Tips for Purchasing Material Handling Equipment Online

Written By: Bastian Solutions

In an earlier post E-commerce: Buying MH Equipment Online“People Think Purchasing Material Handling Equipment Online is Scary…” I spent some time discussing the two most common reasons people find purchasing material handling equipment online scary.

Today, I would like to explore how ancient proverbs can guide your way when making these purchases. These tips should make purchasing everything from casters and lift tables, to conveyors and conveyor parts, easy and a whole lot less scary.

Tip 1: Make Sure YOU are Secure
Ancient Chinese Proverb: To know others, know yourself first.

Do you have the latest browser? Does it have all of the updates and security fixes installed? I know it sounds silly, but we still see 6% of our traffic from people using Internet Explorer 6, which PC World ranks as the 8th worst tech product of all time for its security issues. 
View article from PC World

Tip 2: Use All Available Options to Complete Your Order
Ancient Samarian Proverb: The crafty rabbit has three different entrances to its lair.

While the rabbit makes multiple entrances for its own use, a good online material handling equipment provider will offer you several ways to complete your order. You should expect to see every piece of information you need to make the correct purchase yourself, while also seeing options such as phone assistance, live chat, or email in case you ever need assistance.

If you prefer talking to someone directly or just need to confirm the accuracy of your purchase before pulling the trigger, these options should be available to you at every stage of the process. The company should also offer to contact you prior to finalizing your order or offer to help install your equipment.

Tip 3: Do They Stand Firmly Behind Exceptional Customer Service
Ancient Chinese Proverb: Simple to Open a Shop; Another Thing to Keep it Open

In my experience, the best online material handling stores will stand behind you at every step of the order process. You are entitled to receive the same level of service regardless of where you placed your order.

If the store you’re shopping doesn’t appear to offer that, then feel free to move on. The true test of a best in class online material handling store is if you do accidentally end up ordering something incorrectly, they will help you get the issue corrected quickly.

Tip 4: Use a Purchase Order
Ancient Samarian Proverb: “My friend” might last just one day. “My colleague” lasts forever.

Any good material handling company will accept purchase orders online. POs are a great way to ensure your safety while making online transactions, and they also let both parties know that this is hopefully going to be long-term partnership.

They also allow both parties to conduct business without anyone paying fees to the credit card company, which in turn, always leads to better pricing. While it may take a couple extra steps to get set up initially, your time is quickly made up on subsequent orders.

Tip 5: Is Their Check-out Process Secure?
Ancient Proverb: OK, so I don’t have a proverb here; I guess the ancient Chinese Sages did not quite envision online Website security systems.

Most modern Internet browsers have a lock symbol somewhere to ensure they are secure. For example Internet Explorer 9 has a lock directly in the address bar.  Additionally, you can look around for a legitimate security graphic such as the:

  • symbol
  • GoDaddy site verified logo
  • McAfee secure symbol

Finally, make sure that the URL begins with “https” in the address bar when making transactions online. If anything looks suspect, don’t provide your credit card numbers.

Tip 6: Research Their Policies
Ancient Egyptian Proverb: If one tries to navigate unknown waters, one runs the risk of shipwreck.

Do they have a privacy policy? Do they have terms and conditions? What about their return policy? Feel free to run away if any of these policies are not immediately available during your check-out process. Plus, they are great resources to use if something on your order happens to be incorrect.

Tip 7: Use Common Sense
Ancient Chinese Proverb: A Careful Foot Can Step Anywhere.

Before you make any online purchase you need to ask yourself two simple questions:

  • Does their site look and feel respectable?
  • Is the deal too good to be true?

As long as you follow these seven tips, you should be well on your way to making safer online purchases, whether material handling equipment or other items.

Did I miss anything?  Do you have tips for making safer online purchases?  Leave your comments below!

Bastian Solutions is an independent system integrator dedicated to helping our customers increase their productivity through proven automation, information systems, and sound operating procedures.

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  1. Thanks for sharing such useful tips. Purchasing of any Material Handling Equipment through online shopping is somewhat tricky as its difficult to find a reliable dealer and find a good purchase deal. It requires some research to get the best among all.

  2. These are very helpful tips! We recommend dealing only with authorized dealers of material handling equipment so buyers can be certain of the quality of their purchases.

  3. Mark says:

    Awesome tips! If you’re going to material handling equipment online be sure to only deal with reputable dealer

  4. Mark,

    I think your right on the money. I know we sell a lot of different items in our material handling store and one tip I would like to add is to make sure the product you are purchasing is a good product. Purchasing from an authorized dealer of a manufacture will ensure that you have both the company you purchased from and the manufacture standing fully behind your product. Frankly you’re asking for problems when you purchased that lift table out of the back of that guys truck!

  5. sack truck says:

    Great tips, very informative post. Please keep up this great work.

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