So, your customer is a small business owner who doesn’t want to spend too much, or they are looking to buy a truck that’s not going to be doing a lot of hours.
They have got two options: purchase a brand new Chinese import or buy a refurbished used forklift from you.
Which should they buy?
Let’s say your customers budget is approximately £12,000; and they are after a 2.5ton forklift with a three stage mast. A used forklift or an import would retail for around a similar price with the same spec. So, you’re thinking “Why would they buy a used forklift over a brand new one for the same price?” Well there are a number of other factors that they might not have considered such as reliability, depreciation, backup & support.
How many Chinese forklifts working in the field do you come across that are over 5 years of age? Not many!
The true hidden cost that most people don’t consider when buying a new Chinese import is the depreciation. A second hand premium brand forklift will achieve a good resale value.
So, when comparing two units both valued at £12,000 remember to factor in the real difference in value when the truck is traded in. The real difference can be as much as £5,000. A good second-hand machine that has been refurbished and has low hours and has been maintained and serviced by a reputable company keeps its value and is an asset. An Import can have next to no resale value. It’s difficult to sell and nobody wants them.
Backup and Spare parts
There have been many different forklift companies importing Chinese brands of forklifts into the UK over the years, most of which have gone out of business or have stopped selling Chinese forklifts.
These companies are normally around for 2 to 3 years or until their warranty issues become too much and the Chinese manufacturing company moves on to another importer.