Used shipping containers for sale are very useful. Whether you want containers for storage, to create a building, they are what you need.  In the shipping industry, it is well known that used containers for sale can be as effective as a brand-new unit, and that they are worth a fraction of the shipping container price. Also, it is great for the environment because as they are re-used and recycled. However, it can be difficult for novice buyers to find a great second-hand container, as they don’t know what they should look for.

In order to help you get the best value for your money, here are the 10 most important factors you should consider before buying used containers.

Reality vs photos

With photos, you can easily see the exterior condition as well as the dimensions of the used containers. But it is very important that you pay a special attention to their details.

For instance, if you find used containers for sale on websites like Craigslist, you have to be careful because they are known to put pictures of one specific container. On close inspection, you can realize that the photos come from multiple containers. Most of the time, the sellers take a picture of a container with a good interior and another container with excellent roofing. After that, they put them together to make you believe that the picture comes from a singular container. So, just make sure to really inspect the container to avoid any surprises.

In other cases, the photos you see may not be of the container you want to buy. So, when you look at photos from larger suppliers, you have to remember that the photos are a representation of the average container they have. Just make sure to always pay close attention to the product description to have all the details.

Make the inspections

Whatever your purposes for your used container, it is imperative that you conduct a complete inspection with a certified inspector before buying anything.

First you have to check the exterior. Make sure to walk all round it and check its condition. It is really important that you check everything, paint, seals around the edges, wear and tear etc. All this might look insignificant, but they might hide something, which could lead to big problems in the future. By doing this, you also know how much maintenance the unit will require.

Finally, you have to check the inside. Start with the doors and look if they are damaged, if they lock properly and if the seals around the edges are working. Once you are inside, look for rust, mold and if the container is watertight. In order to do that, close the doors during daylight and check if you see the light somewhere. It is also an opportunity to see if there are holes.

Check the container’s history

Knowing about the container’s history is also important. But just be conscious, that it could be hard for suppliers to give you the exact history of the container. Just ask about its age, all the maintenance and repair done to it and the kind of goods it was transporting if possible. With all this information, it will be easier for you to see the problems that may occur.

Inquire about the delivery fees

Before buying the container, remember to ask the seller about the delivery’s terms and conditions. Also you have to see how far away the container is from your location and know under what circumstances do you have to pay more than the pre-purchase quote. No one wants to save money on one hand and overpay on delivery charges on the other. Just make sure that the majority of your payment goes to the container, not the price of delivery, otherwise it is not worth buying.

In addition, ask about the delivery accountability. Are you responsible for the container while it’s on the road, or is it the seller’s problem? What happens if the container is damaged while coming off the truck? Those are very important questions and you have to know the answer before buying anything.

Ask about the Guarantees

Don’t forget to inquire about guarantees. You have to know the answers to the questions such as: What happens if the container you got isn’t the one you wanted? What happens if your container leaks even though you were promised to get one that doesn’t?

Normally, trustworthy suppliers always give liability waiver or warranties for a specified period of time.

Take the potential cost of modifications into account

If you want to use your container as a traveling store, an event display, offices for your company etc., you may have to modify it by adding an electrical system, changing the doors, installing a heating and cooling system, painting the exterior and interior etc. And since modifications could cost you a lot of money, you have to choose the best used container to be sure that it will provide a firm foundation for your alterations.

Determine its frequency of use

Just know what you want to do with the container before buying one. Whether you want it for infrequent deliveries or temporary storage, you can’t buy any type of container. So you have to be very attentive to every little details. You can’t choose the same container if you want to modify it or use it for storage. If you want to change it, maybe it is better to make sure it has strong foundation. As for storage, it has to be well-preserved even if you buy it already used.