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Understanding Your Rights When Buying And Selling Second Hand Machinery

Individuals interested in buying and selling second-hand machinery may face several pitfalls during a transaction. Alex Forster of Roythornes Solicitors sits down to answer some specific questions:

What Are The Specific Health And Safety Executive Guidelines?

A statement of the HSE reminds individuals that if they are supplying second-hand machinery for use at work regardless of whether it is for payment or not, it must be safe and in workable condition while in use, maintained or cleaned. All equipment sold by Surplus Network is in good working condition.

What Health And Safety Rules Are Enforced On Equipment?

An individual is required to provide all relevant information about the equipment that is available, typically an original owner’s manual would suffice.

This rule affects all distributors, suppliers and importers of second-hand machinery as well as individuals selling a one-time sale of an ite,.

What To Do If Goods Are Not As Described?

Regardless of whether you are a business or consumer, all goods must be as described. If not, the seller would be in what is known as a breach of contract.

What If The Good Are Not In Working Order?

Regardless of whether the goods are being purchased as a consumer or business, they must be in satisfactory condition. If not, the seller will be considered in breach of contract.

What If The Goods Are Inspected Beforehand?

If the goods are inspected before a purchase, you will not be able to rely on the terms above, as the inspection revealed what was considered to be satisfactory equipment.

What If The Goods Are Bought At Auction?

The rights that are afforded to second hand machinery bought at auction will be subject to any terms and conditions of the specific auction house.

Typically, when a buyer purchases goods at an auction it is assumed that they have thoroughly inspected the goods and determined that they were in satisfactory condition. However, an auctioneer cannot mis-describe aspects and conditions of the goods.

What actions are available to the buyer of faulty goods for a seller?

If the goods were not as described by the seller, the buyer has the right to refuse the goods and ask for damages for the cost of repairing the unit.

The available actions are dependent upon whether the individual buying is a consumer or a business as well as if the seller is a private trader or retailer.

What If A Buyer Does Not Pay For Goods

The first course of action is to contact the buyer and make a request for payment. If payment is not received:

For your benefit when selling goods it is wise to insert a Retention of Title clause to the contract/ This ensures that you remain in possession of the title until the goods have been paid in full or that the seller has the ability to enter the buyer’s premises and repossess any goods not paid. If there is a Retention of Title clause included in the contract it becomes a simple act of attending the buyer’s premise and repossessing the goods.

If you do not include a Retention of Title there is a risk of potentially losing the equipment and goods. The only recourse you would have is to bring legal action against the buyer for the purchase price.

How Payments Should Be Made?

Payments and deliveries are usually concurrent actions. In many cases, the seller wants the payment before goods are released and a buyer wants to pay after goods have been delivered. Both parties will need to negotiate a point of action that works for both for payment and delivery.

It is important to keep the lines of communication open during the entire process. If both parties are fully aware of all objections and concerns, the buying and selling process can typically be a much smoother process for both parties. From the earliest point of contract know what is expected of both parties and continually communicate. Through this effort it is less likely that there will be any disagreements throughout the buying and selling process.

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