One question that has always bedeviled machinery dealers (and therefor shop owners as well) is this: “Why don’t all machines sell all the time?” Another way to put the question would be, “Why do certain machines sell quickly this year and sit around the next?” Thank you for sharing our pain! Here’s our thoughts on it.
Over a year ago we were offered a 2008 Haas EC500 Horizontal Machining Center from a customer of ours in Wisconsin. At that time Haas was in a redesign mode and was not producing any horizontal milling machines (I’m sure you have heard the apocryphal stories of Gene Haas seeing a new Makino show up on his manufacturing floor, drop his jaw and order the complete overhaul of his horizontal line). We had been selling all our Haas EC400 and EC500 quite easily. As fast as we could find them we could sell them.
Haas horizontal machining centers need to have what we call “The Big Five” in order to grab the attention of the market:
- 12,000 RPM
- 70 ATC
- Full 4th axis
- Through Spindle Coolant
- Wirelesss Intuitive Probing
This particular 2008 machine had four out of the five! All it was missing was the Probing. Four! Out of five! We were close enough to make a home run. Used Haas buyers will turn down a potential deal if it has the wrong RPM or limited tool positions in the changer, and will turn up their noses if a machine doesn’t have through spindle coolant, anything that is mechanically buried… but probing? Something that can be added after market, or negotiated into a deal? RARELY? What was wrong?
And there it sat. For a year. Only one inspection, one successful inspection. And that customer ended up buying new (he just wasn’t a used buyer).
Sometimes used machines sit unsold due to direct competition with the OEM (downward pricing pressure, or game-changing technology on newer models), sometimes they sit because that particular application is not hot (aerospace is down, military is pulling back, medical is dipping, automotive is in a correction). It can even hit a particular spec on the particular machines. With horizontal machining centers it can be the difference between 1 degree and full 4th indexing on the pallet. One year 1 degree is a “Must!” and the next year “only full contouring will do!”
So after a year of patiently waiting for the right buyer, it suddenly had company on our website along with four other Haas EC500 units, all dating from 2005 to 2015. But starting in August, in the face of steep discounts with New Haas machines, and a dip in the overall manufacturing, it’s time had come. One by one each of the (5) EC’s began selling, when at long last it was finally time for the 2008 to find a home. The tide had turned. They sold because manufacturers needed to save money and were ready to act at long last.
Hate to say it, but… anyone got a nice Haas EC500 we can sell?