Monday, February 13, 2012

How to Find Used Coffee Shop Equipment

When you first have the idea of starting a new coffee shop, everything is exciting. You will probably approach everything from looking for suppliers, to developing your recipes with a great deal of enthusiasm. However, it isn't uncommon for that passion to eventually fade, as you realize that the task before you is actually quite daunting - to say the least.

Starting a coffee shop, after all, is starting a real business. And, as with any real business - there are going to be challenges.

Finding suppliers with reasonable prices, looking for seating that doesn't cost an arm-and-a-leg, and sourcing good coffee, are all challenges that you will eventually have to face. One of the greatest of these challenges though, will be finding the actual equipment you are going to need to run you coffee shop.

Buying New

Obviously the easier solution for this problem is simply to buy the all the equipment you need new. And, while this is certainly a viable option, it is extremely expensive. You can easily expect to spend upwards of 20k USD, for all new coffee shop equipment.

Buying Used

This is where you can end up saving a lot of money on the start-up of your endeavor. For example, a new barista machine might cost you $8,000 dollars. But, a used machine might go for half of that (and still be perfectly usable.)

How to Source Used Coffee Shop Equipment

The trick is actually finding the equipment that's been used. There are three excellent ways of getting this done.

1. Network

The best way to find used equipment is to be well-connected with other restaurant owners and sales reps in your industry. I used to work in a store that sold restaurant equipment, and even though we didn't make a practice of dealing in used pieces, we often knew where you could find them and how much they might cost.

Secondly, all the restaurant owners that were successful and buying new equipment form us, would try and use us to move their old pieces. So, know a local salesman of new equipment is often to your advantage.

2. Out of Business Shops

The second best way to get used coffee shop equipment is to find coffee shops that are currently out of business, soon to go out of business, or recently gone out of business. Find the owner of these shops any way you can. They are often sitting on large loans, and would do anything to move some of the equipment for cash.

3. Find Used Re-Sellers

The final way for you to find used equipment is to search Google and the phone book for re-sellers of used equipment. Keep in mind, however, that you will often spend more money with a re-seller than you would if you bought the equipment directly from the original buyer. They do have to make money after all.

The advantage of buying from a re-seller is that the equipment will be very clean and ready to put into your establishment.


Don't get to stressed about finding equipment for your coffee shop. With a little hunting, some determination, and maybe a little luck, you shouldn't have too much trouble sourcing what you need. Ultimately, you will likely have to buy a few items new, but sourcing as much used as you can is certainly to your advantage. And, it will keep your pocket book full!

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