Should I Buy a Used Safe? Why Second-Hand isn’t Second Best

Published by Sharni on

Should I Buy a Used Safe? Why Second-Hand isn't Second Best

Considering making that all important security investment and buying a safe for your home or business? Discover why used safes are worth thinking about.

When it comes to safes for sale, you might think that going for a second-hand option is a bit like opting for a used mattress — old, worn and really not up to the job. But this misconception could have you missing out on some incredible products.

Let’s be fair. A used safe in a bad condition is not going to do anyone any favours. But the term ‘used’ or ‘refurbished’ can actually cover a variety of different units and options. Find the right used safe, and you’ll find a product worth buying.

Why You Shouldn’t Discount Used Safes

Modern safes are built to last. They are built to be secure and withstand anything thrown at them. This means that a used safe can be just as effective at securing your belongings as one that rolled off the production line this morning. When it comes to safes, only two things matter where security is concerned:

  • Maintenance
  • Safety features

A five year old safe, that has been well-looked after, is going to be as durable and hard-wearing today as it was when it was put together. And those security features (be they digital access codes, combination locks, thick-deadbolts, reinforced steel, etc) are still going to be as reliable at keeping would-be thieves at bay as they would have ever been.

A used safe isn’t like a car part or piece of furniture that gets worn down with general use until it needs replacing. Unless it has been left out in very harsh environmental conditions, or had multiple break-in attempts, it will still be a powerhouse of physical security.

Should I Buy a Used Safe? The Benefits of Refurbished Units

What is the point of buying a used safe when there are so many new units available on the market? Generally, this comes down to two reasons:

  • Better safes at lower prices — Like most products, you’ll find a new unit comes out at a higher premium than a used safe. The result is that you may not be able to afford the brand new safe you want or need. However, used safes can offer protection to rival more expensive products at lower costs. Where budgets are concerned, used safes can really help you get more bang for your buck!
  • Out of production models — Safes come in all shapes and sizes, featuring unique designs and features with all different weights and fitting requirements. Thanks to this diversity and variety, you may find that the perfect safe for your home or business is out there, but no longer in production. Buying a used safe may be the only option you have to get the unit that fits your exact needs or desires.

Is a Used Safe Really Secure? Common Concerns Answered

We understand that you may have concerns or reservations about purchasing a new safe. Why shouldn’t you? A safe is a piece of security hardware. It’s a slice of safety that provides you with peace of mind and keeps valuables secure.

You don’t want to be using second-rate products.

As we have hopefully explained already, a used safe in the right condition is far from a second-rate unit, but you may still have your worries. Let’s address the common concerns we are asked about at All About Safes on a regular basis:

Q: How can a used safe be secure if it’s had previous owners?

If you buy a second-hand safe privately, this concern is fairly justified. How can you be sure previous owners aren’t retaining some form of access, such as keys or unknown master combinations? If you buy from a safe specific retailer like LockCorp Locksmiths, however, you can be rest assured that your used safe has been refurbished to the highest of standards and quality checks, including examinations and replacements of locking mechanisms if necessary. To put it simply, you know its secure if you buy your used safe from the right place.

Q: How can an old safe keep my valuables secure if it doesn’t have new security features?

Brand new safes have a wide-range of security features, from biometric security to multi-level digital access. Used safes, by contrast, may not have these. However, no decent safe is built without adequate security befitting of its needs. Despite the fact that it isn’t brand new off the production line, that doesn’t mean the security features the used safe employs aren’t advanced enough to keep out burglars and thieves. The answer here is to do your research into the used safe you are buying. Read the specifications of the security features — do they appear to provide appropriate protection? It isn’t a question of being used that makes the difference, it is simply the quality of the product you are looking at.

Q: How can I be sure there isn’t hidden wear-and-tear?

On the surface, your desired used safe may appear in tip-top condition. But what about beneath the casing? Concerns often arise about hidden issues, such as with wear-and-tear on locking mechanism and hinges. Again, this all comes down to buying from the right safe provider. A unit that has been refurbished to high standards is of no concern, a unit that hasn’t may be questionable. Ensure you are buying from a trusted retailer who guarantees quality in their used safes and you won’t have any issues.  

Should I Buy a Used Safe? When a Used Safe is Not Right for You

While we can argue the merits of a used safe all day, there are occasions when a used safe is actually second-best and should be avoided. So what should you be looking out for when buying a second-hand safe to make sure you aren’t going to face the consequences of poor security?

  • Unbelievable prices — A used safe is going to be cheaper than a new safe of the same make and model, but if it’s in good condition it isn’t going to be a dramatic price reduction. If the cost of the used safe seems to good to be true, like most things in life, it probably is. Be cautious of used safes that are priced way below typical market value.
  • Poorly looked after — It takes a lot to batter a modern safe into something that looks bruised and beaten. If you are seeing signs of rust, damage to casing or impingement on locking mechanisms, avoid like the plague is locked inside it.
  • Private or unknown sellers — Private sellers of used safes, such as on websites like eBay or Gumtree, may be tempting. Their prices are often lower and there is a convenience to going down the road to pick up your safe immediately. But, be warned. These safes aren’t evaluated for safety standards or refurbished to ensure comprehensive security. Private purchases of used safes come with risk factors and, if something should go wrong, you’ll have nowhere to turn.

It lacks the necessary security features — Depending on your security needs, you’ll require certain levels of safety features in place to ensure appropriate protection of your valuables. While you may find a decent and high-quality used safe, if it doesn’t have the right features (including locking standards, sizing and cash-ratings) then it’s best to avoid and instead purchase a product that meets your demands, rather than going for a unit that isn’t quite up to the task.

How to Find a Secure and Reliable Used Safe

Getting the best used safe revolves around two things:

  1. The right retailer
  2. The right safe

If you can find that, you can reap the benefits of a well-refurbished unit and the added security of purchasing a safe, without any fear of buying a substandard product. So where do you go?

Specialist retailers, such as us here at LockCorp Locksmiths, are your best bet. We offer used safes refurbished as new in a vast array of different sizes, prices and specifications. We always guarantee our used safes are completely secure and uncompromised. Browse our handpicked selection of used safes that are refurbished in-house by our qualified engineers and find exactly what you are looking for.

Still asking yourself that all-important question  should I buy a used safe? Looking for a bit more personalised advice on what you need? Contact our safe experts today. We’re ready to offer free and impartial support about what unit you should be looking for, and help you through every step of the buying process!