Buying new or used online or through the US
After 6 years of business, we've had a fair share of customers coming in looking for service on used equipment from eBay or from popular internet retailers through the US.
Most online outlets get sales through low sticker prices, but do not tell their customers about shipping or customs. For nearly all coffee equipment, expect shipping prices from $40 to $80 USD and customs fees normally from $40 to $70 and up (customs taxes the original value of an item). This applies to new equipment and equipment purchased over eBay. The initial good buy dissappears pretty fast.
The other problem with American equipment is it is usually not certified by CSA; this becomes a big problem for cafes, which need to pass regular electrical inspections to operate. Should you encounter problems with your equipment, most reputable repair shops will not fix anything not certified for Canada due to liability issues.
If you're buying used, there's no guarantee it will even work. Ask yourself:
-have you ever seen an espresso shot pulled from it or coffee ground from it?
-do you know if the boiler is rusted out or scaled?
-are the electrical connections free from corrosion?
-what is the service history? Was it used by a restaurant? How old is it?