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second hand office equipment or used?

I witnessed a somewhat strange conversation in the warehouse this week, a prospect wasn't sure whether we sold "second hand office equipment" or "used office equipment". He knew what he wanted, but not which one we stocked.

The subject raised a point which many people now have to grapple with - who decides what phraseology is deemed to be the official language. Does second hand office equipment mean any stock that isn't new, or are there significant differences in types ? Who holds the mace in practice?

Customers may perceive "second hand" as somewhat inferior to "used". In fact, the adopted term on the street is now "gently used" which was what this particular prospect was trying to source. It seemed of some importance, what we, as vendors, thought we had, and hence as a matter of some concern to our branding efforts for the firm.

In practice, there is no difference as far as our stock buyers are concerned. All second hand office equipment has been inspected and either passed as saleable, or diverted to our workshop where any necessary restoration takes place prior to customers actually viewing it.

Moving parts in second hand office equipment usually involves door and drawer operating mechanisms such as runners, hinges and catches. These are replaced where excessive wear has worn them out - usually owing to the tasks the previous owner was called upon to perform routinely. For each batch of 50 desks, for example, between 5 to 15% will commonly be restored to some degree.

When the 50 desks are sent to the bays for stocking, all 50 will function perfectly. Surely this means that this second hand office equipment is in fact able to be described as "gently used" now those parts have been restored to parity?

Of course, two different customers will have two different viewpoints. However, they will both get the same high quality for their money because that's what makes our reputation and them repeat customers. Used, gently used or second hand - it means the same thing if you are in charge of your own quality control...

Please send us your opinion on this matter, a blog will shortly be installed so customers can set their opinions for us to learn by.

picture of second hand office equipment