No feeling is like the thrill and satisfaction of using a new commercial laundry machine for the first time, especially one that meets your businesses many demands, while enhancing your own laundry facility style. However, getting to that moment is not always an easy process. What should be one of the most exciting experiences can become nerve-racking due to a multitude of situations, possibilities, and paperwork. Shoppers can often feel overwhelmed.
Fortunately, information and preparation can limit that overwhelming feeling. As they say, knowledge is power. Some smart things to do to prepare include; comparing machines, determining your budget constraints, and ultimately knowing how to close the deal. Regardless of whether you are a veteran at this, or a first-time purchaser, I suggest you take a few moments to review the following.
Research New Models
Thanks to the Internet, most everything is at your fingertips, and in most cases you can do your research directly from your office or home computer. In fact, the first thing I suggest you do is take a look at your business. What are your needs? What are the patterns you can identify in your own business? Performing this initial research will create a more pointed direction when you begin to utilize the Internet for your search. The nIternet is great for saving gas and time, and provides more than enough information to make you ready to purchase a new machine.
Some items to consider when buying a new piece of laundry machinery are: Do you want a hard mount washer or a soft mount washer? What will the utility requirements be? Are you looking for gas, electric, or steam power? It could even be time to buy that high extract model you’ve been wanting for years.
Make sure you know what is standard on a machine and what elements will cost you extra. Determine your compromises, as you will more than likely get a better deal if a dealership does not have to special order your machine from the manufacturer. If you already know the manufacturer you are leaning towards, visit their website for detailed information about what is new and available.
Count Your Dollars
When purchasing a new machine, it is imperative to account for all the expenses you will encounter. The excitement of buying a new machine can often blind the purchaser to the economics of owning that machine. This is more prevalent in first-time purchasers, but many veterans also forget the economics of a new machine.
While purchasing a new machine, the buyer might also have a machine to sell. Convenience dictates that a trade-in to the dealership is the best angle. However, if you are trying to get the most bang for your buck, selling your machine privately is the way to go. An important reminder is to keep your trade-in deal separate from your purchase deal, as one should not affect the other.
Maximize Your Inspection of the Machine
Several things can be done to maximize your limited time to inspect and test a machine. Some things to ponder during your inspection of the machine include the following:
- Does the machine offer energy efficiency?
- Does the machine have a large enough capacity to handle your laundry needs?
- Are the interior controls and displays easily accessible and readable?
- Does the machine make a lot of noise when running?
- What type of warranty comes with the machine?
Suggestions on Dealers
Searching for the right dealer is like many things in life, you just have to do the leg work to be certain of the direction you want to go in. Spend time on the phone talking to various dealers, and if time permitting, schedule a visit to meet each dealer. Remember, the dealer you choose is more than likely going to be servicing your machine as well, so an eyeball inspection of how they run their operation will be important to your peace of mind. Finally, don’t expect to purchase a machine during that first visit. Don’t be afraid to tell the dealer you still need more time to decide. When you are ready, you can always schedule another appointment to make the deal. However, it never hurts to be prepared, so it is a wise idea to visit the dealer with the following information in hand:
- Several price quotes and the listing price for your chosen model
- Pricing information about your used machine if you are considering a trade-in
- Your credit report
- Machine loan pre-approval information
- Insurance quotes for your chosen model
Time to Negotiate
As I stated previously, information and preparation is the key to making your life easier, and it certainly will give you the ability to negotiate with confidence. Come to the negotiating table with knowledge of current market prices for the machine you are interested in, current and future market trends, and of course, the machine’s list price. All machines are marked up considerably so don’t be afraid to offer a lower number and work your way up to a number both parties are comfortable with. Remember, set your price limit and don’t stray above it.
It is also important to make sure the dealer explains all fees associated with the purchase of the machine so you are clear on what you are buying. If you are confused about something, ask questions. Never leave the dealer after purchasing a machine with questions still on your mind about why you paid for a certain fee. Also, make sure you understand the warranty being provided. Finally, when a price is agreed upon, it is common practice that more money down results in a lower rate, thus saving you money down the road.
At any time during the negotiation of the machine you start to feel uncomfortable with your purchase, or the dealer, walk out. Just because you are negotiating the price of a machine does not mean you have to buy that machine. There are many more machines and dealers out there to choose from.
Finalizing the Deal
A final inspection of the new machine and paperwork should be conducted. If everything checks out, it is time to finalize a deal you can be proud and confident in. You are paying the price you wanted. You received a long-term warranty. You now have a new machine to introduce to your commercial laundry business.