Many of us enjoy our favourite espresso-based coffee at a cafe, whether that’s a simple Americano, morning Cappuccino, or a trendy Flat White.
You probably know that if you want to recreate these beverages at home you will need an espresso machine.
But buying a new espresso machine is a big investment, with even the most affordable entry-level machines costing you around $200.
There is no doubt that the investment is worth it but if you’re looking for a budget-friendly solution, buying a used espresso machine could be a great idea.
What are the reasons and benefits of buying a pre-owned machine? What are our best tips and things to look out for when you’re buying one?
Read this article to find out everything you need to know to make sure that buying a used espresso machine won’t be a choice that you’re going to regret later on.
Top Two Reasons To Buy A 2nd Hand Coffee Machine
Espresso machines are much more costly than small manual brewers such as V60 or French Press. But if you want to enjoy a cup of espresso in the morning, or make your favourite vanilla latte, you need an espresso machine to recreate the experience.
What are the two main reasons someone would buy a used espresso machine instead of a new one?
You Are Just Starting Out
The high price tag of the espresso machines can be discouraging, especially if you have never owned one before and want to start brewing espresso-based drinks at home, instead of venturing into a cafe every time you crave caffeine kick.
Selecting a second-hand espresso machine can be a great way to lower the initial investment when starting to experiment with making your first home-brewed espresso.
You Want To Upgrade Your Equipment
The quality of the espresso machine is important and when making coffee at home, you’ll soon find out that as you start improving your skills, you’ll soon need to level up your equipment.
While the entry-level machines are affordable and will allow you to brew good espresso shots, they also come with some functionality limitations.
When buying a used espresso machine, you will be able to purchase a better-quality machine with enhanced functionality, giving you greater control over the brewing process.
This will allow you to brew better coffee with higher-grade equipment while maintaining the same budget.
Benefits of Buying A Used Espresso Machine
No matter what machine you go for, whether it’s a beginner espresso machine or a high-grade device, only a few weeks old or has gone through years of brewing, you’ll always be able to purchase the given model at a fraction of a cost.
Choose the machine that fits your brewing requirements and the level of skill and explore the market of second-hand espresso machines to access it at a discount.
If these espresso machines are still in a decent condition to be used by another owner, it is not eco-friendly for them to end up in the landfill.
By opting for a used espresso machine, rather than buying a new one, you’re making the right choice for the environment and reducing waste.
Access Better Quality Equipment
As mentioned, since the second-hand espresso machines come at a lower price, you’ll be able to access better quality equipment and brew better coffee at a lower price point, making better-quality equipment more affordable.
Great Condition of Used Espresso Machines
Good-quality espresso machines from reputable brands are well built and made to last for a long time.
That’s why, many machines that have been used by previous owners or cafes for a few years, are still in perfect condition to brew coffee.
Used Vs Refurbished Espresso Machine: Everyday
When it comes to espresso machines that are intended for home use, depending on the household, most people wouldn’t make more than 5-10 coffees a day.
In theory, since the machine hasn’t gone through so much volume, a good quality product can last for a long time.
But you need to keep in mind that with the second-hand machines, you don’t know how long the device has been used for, what was the average volume and the maintenance of the previous owner.
The refurbished machines, on the other hand, have been either used for a short time and returned to the seller within the return period or used as display or demo models.
This means that in most cases, refurbished machines would be almost brand new, just more affordable. And even if they have been used, they would need to be cleaned, descaled and serviced, before they can be sold again.
Therefore, if you can choose, I would always recommend selecting a refurbished machine over a used one, since it gives you a guarantee that the device is still in perfect condition.
Used Vs Refurbished Espresso Machine: Commercial
If you are a cafe owner or an experienced barista that is looking for a commercial espresso machine, when buying a second-hand device, you need to keep in mind that the commercial machine would go through much more coffee.
Even though the commercial machines are built to handle more volume, this still means that the wear and tear on the used commercial espresso machine are much more severe than the one that has only been used for home brewing.
The heavy use can result in deteriorating parts, coffee sediment affecting the taste of your shots and other issues.
Therefore, when shopping for a second-hand commercial espresso machine, it would be safer to select a refurbished machine that has been only used for a short period of time, been on display, and hasn’t gone through the ground and pound of daily use at a busy cafe.
In addition, make sure you’re shopping for your used commercial machine at a reputable site, which has tested the device for quality control and guarantees its perfect condition.
Used Espresso Machines: Buying Guide
When you start searching for “used espresso machines near me” you will be overwhelmed by choice coming across a lot of sellers trying to get rid of their old machine.
And since you can’t really test out the machines, how do you know that your investment won’t be a waste of money?
You don’t want to buy a machine just based on the cost and then have to invest significant cash regularly as the machine starts falling apart.
Here are the top three things to keep in mind when shopping for a used espresso machine:
Look At Condition, Age & Maintenance
These three factors are crucial contributors to how well the used espresso machine is going to perform in the future.
But it can be hard to know the true condition of the machine as well as how well has the previous owner taken care of it.
It is important to do your homework and research or inspect the machine before spending your hard-earned cash.
If you underestimate this part of the process, you might only discover the inferior condition of your machine when the espresso quality isn’t up to par, which is often too late.
Only Shop at Trusted Sites
But how do you ensure these things mentioned above when looking for a used espresso machine for sale online, where you can’t even inspect the condition of the machine?
Buying a used machine from a random source online is always going to come with a risk, but when shopping at a reputable site, you have the certainty that the device has been checked for quality and inspected for issues that go beyond cosmetic wear.
When shopping for a second-hand commercial machine on a reputable site, the device has to go through the process of descaling, checking for faulty parts and quality control, giving you a guarantee that the machine you receive is going to be in great condition.
Seek Machine With Warranty
Some reseller sites also offer a warranty on the used espresso machine you purchase from them, giving you peace of mind and minimizing the risk involved.
If the reseller is confident in their products and has done proper maintenance and quality checks, they should have no problem offering you a warranty with your purchased machine.
Best Second Hand Espresso Machine
Now you know the importance of shopping at reputable sites to ensure the second-hand espresso machine has been checked for quality control, you might be wondering, what are the most reliable websites to search for your new morning companion?
The suggested website will depend on the country you are located in, so it’s best to do your own research within your local coffee community.
Globally, one of the most respected sites to shop for second-hand espresso machines include, 1st In coffee, Whole Latte Love, Espresso Machine Experts, or Seattle Coffee Gear.
Another way of how you can ensure that you’ll select the best espresso machine is by selecting brands that have a reputation of being able to last for a long time.
Some of the brands that you can rely on and are known to be using high-quality materials able to withstand the use of multiple owners include Gaggia, Rancilio, Breville, or Jura for the home machines or La Marzocco if you’re looking for the refurbished commercial espresso machine.
Cost-Effective Espresso Machine Upgrade Solution
What do you think about buying second-hand espresso machines? Have you done it in the past or are you planning to upgrade your old device in this cost-effective way?
Buying a second-hand espresso machine can be a great solution and if you keep some tips in mind when selecting one, it will be bound to brew great coffee for a long time.