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Buying Used Equipment

Hi,After years of wanting to work for myself I've made the decision to start my own garden maintenance business.I've got a little bit of experience in the trade, I had a stint working in the parks & environment department for the local council a few years back, but my main reason for choosing this path as a business is that I just love gardening, mowing, hedge cutting and working outside in general.I've been reading the discussions on this forum for a couple of months now and the knowledge and advice packed into this site is astounding and I would like to thank those that contribute to it.I only have a small budget for machinery (about £1,300) and so i'm going to buy mainly second hand equipment.My question is, does anyone think the time of year has an impact on the price of used machinery? Is now a good time to buy or should I wait until the middle of winter when perhaps demand for these products might be less and prices lower?Any advice on buying used machinery would be hugely welcome.I'm looking to purchase a mower, hedgecutter, strimmer, blower, long reach printer as well as multiple hand tools.Cheers,Nick

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  • PRO
    Try harry the cat on eBay (he’s on here too) and I’m not sure of his eBay name I’ll try and find it for you.
    You will struggle to get stuff that will last for that money but buy a decent hedge cutter as the cheap ones seem to break more than cheap anything else in my experience.
    Honda izy 16 inch new for £300
    Second hand hs45 hedgecutter £125 maybe
    Hand tools to get started £125
    Bg56/86 second hand starting about £150
    Maybe spend £250-300 on a strimmer second hand stihl fs 90 or something in that price range.
    Get the long reach when money allows as I’m thinking that was pruner not printer? If so you really can manage without for the time being less is probably more as you will get more reliable tools for your money.
    I’d keep looking over winter but if starting now get your hedgecutters, blower and hand tools now and use them to make some money the mower and strimmer can wait a bit.

    It’s tight but doable

    Good luck with it and I’ll try and find a link to harry the cats eBay shop
      • PRO
        Ignore that other one Phil/gary was trying to link to harry the cat but got it wrong!
    • PRO
      I will second "Harry the cat" , I have purchased a couple of mowers from him over the last few years and they are still going strong... as Richard has said, your budget is tight but doable, his list of tools is a good one starting off, good luck ...
      • PRO
        The other thing to think about when going second hand is buying stuff you can actually get parts for and hopefully from your local dealers, I’m not one to preach this but with second hand you never know what you will get whoever you buy it from so spares might be important.
    • Yes, I meant pruner!  I didn't notice that my phone had changed it to printer :)

  • Nick if you are willing to travel to w Yorkshire I might be able to help as I have just retired and have some surplus tools pm me if you want  

  • Definitely doable with that budget. There’s no point speculating on price drops between now and midwinter, there are enough gardeners out there looking for a winter bargain to keep the prices stable. What I have found though is you’ll get more for your money if you look away from the Stihl equipment. Over the weekend I bought a Honda HHH25 hedge trimmer in great condition for £69, most of the Stihl HS45 cutters were starting around £100 - I know which one I’d prefer!
    Work out a rough budget for each piece and keep checking flea bay, when the asking price is right, grab yourself a bargain.
  • PRO

    Nick I sourced everything second hand in the first year, expect to do maintenance work on all but nearly new gear.

    Not sure prices are much different between now and Jan/ Feb but I do think they go up a notch come April May and settle down again mid summer. 

    I'd recommend purchasing branded gear, Stihl, Echo, Honda etc as parts are always available. L&S always come up trumps for me with Stihl gear, even the older stuff. 

    With hedge cutters, don't assume that just because it seems to run ok it is ok, exhausts are often clogged up and need the blowtorch or acid treatment, those spacers inside the blade guides are nearly always worn and need replacing, carbs can play up etc etc. Mowers I found needed wheel or roller bearings and control cables.

    Good thing about buying now is that you can get them in your shed, dismantle, clean, lubricate and test before you get going next year.

  • I try and avoid anything that looks like its had heavy/commercial use.......... a year of that equals many machine lifetimes of domestic use.  I'm always surprised when I see Stihl hedgecutters going for £300+ with obviously heavily worn blades.... a new set being £100+ so not the bargain it first appeared!  It might be worth considering the lighter duty Stihl stuff and go for new............ just had a quick look at F R Jones and you can pick up a strimmer/blower/hedgecutter for about £200 each which would leave you plenty for a good secondhand mower... even a new one. Even if the lighter duty stuff fails after a year or so, you haven't lost much and you'll have made some money to get better replacements. 

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