Here are the facts (as we see them):
Before you spend $5,000 or more for a used Hunter® alignment machine (or any other BIG brand name alignment machine) please consider buying a brand new Edge (state of the art) alignment machine from Greg Smith Equipment.
Why spend your alignment equipment dollars on older (and sometimes obsolete) alignment equipment, when the same amount of money will buy an alignment machine that costs about the same as a used Hunter® alignment machine, but does so much more.
In today's tough economy, all shop owners are trying to stretch their equipment dollars. The question is whether or not they are spending their equipment dollars wisely when they invest in used automotive equipment. Let's consider some reasons as to why many shop owners believe that buying a used Hunter® alignment machine is their best course of action.
Hunter Engineering® has one (if the not the best) reputation in the alignment Industry. Hunter® makes excellent equipment and has a very large service organization. Other well known alignment machine manufacturers (with a good reputation and a large service organization) are Snap-on® and John Bean® and Hofmann®.
New Hunter® alignment machines (the computer alignment...not including the alignment lift) can easily cost over $30,000. Used Hunter® alignment machines can easily sell for over $10,000. Why would a shop owner pay more for a used Hunter® alignment machine than he would for a new Edge alignment machine?
Many Hunter® salesmen would have the customer believe that a used Lexus® (Hunter®) is worth more than a new Kia® (Edge®). The car comparison may or may not be accurate. However, the comparison between the Hunter® alignment machine and the Edge alignment machine is not even close to accurate. Actually, the features and accuracy comparison of a new Hunter® to a new Edge® is quite similar. In fact, we believe the Edge alignment machine offers more "user friendly" features than any new or used Hunter® alignment machine and is sold at a price that is way below the price of a new Hunter® alignment machine. (And may be lower than the price of a used Hunter® alignment machine).
One of the most important things for a customer to consider when buying a used Hunter® alignment machine (or any other BIG name alignment machine) is not only the initial cost of the machine, but the costs of the continuing service requirements and upgrades in the near future.
Hunter® service representatives are independent business persons who derive their income by installing, repairing, or upgrading Hunter® equipment. Both the Hunter® sales representative and the Hunter® service representative make commission dollars when a new piece of Hunter® equipment is sold in their area. Many Big name alignment manufacturers' representatives have been known to tell customers that they must buy only their Big name brand alignment machines, because other alignment machines cannot be serviced.
That is simply not true and is nothing more than a "scare tactic" to convince the prospective customer that he cannot repair or calibrate his own alignment machine.
In this tough economy, sales of new alignment machines (and many other pieces of automotive equipment) have declined from previous years. Many times, the only way a customer can afford to buy a new alignment machine is to trade in their old alignment machine. Since there are more buyers for used alignment machines than new alignment machines, the traded-in alignment machine has a strong profit potential for the Hunter® (or any other BIG name alignment manufacturer) sales and service personnel.
Normally, when you buy a used Hunter® alignment machine from the local sales or service representative, the machine has been reconditioned and vehicle specification updates have been included. If you buy a used Hunter® alignment machine from anyone other than the LOCAL representative, be prepared to spend extra dollars (with the LOCAL Hunter® service representative) to update your newly purchased used alignment machine.
Many times, the projected cost to repair and update a used Hunter® alignment machine can run into the thousands of dollars. Remember, the Hunter® service representative is an independent business person. Hunter® is normally very stubborn about empowering a customer to do their own repairs to any of their Hunter automotive service equipment. That is how the Hunter® service representatives can control the condition of your equipment and their income.
The service philosophy of Hunter® (and other Big name manufacturers) and Greg Smith Equipment is vastly different. We believe that if our customers can diagnose and repair virtually any "issue" on a $50,000.00 vehicle, then they can also repair, calibrate, and upgrade any of their automotive service equipment. Most owners and operators of automotive service centers want to control their own destiny. If their automotive service equipment is "down", they want to be able to get this equipment serviced or repaired ASAP and at a reasonable cost.
Greg Smith Equipment stocks all the parts necessary to repair your Edge alignment machine (or your wheel balancer, or tire changer or above ground lift). We believe that you and your employees can "fix what's wrong" if you are provided with the needed "plug and play" parts and some "over the phone technical assistance".
Hunter's® philosophy is that Hunter Equipment needs to be "serviced" by authorized Hunter® service representatives. This "factory authorized service" can be very costly and may result in a delay of getting your automotive service equipment back into operation as quickly as you need.
Do the math. We believe that the Greg Smith Equipment's sales and service policy makes perfect sense in today's business climate. We sell top quality automotive service equipment that we believe can be easily "serviced" by our customers. We sell new equipment for thousands of dollars less than the Big name brands and we "empower" our customers to be their own service center.
Please call your nearest Greg Smith Equipment location to learn more about why we believe that buying Big name used or reconditioned equipment may have been a great "cost-saving" idea several years ago; but Greg Smith Equipment has changed that philosophy dramatically.
Why buy "used" when you can buy "new" at the same price or less?
Our apologies to those automotive service centers who employ service technicians that are not "mechanically inclined" enough to repair the automotive shop equipment from which they derive their income. If your service center has employees with "limited mechanical ability" or a "holier than thou" attitude, perhaps you need to reevaluate your "hiring practices".
Ten years ago, most small businesses needed to hire the "Geek Squad®" to set up their in-house computer system. These automotive service centers also needed the "Geek Squad®" to repair or upgrade that same system. In today's business climate, the automotive service center now orders their computer system on-line and has their computer system set-up (by themselves) in no time at all. Service is handled with "plug and play" parts. The ease of the initial set-up and the FAQ troubleshooting guide make buying and setting up a business computer system almost a "no-brainer".
Dell Computer® has a great business model. So does Greg Smith Equipment.
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