To buy or lease equipment? What do you do?


New member
May 19, 2005
SW Florida
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I thought about this and go back and forth.

Anyone here lease? The benefits to that would be the maintance. I remember working in a place and the machine was serviced and that was an expense. Sometimes not done the right way and when you have 20 or capps to make at once you want equipment to work properly.

With a lease you just make a call and work is done right?

Maybe in the long run the most cost effective way to go would be to lease?

What do you think from your experience?


Nov 3, 2004
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It is difficult to lease commercial espresso equipment as a startup business, startup normally being defined as a company operating in the same line of business for less than 2 years.

A few years back, banks were very excited about the prospect of a new booming capital equipment market (coffee shops) and started writing a lot of small dollar equipment leases ($15k and less) to new prospects - unfortunately, those banks soon learned that an electrical device that has water continuously flowing though it under high heat and pressure is not good collateral.

As a number of these businesses failed, the banks were left with worthless equipment that had been destroyed by improper preventative maintainence. Financial institutions learned that a failing coffee shop does not replace its water softeners; as a result, there was a strict tightening of the purse strings and I have since found that few lenders offer a reasonable product designed for new businesses leasing coffee equipment. Incidentally, you should avoid used, remarketed or repossessed espresso machines for this same reason.

The coffee equipment leases for startups that I have reviewed in the last few years have been very expensive with extremely high interest rates and some annoying "features," specifically, the inability to prepay principal on your loan or buyout the agreement without some kind of penalty. In many cases, we've learned that the referring equipment dealer or manufacturer may receive a "spiff" or referral bonus that is financed into the agreement, unbenownced to and paid for by the lessee.

We often recommend to clients the straight-out purchase of equipment using other forms of finance as being a preferable alternative. A secured bank loan, SBA assisted loan, personal line of credit (such as a home equity line of credit) and even credit cards can offer less expensive and more flexible solutions.

You or someone else here may be able to find a good lender that offers a competitive product of which we are unfamiliar, in which case, send them our way - we've got a lot of people that would like to meet them!