Buy Graded Commercial Refrigeration

Whether you’re a new-start business looking to fully kit out your kitchen, or an established premises replacing existing equipment, it can be a pricey affair. There are multiple buying choices available for businesses that want to get maximum bang for their buck but you need to know where to look. An increasingly popular, yet little known option for those with an eagle-eye for a bargain is to search out graded commercial refrigeration.

Graded equipment will be relatively new and in the most part, unused. Units will often be current models but at a discounted price. These deals are available through your standard commercial refrigeration supplier, where you would typically go for new ‘A grade’ equipment, so get in touch today and see what’s in stock.

Green graded sticker on equipment

What is Graded Commercial Refrigeration?

Customers may find, on receipt of their order, that they've ordered the wrong size or, sometimes, the wrong unit altogether. In some cases, the refrigeration they've ordered is fine apart from the small scratch or dent that has occurred during transit. In any of these situations, customers obviously want to send their order back.

When an order is dispatched to the customer, the delivery received and the product unwrapped, it automatically falls into the 'used' category and cannot be resold as new. It is this returned equipment that is sold off as ‘graded’ stock - the perfect opportunity for businesses to bag a bargain.

How is Equipment Graded?

Example of dents, scratch and scuff on graded equipment

The condition in which the manufacturer receives the returned equipment will be used to categorise the grade and determine the level of discount applied. Obviously D grade equipment will offer the largest savings however will have more damage than a B or C grade. All graded commercial refrigeration will operate and perform as new refrigeration should, the differences generally being aesthetic.

You may be able to get your hands on a pristine unit that was just the wrong size for the customer or alternatively, equipment that works perfectly but may have suffered a scratch or dent meaning that the aesthetics aren't quite as good as they could be.

As a general rule, equipment will be allocated to one of three grades:

B Grade – Very good condition with no marks and protection film on, but not in original packaging.

C Grade – Slight aesthetic damage with minor scratches or dents.

D Grade – Significant damage to panels. May also include reconditioned or refurbished equipment.

Whichever grade is available, you're sure to get a great deal.

Positives and Potential Drawbacks of Graded Commercial Refrigeration

Positives of Buying Graded Commercial Refrigeration

Green tickAll manufacturers offer graded stock
Green tickYou can get premium brands for less and equipment that you may otherwise not be able to afford
Green tickManufacturers including Fosters, Hoshizaki and True sell all of their graded stock with the same level of warranty cover as an A grade piece of equipment
Green tickDelivery of graded equipment is carried out in exactly the same way as when buying A grade refrigeration
Green tickFosters will include graded commercial refrigeration on their 0% interest-free credit plan meaning that you not only get market-leading equipment for less but you can also repay the total in manageable monthly repayments
Green tickLook out for Mature Stock. Manufacturers such as Fosters, True and Hoshizaki include units classed as ‘mature stock’ on their graded lists of equipment. Whereas graded refrigeration will have some level of cosmetic damage, whether that be a single small scuff or multiple scratches, mature stock is pristine. It has often never been unwrapped let alone used however will generally be a model that is over 12 months old. Again, the product is sold with a full warranty so even if there is a rare situation where you experience a problem, you’re fully covered for replacement parts and engineers call-outs where the issue is deemed to be due to manufacturer fault.

Potential Drawbacks when Buying Graded Commercial Refrigeration

While premium manufacturers may offer full parts and labour warranty, mid-range and budget brands will typically sell graded equipment with a limited warranty cover. Should you experience any issues outside of the warranty period, the amount of money you saved during the initial purchase could be spent on engineers call-outs and replacement parts. Always check the level of warranty cover supplied before you purchase
There is no guarantee that the equipment you're looking for will be included on any graded stock lists. This means that you might have to wait to find the exact piece you're looking for

Is Buying Graded Commercial Refrigeration Right for You?

If you’re working with a tight budget, buying graded commercial refrigeration can be the perfect solution. Not only do you get fully functioning refrigeration that’s more than able to get the job done, but you could save hundreds of pounds in the process.

Graded stainless steel glass door refrigerator

Some businesses may be hesitant about investing in equipment that could potentially have a degree of cosmetic damage however it can make great business sense.

When you pay full price for pristine units you will generally find that after a few weeks in the rough and tumble of a commercial kitchen they will probably have a few scuffs, after all when chefs have armfuls of ingredients how else do they shut the door other than giving it a nudge with their foot! You’ve spent an additional few hundred pounds to experience a shiny sparkling piece of equipment for a brief period of time.

Front of house equipment will obviously be customer-facing and so aesthetic damage may not be preferable. Not all damage, however, will be on panels visible to the customer. For instance, slight damage to the top of an under counter bottle cooler won't actually be seen due to it sitting beneath the bar. Likewise, an ice cream display may have minor damage to the rear of the unit that the customer will never see. Before you buy always ask where the damage is. Any reputable supplier should be able to tell you the level of damage, where it appears on the unit and may even be able to supply photographs.

Ultimately, whether you choose to buy graded equipment or not depends on your business’s personal circumstances, requirements and preferences.

How Do You Find Graded Equipment? 

Buying graded commercial refrigeration can lead to some real bargains if you can find them. The availability of graded models is constantly changing and it’s unpredictable as to what will be available and when. The massive savings that can be made mean that graded stock is hot property and is sold as quickly as it comes in. This makes it very hard to maintain and keep any kind of buying page up to date. It is very much a ‘first come first serve’ and ‘when it’s gone it’s gone’ scenario.

Get In Touch

To check the availability of graded stock please contact our sales team today on 01455 815200, by email or via our Live Chat to discover the savings you could be making.