Should You Buy a Used Coffee or Espresso Maker (And When?)

should you buy a used coffee makerShould You Buy a Used Coffee or Espresso Maker (And When?)

Hi guys, I realize that when I began this site about 3 years ago, I will be totally honest, I was not always thinking about how popular or long lasting certain one cup models would stay on the market over the long haul. A Keurig that was “hot” once may well, let’s say, dwindle slightly in popularity, end up getting supplanted by a newer model, and in general, become- well, I wouldn’t say obsolete – but certainly harder to find.

That’s true of most electronics or appliances though, right? The newer model ends up supplanting the older one- even though the older one is actually quite good so it is not always an issue of quality. But sometimes, people are hung up on the “latest and greatest” because-well it’s the nature of being a consumer. Some of us are more sensible, though, and we don’t always want to jump on that shiny new replacement since the one we’ve got still works like gangbusters.

The Potential For a Great Deal

As a result of said model being more scarce…sometimes used or “pre-owned” (or “pre-loved” if you prefer that one LOL) models become more of a possibility. You may have noticed that too, with a few of the older single cuppers I’ve discussed and reviewed, and you may be thinking…”I know it’s brand X…but it’s used…..A win/lose?”

Yep, it’s a question we all grapple with. After all, buying that one could help save you quite a few bucks. That in itself is enticing. But back to the original question.Should you? Is it too risky? “Used” is a little bit different from refurbished….it literally has had some use as the name implies.

So….If you see a model I’ve talked about on here in depth and you really really want it but when you discover the listings show the best deals on used models, what should you do?

First – Consider how “used” it was

Did the previous owner only give it a few spins? In other words, it’s “gently” used. Did he or she purchase the coffee maker only to find himself/herself dissatisfied for superficial reasons other than performance? If so, that’s potentially a winner -Things happen and even with the best intent sometimes people get something and find that it’s not exactly their dream machine.

Maybe it doesn’t match their kitchen or office decor, it’s a little bit bigger/smaller than anticipated, or just wasn’t exactly what they expected (but not for performance reasons) In that case, they might just re-package it and try to sell it and when condition is asked for “Used, Like New” is the box that gets ticked.

Sometimes all it takes is for the box to be opened for something to no longer have the “Brand New” label on it. That’s it-just opening the box, or if the box got a little scratched. Just something minor like that-that may be your ticket to a price break!

Second- How did the previous owner handle it?

Did the former owner store it in a cool, dry location away from mold or mildew or leave it out in the garage or basement? These are all important factors to consider. You know if you have shopped on Ebay a good bit, you see this common thing going on with used merchandise: “Came from a smoke free (or pet free) home” Or maybe on of those. Some consumers have a good nose for odors and this is one parameter that’s non-negotiable.

Make sure to read the “fine print”…It’s on all the listings , you just have to pay close attention 🙂 Take note of descriptive terms such as:

  • Cosmetic flaws -this could be superficial and doesn’t affect performance
  • Like new, gently used -Sometimes photos are included so you can check it out too.
  • Original packaging – Sometimes it’s included, sometimes not; not a deal-breaker
  • Great condition but certain accessories may be missing – this may or may not be a deal breaker for you; it may depend on the accessory and how important it is to brewer function.

Lastly- Find out about the warranty period

Don’t overlook this one; very critical that you have X length of time to make sure it will function well and pass muster. “Sold as is” may work for a vintage collectible, not so much an appliance. Read all those terms and conditions!

With regard to returns – by default Amazon gives you a 30-day return window, and for items listed by third party sellers, sometimes this default is set but sometimes they choose a little bit narrower window (like 14 days).

Closing Thoughts

So…Buying a used model? In the case of a simple auto-drip maker that probably cost about $20…heck naw. Something like that is so easy to replace when it only cost $20. but here we’re talking about units that are a little more sophisticated than that. As you may recall, most of the single-serve espresso machines discussed here are actually made with genuine espresso making 19 bar pressure systems.

That’s nothing to sneeze at – so it makes sense to consider one that may have been, perhaps gently used, especially if you save $100 in the process!

f you pay attention to that all-too important criteria above your best chance for a good unit at a lower price tag is pretty high.  Go for it-but go into it with eyes wide open!

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