Legal Tips for Buying and Selling Used Machinery

There are lots of potential legal, safety, and transaction pitfalls you are likely going to be facing when buying or selling used machinery (and many blogs like kitmondo’s blog about used machinery have said lots of things about it). But you need to make the most out of your endeavor – either selling or buying, so the best thing to avoid falling victim is to be knowledgeable about these legal regulations. Remember, ignorance is not an excuse in the face of the law. This article will provide answers to some important questions you might have about this:

Are there any health and safety executive guidelines on this?

It is stated by the HSE that if you supply used equipment for use at work, you must ensure it is safe and do not pose any health risk whatsoever during the time it is being set, used, cleaned or serviced so long it is reasonably practicable.

What if the goods are not as described?

Whether you are buying the goods as a business or as a consumer, they must be as described. If that is not the case, the seller will be breaching the contract.

Are there any rules on instructions for using the equipment?

Yes, there are health and safety rules backing that aspect. If you are selling an equipment, you need to make sure you provide every necessary information about how to use the equipment. This is usually a copy of the original instructions of the equipment in English. So if you are either an importer, supplier or distributor of equipment for use at work or probably a user that wants to quickly lay off his used machines, you need to pay close attention to this rule.

What if the goods do not work?

It doesn’t matter if you are buying the equipment as a business or as a consumer, the equipment must be fit for the purpose for which it was gotten and also be of satisfactory quality. If that is not the case, then the seller will be in breach of contract.

What if you inspect the goods beforehand?

But the term above may not work for you if you inspect them before buying. You won’t be able to rely on the rule.

What if the goods are faulty, what can I do as a buyer?

If the equipment you purchased is not as described, or are not of satisfactory quality, then you have the right to reject the equipment. You can also ask for redress for the cost of repair in case it was a damage to the equipment.

However, this also largely depends on whether the buyer is acting in the course of business or is a consumer, and whether the seller is a private trader or a retailer.

What if the equipment is bought on auction?

Actually, the rights afforded by the buyer largely depends on the type of auction and term of conditions backing such an auction house. On a general note, when a buyer buys goods in person at an auction, it is assumed that he or she has properly inspected the goods and has confirmed that they are of satisfactory quality before making the investment. However, it is still important that the auctioneer describes the goods as it is.

What should be included in a guarantee from the seller?

It is usual to have the seller of a used machine guarantee that if the machine stops working within a set period of time after purchase, he or she will be responsible for providing all parts and labor required to repair the equipment. It is going to be free of charge for the buyer.

However, in most cases, the guarantee is subjective to negotiation. While the buyer always wants to get as much as possible, the seller wants to give as little as possible. So they can both negotiate and come into terms. When this is done, the buyer should request for the guarantee sent to him in writing to be reviewed, and once that is done, should be signed by both parties. But remember, all these must happen before the purchase.

When should the buyer make the payment?

Payment and delivery usually happen concurrently. Normally, a seller will want to get payment before releasing the equipment while the buyer will only want to pay when the equipment is delivered. So when payment should be made is usually based on the negotiation that happens between the two parties.

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