Where to Sell Used Restaurant Equipment Locally & Online

by Erin Schollaert

Updated

If you’re updating your restaurant’s kitchen, you could be stuck with the question of where to sell used restaurant equipment.

These are mostly large and bulky machines that take up a lot of space and cost a lot of money: so it’s easy to be unsure if you’ll be able to sell any of them.

Luckily, it’s easier than you think! If you’re wondering who buys used restaurant equipment and want to make money, this is a guide to everything you need to know.

Can you sell used restaurant equipment?

restaurant-equipment-on-craigslist

Yes! If you have used restaurant equipment: it’s legal and surprisingly easy to sell.

Almost all kitchen equipment is good for at least ten years, so if the item you have is younger than that, in working condition, and looks good, you should be able to sell it easily.

If your equipment doesn’t work perfectly, you may be able to sell it as parts, or as-if still, so that someone else can fix it.

It will take longer to seal the deal, but you won’t have to throw it away or recycle it unless you want to.

.

Learn how to price used items effectively to boost your earnings.

Tactic for Success

Deep clean the equipment as much as possible before you try to sell it. Although this can take hours on some equipment, if you can make it look as new as possible, you can add a lot more value to its price.

Who buys restaurant equipment?

Restaurant equipment may feel like it only has one type of buyer, but there are many options. When you find the best place to sell restaurant equipment, you’ll run into three types of buyers.

The Restaurants

Restaurants are one of the easiest buyers you’ll find. They generally have the funding via loan or income and will quickly pick it up and pay you.

If it’s a new restaurant getting ready to open or a first-time restaurant owner, they may be a little fickle about how it works and looks but should still be willing to buy it at your price.

Depending on the quality, restaurants are also a potential buyer when selling used appliances.

The Hobbyists

These buyers are individuals who will want to buy your equipment for personal use.

They either have a big family and want to make their kitchen as prepared for that as possible, or they love cooking and want equipment that can keep up with them.

They may be thrifty with their money and will try to haggle with you on the price. Try to stay firm, and don’t drop below a reasonable amount. 

Trend on the Rise

A massive fridge shortage this year had customers waiting months to get their hands on brands they wanted. Almost 20% of homeowners are willing to buy luxury or restaurant-quality stoves and fridges to give their kitchens more personality.

The Resellers

Resellers are individuals and businesses that would likely buy your equipment to try to make money reselling it for an even higher price.

To avoid these people, make sure to price your items in a range where you’ll make a good profit: and be careful with hagglers.

If they try to go more than 25% below the price, you’re trying to sell the item at, there’s a good chance they know exactly what they’re doing. Don’t let your desperation to sell undermine your ability to make money.

selling-used-equipment-pros-and-cons

Although all of these sellers are willing to pay you, your bottom line is the most important thing to keep in mind.

If you have multiple items, and someone comes to you offering a price for everything at once, calculate how much that is per item and only agree if you won’t be taking a large loss.

Where to Sell Used Restaurant Equipment

Picking where to sell your equipment is a big decision. Although a couple of these options offer cross-posting, you usually have to commit to one choice.

used-equipment-in-store

These are the best choices for where to sell, whether you are selling locally or utilizing one of these websites to sell stuff.

Top Places to Sell Used Restaurant Equipment:

  • eBay Local PickupThis is under-utilized and may take longer, but it will give you the largest payout in the end.
  • CraigsList For-Sale Section – This will be the easiest place to sell your kitchen equipment, but you’re also more likely to have the price haggled down if you sell here.
  • Facebook Marketplace – FaceBook marketplace is awesome so that you can sell directly to entrepreneurs and local restaurants.
  • Directly to Resale Stores – This option is only if you are trying to sell your equipment as quickly as possible. You should still deep clean the equipment to get as much money as possible.

If you live in a metropolitan area, the first three choices will ensure your equipment is sold within the first couple of hours after you list it.

If you don’t, and your items are listed for a long time, or you simply can’t wait: it’s time to consider a resale store.

Tactic for Success

Avoid any site that needs you to ship it. Although there may be someone out there who wants to pay the hundreds for the shipping: it’s not worth the time you’ll have to spend packaging and getting it ready for shipment.

Is it worth sourcing restaurant equipment to sell more?

Used restaurant equipment can be expensive if you don’t have a great place to source it.

Although plenty of restaurants are constantly closing, if you want to make a reselling business out of this, you’ll need more than just one restaurant of supplies.

Beyond this, although you can get a lot of money from one sale: unless you live in a heavily metropolitan area, you’ll struggle to sell many at once.

These are very industry-specific items, and most restaurants already have a wholesaler they can go through.

Although you will be able to sell a few things: the overhead costs of trying to start a business from this aren’t worth it.

Trend on the Rise

More than 90% of new restaurants have to close their doors within their first five years of being open. Plenty of defunct restaurants bought new equipment and quickly had to get rid of it to settle their bills. If you can swoop in and get this cheap, you can resell it for a profit.

What restaurant equipment is worth the most?

The value of used restaurant equipment can vary wildly. This depends on how old it is, how well it works, and what condition it’s in.

For instance, a rusted and slightly damaged Vulcan oven can have its value dropped down to as low as a brand new clean, and perfectly working off-brand oven.

Generally, these are the pieces of equipment that are worth the most.

most-valuable-restaurant-equipment

Restaurant Equipment That’s Worth the Most:

  • Restaurant Grade Stove and OvenThese have to be on and working for over eight hours every day the restaurant is open. These are worth a lot of money.
  • Restaurant Grade Fridge – A restaurant fridge can hold thousands of dollars of produce: so these are expensive and expected to work perfectly.
  • Restaurant Grade Dishwashers – These large and high-powered dishwashers remove grease and food residue and heavily sanitize restaurant pots, pans, and dishes.
  • Point of Sales Systems  – Usually including a screen, lockbox, card reader, and receipt printer- can be worth hundreds to thousands of dollars.

If you’re ever unsure about the value of the items you have, take the time to look for comparables from the last year by searching outside of your area. This should help you get a clearer view of the price.

How responsible are you for the equipment after you sell it?

If you don’t know how fridges, ovens, dishwashers, and other equipment are put together, selling used versions can feel risky.

Although it might run when you test it and show it off to a customer, it could suddenly break down after they buy it. There’s a lot of risk with used appliances.

Fortunately, as long as you do your due diligence and are clear in your listing and sale: it shouldn’t be your responsibility after you sell it.

Don’t lie to the customers and tell them something works when it doesn’t, and be clear when you list it about whatever defects it might have- and how old the item is.

Unless you’re turning this into a business, you’re selling all items as-is, and the customer should look it over before they buy them.

You’re not responsible for repairing anything they bought that got damaged or stopped working after the fact.

Wrapping Up

If you have a lot of restaurant equipment and are trying to sell it: list it as soon as possible! There are a lot of eager buyers on the market ready to start their businesses.

The Ultimate Side Hustle Toolkit

Get FREE access to our toolkit - 79 clever ways to make extra money and helpful tips to get started!

About the Author

Photo of author
Erin is a business teacher and mother of three. When she’s not in the classroom or fulfilling her obligations as an A+ hockey and lacrosse mom, she’s working on her latest article.