doesn’t give you specifics about the item you are about to purchase. Knowing, in detail, what you’re buying and its condition helps to protect your business both physically and financially.
- If the information on the item is not clearly listed, be sure to ask questions and get the answers in writing. Remember, clear communication with sellers helps to prevent confusion and disputes.
- Make sure the amperes are what you require, comparing them with your voltage load and the frequency of your supply source.
- Don’t buy from an unproven source. To make sure your source is trusted, before completing your transaction, on a site like eBay, look at the seller’s feedback. Do they have many reviews? How long have they been selling? Is their feedback mostly positive? Also, go over the seller’s return policies in case your equipment must be returned for some reason. eBay says, “Many eBay stores operate like brick-and-mortar stores, complete with restocking fees and time requirements on returning goods. While eBay recommends a buyer-friendly return policy with a 14-day window, sellers can choose from a variety of policies.
QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE YOU BUY:
- Is the product new, used, or refurbished?
- If refurbished what is their process?
- Is there a warranty or guarantee?
- Is the equipment in working condition or “for parts” only?
- Has it been tested?
BUYING FROM A REPUTABLE SOURCE JUST MAKES GOOD SENSE
Buying used, refurbished or surplus electrical components makes good sense when you do it from a reputable source like EMSCO. That’s because buying used can save you quite a bit of money, even possibly being a better fit for your needs than a new piece of equipment but without the proper equipment inspection, cleaning and testing – you could end up with a very costly mistake.
Take the time to find a reputable company like EMSCO (we’re one of the largest used and refurbished electrical equipment dealers in the U.S., in business since 1948) that specializes in used and refurbished circuit breakers and has the experience necessary to ensure your safety. Look for a company with a good reputation, longevity in the business and a helpful, knowledgeable sales staff on hand to answer your questions.
“Buyer beware” is never an acceptable safety policy. All electrical components should be properly tested and maintained before they are sold into the secondary market. Reputable resellers, like EMSCO, can even offer professional consultation to help you find what you need or assist you if you have any questions or concerns before making your investment.