It’s a widely accepted fact of business that virtually every merchant requires credit card processing equipment such as point of sale (POS) systems and terminals. What varies, however, is where a business can acquire such technology. Though limited choices years ago, today merchants enjoy a wide variety of sources.
One option is to buy used equipment.
While there are some perceived financial benefits to choosing this avenue for outfitting your operation, there are also several significant risks potentially outweighing those advantages. These, along with viable remedies, are outlined below.
You Don’t Have To Buy Used To Save
Most businesses look into the possibility of purchasing used credit card processing equipment as a means to save money—a perfectly valid motivation, and one we understand well at MerchantPro Express (MPX). There are plenty of ways to do so without having to sacrifice the quality of your equipment, however.
One of the easiest ways to do so is by switching your credit card processing provider. Shopping around might reveal much better rates.
MerchantPro Express, for instance, frequently saves merchants of all kinds as much as 50% on processing compared to previous providers—money they’re able to put back into their businesses, including new processing equipment. Additionally, MPX provides best-in-class customer support, and access to a wide range of machines to fit your needs and budget.
If you’ve explored other savings opportunities and would still like to buy used equipment, there are several things to be aware of:
The Quality Is Only As Reliable As The Seller
The age-old concern of buying used products applies just as much to credit card equipment as it does anything else—it’s hard to know the exact quality until after you’ve already made the purchase, when it might be too late.
Some sellers are more reputable than others, so be sure to do your research. Read reviews or ask fellow business owners if they have any recommendations. If possible, buy from an organized company specializing in selling such equipment. These businesses are more likely to have protocols in place to verify the quality of their equipment.
Beware Of Locked Equipment
One of the leading risks associated with shopping for used equipment off platforms such as eBay or Craigslist is buying equipment the seller does not actually own.
A common frustration among many merchants attempting to save via pre-owned credit card processing equipment is the discovery their new machinery is "locked" and cannot be used. This results from merchants selling POS systems and terminals still owned by their credit card processors.
Since these were meant for specific merchants, processors program the hardware not to work for another business—meaning the buyer completely wasted their investment.
Consider the following tips to help reduce the risks associated with buying used credit card machines:
- Avoid purchasing from individual sellers looking to get rid of their own, outdated equipment.
- Inquire about a company’s quality assurance policy.
- Prioritize sellers that offer warranties or money-back guarantees for their used equipment.
Taking the above precautions can help you avoid wasting money on inadequate equipment, but there is always a risk with such purchases. Ultimately, the best way to ensure your business attains the best equipment is to acquire it from a trusted, experienced credit card processor, such as MPX.