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Old October 11th, 2009
AyatollahGondola AyatollahGondola is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 41
Default Ayatollah's Guide To Buying Used Gondola Shelving

In this thread, I will list some good points to consider when buying used gondola shelving

First thing to consider is used verses new gondolas. Prices of new gondolas can vary widely between manufacturers and dealers, and also are very changeable due to fluxuating steel and transportation prices. Buying new usually gaurantees you a top notch look and simpler installation. The price can be drastically high as compared to used though, depending upon the factors mentioned above. when steel is high as it was a few years ago, the manufacturers raised prices. Similarly, if the price of fuel is high, you will pay premiums on getting new to your door. But overpriced used could lead you down the same path, and you could have problems with parts, quality, or the installation if it is not delivered or obtained in good condition. A careful analysis should be done if you have access to both new and used.

To highlight the major factors on buying new:

Cost of product =

Shipping Cost =

Taxes =

Installation cost =


= total cost

To highlight the major factors on buying used

Cost of product =

Delivery or shipping costs =
(if you are removing it from a closed store, you still must add in fuel, truck rental, hired labor if any, and your own labor unless you like working for free)

Cleaning costs = (if you are buying used from a dealer that sells it "as-is", or removing it from someone else's closed store, it will be dirty, have tape, price tags, chewing gum stuck to it underneath, etc)

Repainting Costs =
(not recommended. If you have to paint your gondola's for any reason other than you want them a very special color, repainting is usually a cost prohibitive task for the general user. I will cover this in another part of this thread

Installation costs =(Factor in a little more for used, because you may have to straighten bent parts)

Taxes =

__________________________________________________ _______

= Total Cost
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Old October 11th, 2009
AyatollahGondola AyatollahGondola is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 41

Buying used from a dealer:

If you find a dealer that has the product you need or want, here are some important guidelines and points:

1) The brand
Take care to note if the brand is something you can get parts for if you want to add on to it later, or if you have to replace ANY parts before you install them. If you cannot buy parts, you are not going to make them somehow without some serious damage to your wallet.

2) The components
Make sure to get all the parts needed to assemble them, and they are all matching brands (there are a few exceptions, but mostly brands of gondolas don't interchange where component parts are concerned). If you are missing any components, you will likely not be able to assemble them.
Gondola shelving manufacturers have very specific sizes in width, spacing, etc. If you get shelves from one brand that are 48" wide, but have another brand of component parts that when assembled equal 47-7/8" wide, you will be stuck. All the parts are this way, including peg boards, which you can cut smaller, but not make bigger if they are too short. The metal ties and such you cannot make bigger and smaller. They have to fit.
My recommendation is that you review a breakdown of what parts are needed to assemble them, and then count all the individual pieces to make certain thay are all there, and all the same.

2)The Quality

If you are using your gondolas in a food related or highly visual display area, this one is a big concern. Used gondolas when taken care of will last a long time and still maintain their attraction. If they have been really used, never cleaned, or have been exposed to weather, hard chemicals like bleach, and the dealer is selling them "as-is", you could be in for some hard work, and possibly never have the look you desire. in addition, if the surfaces are not up to a certain acceptable quality in a food related application, you may install them and have your local health department not pass your inspection.

Rust, when really set in to the steel, is a major concern. Surface rust that washes off is no big deal. If your gondola parts have been allowed to sit in the rain or other weather, this is a big deal. I am always skeptical when I go look at gondolas that are outside in the weather when I buy. Especially when wrapped in plastic, because that is what holds the water in even after the rain stops. Stacking the parts close together also holds the water in, and a perfectly good looking shelf from the side could be totally rusty on the top when you take it off the stack.

Paint is another big concern. If the paint is coming off, that could indicate age or abuse by products that were stored on them. Most gondola manufacturers used a very quality paint on them, and I've seen last for decades if treated well. However, nothing lasts forever, and especially so under intense use. The bleach aisle in a grocery store usually is a killer for paint jobs, and canned foods aisle can be another for constant wear.
Repainting shelves is a tough job to do right. If you don't do it right, all the paint you put on will come right off within a few weeks of use in your store. I've seen this quite often, even when so-called professional painters do the work. People that paint houses are not usually qualified to do metal stuff like gondolas. It requires different prep work and different paint.
Here is something very important to consider about repainting:
If someone tries to repaint a shelf with a cheap method, the paint looks good for a short time, and peels right off. In addition, taking off what they have done is harder and more expensive than buying a new shelf. If I find repainted gondolas, I usually pass. Well, I pretty much always pass. I am a pro at cleaning and prepping used gondola shelving, and I have spent years removing debris, tape, chewing gum, and other surface materials from the metal, but paint is the hardest and most time consuming. And if you paint over some already peeling paint that someone else has used on there improperly, then your new paint will come off with it or peel too.

Bent, Broken, or Dented Parts

Trying to straighten a bent shelf is a useless task. It the dents are in areas near the front, side brackets or trim, it is almost impossible. Broken weld spots are another area to look for. The brackest need to be welded to the sheet metal tops or the shelf will not be strong. The cross ties are also something to inspect, as they have small "spears" that have to fit into slots snugly. If all the spears are bent, you have to take time to straighten them as you install it. If any spears are broken off, your gondola may fall apart under a load. Likewise, be sure your crossties are straight or they will not fit in well.
Uprights are usually hard to bend, so the only common concern for them is that they have the adjuster screw on the bottom. If the screw is broken off, or it won't turn, you'll have to free them up or replace them or your gondola will not be level when you finish, and then your products will not sit on the shelves straight. The "feet" leg of the gondola also need to have adjuster screws that are straight, and freely turn or you will have similar problems
The pegboard must be consistently the same size, and that size needs to be precise as to the original manufacturers specifications. If it's as little as 1/16" too big you will fight the installation of every other part. If the boards are too short, your gondola will wiggle, or the back panel may fall out and cause the gondola to collapse. When inspecting pegboards, keep in mind that if they have been allowed to get wet, the board often swells up or warps. That not only makes it hard to install, but may not look good either. You can paint peg boards fairly easy, because they are wood. Pegboards are not as problematic when it comes to repainting them

Last edited by AyatollahGondola; October 11th, 2009 at 03:42 PM.
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