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Crucial Considerations for Buying Used Wooden Pallets

06 Oct 2017

Sourcing used wooden pallets instead of new ones can offer substantial savings to those who know how to identify a quality product. However, buying used pallets can also be a pitfall if buyers don’t know what they are looking for. Getting stuck with a poor-quality pallet can lead to product damage and a loss of money. But that doesn’t mean buyers should avoid this market altogether. Armed with an understanding of what makes a good pallet and a good relationship with your supplier, there are bargains to be found.

a wooden pallet

Know Your Grades

Recycled pallets are graded according to quality. AAA or Club Grade pallets are ‘as new’ in every sense of the word, Grade A is ‘as new’ with possible discolouration and Grade B is still good but with some repairs such as plates, new companion stringers and plugs. But although this seems simple enough, you should know that many suppliers use different grading systems. So before you buy, get clarification from the seller.

Considering Recycled Pallets

Recycled pallets are considered equal to used wooden pallets. In this case, several pallets have been broken down and a new pallet created, or a pallet has been repaired using a part from another. This process should not be frowned upon, as it keeps costs down for both the buyer and the seller and supports corporate sustainability. If your supplier is also willing to build recycled pallet to custom sizes, you can certainly get some more added value out.

Shop with a Certified Supplier

ISPM-15 stamped pallets can also be bought second-hand, but as with other pallets, it is critically important that these come from a certified seller. Certain rules apply to ISPM-15 stamped pallets, such as the need to completely erase the mark once a pallet has been repaired, and falling foul of this rule can see your products impounded as they cross borders, particularly in the US.

Cut Out the Middleman

With time and work pressures mounting, it can be all too easy to ask a less experienced person in your office or business to source your used wood pallets. As often is the case, they end up looking online and coming across an agent who promises the best pallets for the lowest price. We’re not saying these are scams, but they do make a profit off both you and the seller. For this reason, getting to know a supplier and buying a number that will come with a lower price is a much better option. What’s more, speaking directly to the supplier ensures that your needs from the pallet don’t get lost along the way.

Ask About Service

Once you’ve found the used wooden pallets you’ve been looking for, it’s time to ask about guarantees, warranties and delivery. Paying attention to the small print can make all the difference to keeping your supply chain moving and your customers happy.

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