Do Kafatek, Weber, Versalab or Option-O Service Second Hand Grinders?

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
LewBK
Posts: 526
Joined: 5 years ago

#1: Post by LewBK »

I was wondering if anyone has ever purchased a used grinder here or on Ebay, had problems and contacted the manufacturer and asked for help. How responsive have they been? Do they honor warranties on second-hand grinders if the grinder is still under warranty? Will they repair the grinder if it is second hand and out of warranty? I believe Baratza does this, but I wondered about these smaller boutique fancy grinder makers.

gongfugang
Posts: 33
Joined: 1 year ago

#2: Post by gongfugang »

Of the four you mention Kafatek seems the most likely to help-though you don't often see Monoliths needing any more help than Denis can give on the Kafatek forums. I emailed him for his advice about buying an MC5 used and he said basically if the grinder's exterior is fine and it runs, you're in good shape (ie it's not likely you'd buy a running one and it would die in a month or whatever). Option O has been super helpful with my questions about my P64, but I did just buy it (from Prima, so not directly from the manufacturer) and it didn't need repair, just some guidance and help.

LewBK (original poster)
Posts: 526
Joined: 5 years ago

#3: Post by LewBK (original poster) »

I thought Kafatek would help on second-hand grinders, but then I saw this post here and it made me question that assumption: [SOLD] Kafatek Monolith Max - Modified

flyingtoaster
Posts: 198
Joined: 4 years ago

#4: Post by flyingtoaster replying to LewBK »

I saw that too and it made me apprehensive about ordering an MC5. However, there are enough people with good feedback that I proceeded with the order.

mborkow
Supporter ♡
Posts: 491
Joined: 16 years ago

#5: Post by mborkow »

I think that grinder has a backstory...I asked the seller but never got a response.

I don't see the value right now buying used. If I'm willing to spend $3k on a used grinder I'd be fine spending a few hundred more and buying direct from the manufacturer. That additional money adds a lot of value: warranty and establishing a relationship w the vendor. I'm currently in the market for one too...but the used asking prices don't make sense.

User avatar
CaptPat
Posts: 77
Joined: 16 years ago

#6: Post by CaptPat »

LewBK wrote:I thought Kafatek would help on second-hand grinders, but then I saw this post here and it made me question that assumption: [SOLD] Kafatek Monolith Max - Modified
I saw that too and figured there was more to the story. I purchased my MC4/5 off of the Kafatek forums, not worried about getting assistance should it ever be required.
Duct tape can't fix stupid but it can muffle the sound.

bettysnephew
Posts: 658
Joined: 8 years ago

#7: Post by bettysnephew »

In defense of Denis, the first owner should have dealt with Kafatek when an issue turned up, not immediately sold the grinder. There was admitted damage from being dropped and also the grinder had been modified as stated in the ad. Scratches also raise other questions as to treatment. Would you as a manufacurer offer to do warranty work on such an item? I know I would not, way too many variables and questions as to what was going on or had happened. Kafatek grinders are precision machines and can be damaged by improper disassembly and reassembly as they are built to extremely tight tolerances. He has very explicit instructions as to how the grinder is opened up for cleaning which are not necessarily what appear to be the obvious procedure upon initial examination. Yes, you can accuse me of being a fanboy of Denis grinders, but I am because of my background in many years of working on precision production machinery that was built at very high tolerance levels. Precision machining and design yield good results in the final product and do not well tolerate heavy handedness in maintenance or treatment.
Suffering from EAS (Espresso Acquisition Syndrome)
LMWDP #586

LewBK (original poster)
Posts: 526
Joined: 5 years ago

#8: Post by LewBK (original poster) »

In defense of Denis, the first owner should have dealt with Kafatek when an issue turned up, not immediately sold the grinder. There was admitted damage from being dropped and also the grinder had been modified as stated in the ad. Scratches also raise other questions as to treatment. Would you as a manufacurer offer to do warranty work on such an item? I know I would not, way too many variables and questions as to what was going on or had happened.
This assumes there isn't a third way. Warranty work is generally free or discounted. But a damaged second hand grinder out of warranty could still be repaired--for a cost--by the manufacturer. They could easily say, you pay the shipping costs and I'll give you an estimate how much it costs to repair this grinder and you can decide whether you want to pay that or not. But in this example, Kafatek refused to even look at the grinder in need of repair and provide an estimate of repair costs. So, I'm wondering which manufacturers will repair their used out-of-warranty grinders, even at a cost. At least, then if you buy used, you know you have a resource to turn to in the event of problems.

User avatar
jrcdzn
Posts: 23
Joined: 4 years ago

#9: Post by jrcdzn »

To me, this raises the question of our community's desire to race to the bottom (pricing) on high-end equipment that requires extensive R&D and high craftsmanship for assembly.

Suppose you look at most of the brands mentioned in this thread that are being sold on this forum alone. There is not much difference from the price of buying it directly from the manufacturers. It's worth the cost to purchase these directly from the manufacturers as most, as mentioned early, are assembled by a very mall operation to ensure quality and performance. Arguably your only advantage is a faster acquisition. There is merit to that, but perhaps it comes at the cost of losing some level of support.

To the extent of the post about the Kafatek that was sold on this forum because of the lack of support for the second buyer. There was more to the story as pointed out by others.

I am guilty of the above myself; of course, there is an appeal in acquiring some of these high-demand items faster and cheaper. That desire is outweighed by my sense of responsibility to work directly with the people invested in giving us great tools for our hobby.

I say all this after I contacted Acaia and asked the same question about the Orbit. So yes, I am guilty of the same. As they answered my questions about supporting a secondhand item that was a first release, I realized what I was asking. It was not a fair proposal, as they are admittedly continuing to improve that product and are making decisions based on the feedback of first adopters.

All of this is to ask, why are WE so cheap? That we would compromise with those organizations trying to facilitate our silly hobby. Myself included.

If the price of a premium grinder is not for you, that is ok; your dollar is your vote. Expecting to find a "steal of a deal" secondhand and have it supported by the manufacturer may not be reasonable. Even the notion of paying for repair on their product on the surface seems reasonable, but do you want them manufacturing or repairing the product? Sometimes you may find local resources that can be more effective at repair, thus supporting local businesses.

Let the flaming begin!

LewBK (original poster)
Posts: 526
Joined: 5 years ago

#10: Post by LewBK (original poster) »

No flaming necessary. Interesting viewpoint and valid from one perspective. But I think there is also an interesting counter to it. We live in a disposable culture. I threw out a toaster recently I'd had for a few years and it wasn't functioning properly anymore. It cost me maybe $30 to buy it. So, I figured it wasn't worth the cost of repairing and bought a new one. The new one requires resources to build and the old one will now sit in a gigantic landfill somewhere, another discarded object polluting our planet.

But a $2,000 grinder is worth repairing. In fact, I think a $500 one even is. And there are manufacturers who seem to have that repair not replace ethos. My impression is Baratza is-or perhaps was before they were acquired-this way. If you have a problem, you send it back to the manufacturer and they fix it-for a price. Less landfill. Less waste. And before saying, fix it yourself, bear in mind not everyone is a handy engineer like some of the posters here. It is nice to know which manufactures stand behind their products for life even if they will charge you to repair them.