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Buying Used

(April 2010) posted on Tue May 04, 2010

Consider these variables when pursuing a previously owned printer

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By JP Pieratt

There are a few benefits to sourcing a used printer from an OEM, including inspecting the printer and returning it to production specs, installing new software, and providing a new warranty for the printer, to name just a few.

Also keep in mind that OEMs and/or distributors are probably going to be your best resource once you begin using the machine, even if it wasn’t directly purchased through them.

Sourcing brokerages and other companies
Beyond OEMs, various other types of companies sell previously owned wide-format equipment. Some are online brokerages, serving as “middlemen” between buyer and seller, while others are brick-and-mortar operations, often selling smaller printers. Some examples:
• Wildcat Imaging Solutions ( in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, has both a physical facility and a Web storefront, specializing in second-hand printers—wide-format and superwide—and also offers other types of equipment. It sources its machines from a variety of channels and acts as a “print broker,” connecting buyers and sellers. It has finance partners and can recommend freight companies as well as technical service providers.
• S&P Brokerage (, based in Avalon, California, maintains a database of 3000 buyers and sellers of used equipment. Sellers are asked to provide machine images, head test and sample images, and data on every machine.
• Digital ES ( in Oklahoma City focuses primarily on engineering printers, copiers, and plotters, but does carry some used wide-format printer models as well.
• Plotter Supplies Inc. ( in Denver offers used and refurbished printers. For used equipment, Plotter Supplies charges sellers a one-time fee to post the information on its website, and anyone requesting information on an item is put in direct contact with the seller. Negotiations are strictly between buyer and seller.

Two other companies of note: and Both have a large inventory of printers, but inventories can fluctuate on a daily basis. In addition, there are a score of companies dedicated to used commercial-printing supplies, and these occasionally also feature digital wide-format machines, such as the Graphic Arts Exchange ( and Pressxchange (