End users, focused on cost cutting, often look to their HVACR contractors for used refrigeration equipment. While the up-front costs are certainly lower, there is a chance of failure due to component wear. And there are times that the amount saved through the purchase of a used unit is surpassed by maintenance and repair costs.

Contractors who appear too pushy when trying to discuss all-new equipment could turn off customers whose top priority is finding a low-cost product. At the same time, equipment failure of used equipment can lead to a damaged reputation for the contractor.

Trendco-Vick is a restaurant supply house in the Atlanta area that works with end users to deal with these issues. Trendco-Vick offers contractors new condensing units that can be put into otherwise used refrigeration products, providing customers a cost-efficient product with the quality and durability of a newer product.

By combining both new and used parts, contractors can replace older parts that have the greatest potential to break, while reusing those parts with longer working lives. This can provide customers with a partially used product with increased reliability and durability. Some of the equipment currently on the market that meets these criteria are condensing units and cooler panels for restaurant and foodservice walk-ins and reach-ins.

By installing new condensing units into used refrigerating products, contractors are able to offer customers longer-term warranties. One OEM that Trendco-Vick works with in this regard is Emerson Climate Technologies in conjunction with Johnstone Supply Atlanta to provide warranties on all new Emerson components.

"Often, certain components have already been repaired several times. In these cases, end users can see the value of replacing the parts, even though it may be more expensive than just doing another repair job," said Tyler Proud, operations manager at Trendco-Vick. "They do the math and see that the constant repairs of the old equipment will surpass the cost of new parts. We also make this case to end users who have components at the end of their working days and we show them that they'll save money in the long run if they just put a new condensing unit in there."

According to Proud, customers in the restaurant and foodservice industry where margins are razor-thin, especially see the value of the ‘partially new' approach. Proud says that his customers know they can trust him, because he has their challenges in mind.

"When we know we can help a cost-conscious customer, it's a pretty easy pitch. We can show them in a pretty straightforward way how and why they're having trouble with the old parts. We'll tell them what the repair cost would be and how often we think repairs would have to be done. Factor in the possibility for food spoilage and we build a pretty strong case for buying the newer parts and we've offered a solution that still saves the customer money."

Publication date: 09/04/2006