The Pros and Cons of Buying New, Used, and Refurbished Bulk Containers

So, you’re in the market for reusable, bulk containers. There’s a myriad of factors to consider before settling on a specific container: the material, type, size, and features of a specific container should all be taken into account.

And, as you probably know from your research, most suppliers offer containers used, new, and refurbished. Determining how to purchase containers really comes down to your budget and personal preferences.
Warehouse with bulk containers
In general, buying used or refurbished pallet containers, storage bins, wire baskets, and totes is a good option for most people. Not only are these containers more cost-effective, but they can also help deter waste by preventing old containers from heading to the landfill.
Therefore, buying new containers is a bit less risky and has some benefits of its own. Which one is best for your needs and bottom line? Let’s take a look.

Buying New: An Overview

New bulk containers are often the immediate choice for operations where budget isn’t concern number one. With that being said, reusable bulk containers are a cost-conscious option, no matter if they’re new or not. Compared with purchasing disposable or cardboard containers, they’ll save you big bucks over the long-haul, since they can be reused an infinite amount of times.
Although the majority of our used containers come completely clean, sanitized and in great shape, you know you’re getting a 100 percent clean and contamination-free container when you buy new. Still, it’s important to take into account that you’re going to pay a relatively hefty premium when you order containers brand new. However, when you opt for new containers, you’ll have the opportunity to get exactly what you need.

New Containers: Pros

  • Order as many as you need
  • Customizable to any application
  • Can be resold later down the road
  • Location is not a concern

New Containers: Cons

  • More expensive upfront
  • Not as eco-friendly as buying used

Buying Used: An Overview

The most obvious benefit to buying used bulk containers is that it’s absolutely the most cost-effective option. Purchasing bulk containers is one of the most expensive things to consider when developing a material handling budget, and buying used means major savings, often without a huge difference in quality. Used containers are also the eco-friendlier option for green businesses, since they don’t require additional plastics and materials for production.
Pallet of bulk containers
Because today’s bulk containers are so well-made and are designed to be reused again and again, they often outlive their specific need, which means many companies quickly turn them around to recoup profits. Some of our used containers have only been utilized for short periods of time, which makes them almost as good as new.
There are some downfalls, though. When buying used, you’re at the mercy of the marketplace, meaning what you need may not be available. However, Container Exchanger’s team will go the extra mile to help you find the appropriate used products.

Used Containers: Pros

  • The most cost-conscious option
  • Lower prices mean you can purchase more
  • An eco-friendlier option

Used Containers: Cons

  • Some limitations in terms of quantity available
  • May have some visible wear and tear
  • Not inspected for functionality
  • May be limitations in terms of location

Buying Refurbished: An Overview

For the best of both worlds, consider investing in refurbished bulk containers. These products have been used in the past but go through a stringent refurbishing process to make sure they not only operate at their best, but they also look newer than your standard used options. In containers that have hardware, casters, uprights, supports, and other components, these pieces will often have been recently replaced.
bulk container
Unlike used styles, refurbished options are inspected by a team of experts and are 100 percent functional. In other words, you know you’re getting a good working product when you opt for a refurbished container.
Our refurbished containers and products are typically marked as either refurbished or reconditioned under the product listing. You can also use the handy filters on our online store to filter your results by new, used or refurbished.

Refurbished Containers: Pros

  • Cost-effective when compared with buying new
  • Typically come in better shape than non-refurbished options
  • Inspected and 100 percent functional

Refurbished Containers: Cons

  • Some limitations in terms of quantity available
  • May have some visible wear and tear