As shipping containers become more and more popular in the secondary market, it's important for new buyers to gain a full understanding of what to look for when they decide to buy a shipping container. While each project is different and the applications are very different from residential to commercial usage, the rules of buying a container are generally the same across the board.
1. Don't Over-Buy: Just like a car, you it's easy to "over buy" with a shipping container. If you don't need a shipping container that in perfect shape and has fresh paint, you can save money by getting an older unit. The same applies to size - know if you'll need a 20' shipping container, or a 40' container.
2. Plan Ahead for Delivery: Make sure that you're able to schedule the shipping container to be delivered once your site is prepared. Having it delivered, then preparing the site could mean that you need to rent additional equipment to move the container around later on.
3. Working Mechanicals: Make sure the doors open and close relatively smoothly, and the locking gear slides. If it doesn't, these are two things that you'll definitely need to have repaired.
4. Paint: If you don't care about the color of the shipping container, you can save a lot of money buying a used container. Used shipping containers are normally painted to match the corporate identity of the shipping line that owned them, while new shipping containers tend to be a neutral white or tan.
5. Security: One downside with buying a used shipping container is the lack of a lock box. Without a lock box the lock on the door of the shipping container will be exposed to thieves and could be cut off. New shipping containers typically have a lock box installed at the factory. It's best to ask the person selling you the container if a lock box is equipped.
6. Short Time: If you need a shipping container that's painted a neutral color, and you need it tomorrow, it's best to find a new, or one trip, container. It will save you time from having to paint it and clean it up.
7. Plenty of Time: If you've got plenty of time and have the ability to repaint and repair the container yourself, you may want to purchase a used container and do the work yourself. Just be sure and do enough research to know what you're getting into and the costs involved.
8. Plan Out Your Project: Sit down with a pen and paper to sketch out your project, and everything that's involved with it. Container size, delivery, foundation, appearance, etc. Once you've got it planned out, then you can put things into motion.
Shipping containers aren't a complicated piece of equipment. With few moving parts and very little chance of obsolescence, the primary drivers of cost and value are the quality of the shipping container and the location. If you have a clear image of what you need the shipping container for, and what the overall project will look like, keep the eight tips listed above in mind and you'll get a great deal on a container that's perfect for your project. And when you start to look for shipping containers for sale, keep ContainerAuction.com in mind.