Buying a used Coffee Machine – A Guide

Good coffee machines can be very expensive and for some coffee lovers, the machine they want is sometimes unaffordable. Used coffee machines offer a solution here. However, one should note a few important points.

What should be considered when buying a used coffee machine?

While a used coffee maker might seem like a good deal in terms of profitability, there are a few things to consider before making your purchase.

Why buy a used coffee machine?

  • Cost savings: A used coffee machine is usually significantly cheaper than a new model. If you’re on a budget or don’t want to spend a lot of money on a new coffee maker, buying a used machine is an economical choice.
  • Environmental friendliness: Buying a used coffee maker is a sustainable decision as it extends the life of a product and saves resources that would be required to manufacture a new machine. By buying used products you reduce your environmental impact.
  • Quality: Sometimes older models of coffee makers are actually sturdier and more durable than newer models. By buying a used coffee maker, you can benefit from the quality and reliability of older product generations.
  • Well-known brand: Buying a used coffee machine gives you the opportunity to buy a well-known and quality brand at an affordable price. You can buy a quality coffee maker from a reputable brand that you might not be able to afford if it were new.
  • Diverse choice: The second-hand market offers a wide range of coffee machine models, both current and older generations. One can search for different functions, styles and sizes and select the model that best suits one’s needs and preferences.
  • Low risk: Buying a used coffee maker usually involves less financial risk. Even if the machine doesn’t work properly, you often have the option of returning it or passing it on at a lower price. You can also look for reviews and experiences from other buyers to make sure you’re getting a good deal.
  • No wear and tear phase: New coffee machines often have to go through a break-in phase, during which they only function optimally, while used machines have already been broken in. There is no need to worry about initial problems or invest time and effort to set up the machine.
  • Faster Purchase: Unlike buying a new coffee maker, which may involve waiting for delivery, a used machine can often be purchased immediately. You can search for an ad, contact the seller and pick up the coffee machine directly.
  • Easy Parts and Repairs: With older or well-known models, it’s often easier to find replacement parts if repairs are needed. It can be cheaper to repair a used coffee maker than to buy a new one.
  • Collectible value: Some coffee machines have a certain collector value. If one is interested in vintage or retro models, buying a used coffee maker can be a way to acquire a one-of-a-kind piece that is no longer in production. Such models can also increase in value if they are well maintained.

What should you check when buying a used coffee machine?

  • Condition: Check the condition of the coffee machine carefully. Look for scratches, cracks, or other damage that could affect functionality. Also check the indicators, knobs, and switches to make sure they are working properly.
  • Age: The age of the coffee machine can be an indication of its lifespan and technological up-to-dateness. Older models may not have the latest features and technology that you desire.
  • Service History: Ask about the service history of the coffee maker. Has it received regular maintenance? Have parts been replaced or repaired? A good service history can indicate that the machine has been well maintained and is in good condition.
  • Functionality: Make sure the coffee maker is working properly before you buy it. Ask the seller to give you a demonstration or allow you to test the machine yourself. Check that it heats water properly, that coffee is extracted evenly and that all functions work as intended.
  • Cleaning condition: Thorough cleaning of the coffee machine is important to ensure that it is hygienic and does not transfer old coffee taste to future coffee. Make sure the machine is clean, especially in the hard-to-reach parts like the water tank or the coffee filters.
  • Accessories and spare parts: Check that all essential accessories are present, such as the coffee filter or the milk frother. Also, check the availability of spare parts for the specific model should repairs become necessary in the future.
  • Brand Reputation: Pay attention to the brand of coffee maker and research its reputation. Well-known and reputable brands are usually known for their quality and durability. Also check the availability of customer support or services for this brand.
  • Price comparison: Compare the price of the used coffee machine with similar models on the market. Make sure the price is reasonable and in line with the condition, age and brand of the machine.
  • Seller Trust: Check the trustworthiness of the seller especially if you buy the coffee maker through online marketplaces. Read reviews and experiences of other buyers or ask for references to make sure the seller is reliable.
  • Guarantee and right of return: Clarify whether there is a guarantee or a right of return for the used coffee machine. This provides you with security and protection in case the machine does not work as expected or turns out to be defective.

Size and available space

When you buy a coffee maker, whether new or used, you need to find a suitable place. The space should be sufficient to set up the machine and also to carry out work next to the machine.

The space required for a coffee machine can vary depending on the type and model. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Compact coffee makers: There are coffee makers that are specifically designed for small kitchens or limited space. These are usually compact and don’t take up much space. They fit easily on a small work surface or in a corner.
  • Standard coffee makers: Most standard coffee makers are about 20 to 30 centimeters wide, 30 to 40 centimeters deep and 30 to 40 centimeters high. You’ll need enough space for the machine itself, as well as the water tank, coffee grounds container, and possibly a milk frother if the machine has this feature.
  • Espresso Machines: Espresso machines can be larger than standard coffee makers, especially if they come with a built-in grinder or grinder system. Espresso machines also need space for the water connection and the steam outlet if they have a steam function.

It’s important to check the footprint of the specific coffee maker you’re considering purchasing. This may be stated in the product dimensions or in the product description. Measure the space available in your kitchen and compare it to the dimensions of the machine to ensure there is enough space.

Budget for the coffee maker

In order to calculate the cost of a coffee maker, various factors must be considered. Here are the key aspects to consider when calculating the cost:

  • Acquisition costs: This is the original purchase price of the coffee machine. It is the amount you pay to purchase the machine.
  • Running costs: The running costs include the consumption of coffee, water and electricity. Calculate the average consumption of coffee beans or ground coffee per cup and multiply it by the number of cups you brew daily or monthly. Also consider the water consumption and the power consumption of the coffee machine. These costs may vary depending on individual consumption and tariffs.
  • Maintenance Costs: Consider the cost of maintaining and cleaning the coffee maker on a regular basis. This includes descaling agents, cleaning tablets or solutions and, if necessary, the cost of replacing wearing parts or repairs.
  • Accessory costs: If you use additional accessories such as coffee grinders, milk frothers or special coffee filters, you should also consider the costs of these items.
  • Coffee Maker Life: Estimate the likely life of the coffee maker. The longer the service life, the lower the annual costs for replacing or buying a new coffee machine.

To calculate the total cost of a coffee maker, add up the initial cost, the cost of ownership, the cost of maintenance, and the cost of supplies over the estimated life of the machine. This gives you a rough idea of the total costs that can arise over time.

It’s also important to remember that higher quality coffee makers may have a higher initial cost, but may operate more efficiently and have a longer lifespan, resulting in a lower overall cost. It can therefore be worth considering the quality and longevity of the product when purchasing a coffee machine.

Quality and type of coffee

Depending on the machine, you should buy the appropriate beans to get the best results.

  • Which coffee is recommended for the respective model of the coffee machine and how much bar pressure can the machine withstand. This is crucial to the end result you get.
  • Also think about what kind of coffee you want to make, because if you only want to brew espresso, a simpler coffee maker will do.
  • If you want cappuccino or latte, you need a machine with a steam wand and special functions.

What points should you consider when servicing a used coffee maker?

When servicing a used coffee machine, you should consider the following points:

  • Cleaning: Regular cleaning of the coffee machine is crucial to maintain the quality of the coffee and to avoid deposits. Clean the coffee machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions, especially the water tank, the coffee spout, the coffee filter and the group head. Remove coffee grease residue and limescale deposits to ensure optimal performance.
  • Descaling: Limescale deposits can impair the functioning of the coffee machine. Carry out descaling regularly to remove limescale deposits. To do this, use descaling agents that are specifically recommended for coffee machines. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that descaling is performed correctly.
  • Filter change: Regularly check the condition of the coffee filter and replace it if necessary. A dirty or clogged filter can affect the coffee quality. Use the recommended filter types and observe the change intervals specified by the manufacturer.
  • Gaskets and steam nozzles: Check the coffee maker’s gaskets and steam nozzles for wear or damage. If necessary, they should be replaced to ensure that there are no leaks and that the coffee maker is working properly.
  • Grinder or grinder: If your used coffee maker has a built-in grinder or grinder, check the condition and settings of the grinder. Make sure it grinds properly and is calibrated to achieve the desired grind level.
  • Water tank: Clean the water tank regularly to remove any deposits or impurities. Keep the tank clean and make sure it closes tightly.
  • Checking the functions: Regularly test all the functions of the coffee maker, including the brewing function, the milk frother (if present) and other specific functions. Make sure everything is working as intended and there are no problems.
  • Professional maintenance: Depending on the model and manufacturer, it may be advisable to have the coffee maker serviced by a professional after-sales service from time to time. This may include more extensive maintenance such as replacing wearing parts or a thorough cleaning.

Always refer to the manufacturer’s specific maintenance instructions as these may vary by model and type. Regular maintenance of a used coffee maker can extend its life and ensure that it continues to make high-quality coffee.

Why shouldn’t you buy a used coffee machine?

  • Limited warranty: Used coffee machines usually come with an expired or severely limited warranty. If problems arise, you may have to pay for repairs or replacement parts yourself.
  • Unknown history: With a used coffee maker, you may not know the exact history of the device. There is a chance that it has been mistreated or poorly maintained in the past, which may result in a reduced lifespan.
  • Hygiene concerns: A used coffee maker can be difficult to clean, especially in hard-to-reach areas like the inside of the unit. There is a risk of coffee residue, mold or bacteria that can affect the quality and taste of the coffee.
  • Outdated Technology: Older used coffee makers may not have the latest features and technology available in current models. This can affect user experience and coffee quality.
  • Higher repair risk: A used coffee maker can be more prone to defects or technical problems because it has already been used for a certain period of time. The cost of repairs could add up over time and potentially exceed the original purchase price.
  • Limited Choices: The used coffee maker market can be limited, especially if you are looking for a specific model or brand. You might have trouble finding exactly what you are looking for.
  • No Customizations: With a used coffee maker, you may not have the ability to customize settings or customizations. You have to be content with the default functions and options.
  • Unpredictable lifespan: Since the machine is already used, it is difficult to predict how long it will last. There is a risk that you will acquire a coffee maker that will soon need to be replaced.
  • Finding replacement parts: Finding replacement parts for older used coffee machines can be difficult. If something breaks, it could be difficult or expensive to obtain the necessary parts to fix the machine.
  • Personal Preferences: Ultimately, you might have certain preferences or needs that can only be met by purchasing a new coffee maker. If you want a specific model, features, or style, it might be better to go for a new device.