The used and refurbished machine market can prove a particularly positive to all aspects of the supply chain, according to Tony Glanville, MD at RLMS Sales.
Continued positive performance throughout tumultuous market conditions is one of the most significant challenges faced by operators in the current landscape. To this end the used and refurbished machine market can represent a perfect opportunity to bolster offerings with market-proven, economically sound installations. One of the key benefits of refurbished machines is prior knowledge of market performance allowing operators to buy with confidence regarding not only popularity but monetary take, and in this contact with established distributors such as RLMS can allow for invaluable insight.
“We can give customers best advice based on its success as a new machine and then supply market feedback as to how it has performed over time, thereby reducing the risk of the operator being supplied a product that does not fulfil their needs. Secondly the other significant advantage is that used and refurbished equipment is available at a reduced cost compared to new and allows operators to get more bang for their buck.” Glanville commented.
He highlighted that political uncertainty has undoubtedly had an impact on the market sector: “Peak time for used product normally comes around changes in stakes and prizes, but unfortunately the next change in prize level looks to be some way off now due to the result of last week’s election. Bacta believes the Triennial consultation document will be delayed until later this autumn so for the time being it’s jackpots as usual.”
In addition to this, the introduction of the new £1 coin, done so on the cusp of the summer season, created a requirement to upgrade or update coin mechs at an inopportune time and consequently has had a major impact largely absorbed solely by the operator. For many this will have impacted how much capital is readily available to invest in equipment, meaning the cheaper, and less risky refurbished machine market have, and can continue to prove a timely remedy to such issues.
Of product popularity he said: “Our largest volume of new machines comprises Hi Tech Cat C games. They drive the largest number of part exchanges and, in turn, represent our largest category of used equipment sales. We also have a very healthy market for used Cat C, D and B3 for the AGC market.”
He added that a strong licence undoubtedly increases the desirability quota of a product in the used market and, therefore, extends its earning window for sale, making note of the seemingly evergreen Deal or No Deal licence. Commenting on the company’s reaction to the sector, Glanville said: “To reflect the importance of the used equipment side of the business we have geared up our operations accordingly and now have a team of experienced workshop engineers that are familiar with a comprehensive range of equipment whether it be analogue or digital. We have also invested significantly in a spray booth so we can ensure that the quality of the finish on our used equipment is to the highest of standards. This ensures customers can buy with confidence and keeps them coming back time after time.”
Whilst there may be a particular impetus in the marketplace at present to make the most of the great value afforded by used and refurbished machines, it has long been an important segment as the stream of purchases and trade-ins keeps operators performing well, and distributors well stocked.
“Supplying new and used equipment goes together like a horse and carriage because the supply of the former often depends on the supply of the latter. If you sell new equipment you need to be able to offer a solution to the operator for his displaced product and that’s why RLMS Sales’ part exchange facility is so important. It assists the operator in two ways. Firstly it alleviates space issues by removing a product from the venue. Secondly, from a commercial perspective, the value of the part exchange will be offset against the new purchase, subsequently reducing the overall cost to the operator,” he said.
The market is currently proving to be a successful one, but for this to continue it requires constant turnover and reinvestment on behalf of operators to sustain it, to such an end Glanville stated, “once we agree a part exchange the profit in the deal is in the product that has been part exchanged and we will not realise the profit on the deal until that part exchange is refurbished, sold and paid for.”
However, he remains positive about both the refurbished industry sector, and RLMS Sales going forward as the popularity of used machines shows no signs of slowing in the currently fertile market.
“The market cannot survive solely on new equipment as not every venue generates sufficient income to warrant the investment in new equipment that is where the used market comes into its own,” said Glanville, adding “it is our industry’s very own circle of life.”