Bakery mixers don't come cheap! You can save significantly if you are able to buy a used mixer, but only if that used mixer is in good condition. It's important to carefully inspect a used mixer before you agree to buy it. Here are the three main things you need to check for.
Are all the welds in good condition?
Bakery mixers undergo a lot of vibration as they work, especially if the bakery floor is not quite even, causing the mixer to rock back and forth a bit. All of this movement can eventually cause some of the welds holding the mixer together to weaken and crack. Look at all of the mixer's welded areas very closely. If some of them look to be separating or cracking, then you may be best off buying a different mixer. While a welder should be able to fix this issue, doing so can be expensive.
Also look at the welds on the mixer's attachments. Those on the whisk attachment, especially, tend to break over time. Broken welds on an attachment are not a deal breaker, since you can simply buy a new attachment, but you should take this into account when determining how much to pay for the used mixer.
Is the motor lubricant adequate and in good shape?
If possible, you should unscrew the mixer's outer covering and take a look at the motor. You don't have to be mechanically inclined to do a basic assessment of the motor's condition. Primarily, look at the lubrication. (Mixer motor lubricant is a thick, paste-like, oily substance.) Is there a lot of it, and is it white or clear in color? If the lubrication is black and lacking, this is a sign the mixer has not been maintained properly, which could suggest it's more likely to break down.
Is the belt in good shape?
While you have the cover off, take a peek at the belt that drives the motor. Make sure it is not fraying or torn. You can have a mixer's motor belt replaced, but this can cost a few hundred dollars — so if a mixer needs this maintenance, you had better make sure you get a great deal on it. Running a mixer with a frayed or torn belt can cause bigger issues, like an overheated motor, so you'll need to have this maintenance done right away.
Used mixers can be a real money-saver, but make sure you check the welds, belt, and lubrication before you buy. Contact a company that sells used bakery mixers to learn more.