We have bitter experience of buying espresso machines off eBay and did so in the vein hope of saving some money. Well it’s a complete false economy; we have bought four espresso machines from eBay and only one worked properly. The first one leaked everywhere and the engineer quoted a fortune for repairing it, it’s an Eagle and now sits as a great ornament in our Church St emporium. The second arrived and had issues with pressure so we returned it.
The third machine was a Costa CMA hand down but the pressure was never quite correct and it made terrible coffee, so it was used for a matter of weeks then dispatched.
The fourth and final came from a bar that had just gone under and we were able to meet the guy and find out its history (he had bought it 6 months prior to try and improve day time sales). We still use this machine today and it has worked fine after it was given a quick service.
You are better off buying a used car on eBay than you are buying an espresso machine. Used cars come with documentation, service histories and you can do checks on them. Espresso machines typically come with nothing – you don’t know if they have been used with a water filter or not, how many cups of coffee they have made or how often they have been serviced.
All in all we have lost a £1000+ in engineers fees and dodgy second hand espresso machines, and so my advice is only buy new or from a trusted supplier who can vouch for the serviceability of the machine. There is no such thing as an espresso machine bargain.