Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why Choose Sigma Plantfinder?
Sigma ensure we thoroughly check all of our machines we sell to you to make sure they are in a good working order ready to work when they arrive. We buy from trusted suppliers that we have built a long-term relationship with, so we know we are giving you excellent quality machines.
Our aim is to make sure the machine you require is right for you and suits your personal needs in order to complete your project. We get the machine to you on time with our excellent fast shipping service.
We are consistent with the tasks we carry out and have a fast response time with our customers to ensure your customer experience is relaxed and satisfied. Our dedicated shipping team give regular updates on what the current situation is. We want to help you with whatever requirements you have and also build a lasting long-term relationship with you.
When buying a machine from us, once delivered and you have begun to work on the project with the machine, we would like to know how your project is going as we are very keen on development around the world.
What is our Sales Process?
Our sales process starts from your first enquiry. Once we receive your enquiry, one of our sales team will contact you within 24 hours (unless over the weekend) and they will gather all the information they need regarding your requirements including make, model, year, hours and price. If we have the right machine for you in stock, we will offer it to you or we will pass the enquiry over to our sourcing team where they will begin to search for the machine depending on your requirements. Once a machine has been found we will offer it to you and send a quotation over, if you approve this we then get a shipping quote from the in-house shipping department. If you are happy with pricing, we can then agree the deal with you and send over an invoice. Once a deposit is received we then hand over to the shipping department, so they can organise the transportation of the machine. Once you have received the machine at your destination our aftersales team will be on hand to help you with anything you may need such as information or any spares and make sure everything ran smoothly for you.
How Do I Avoid Fraud?
Your machinery dealer should have an established website of their own and have a physical office that you van call on a fixed phone, not just a mobile. When you are considering purchasing from a dealer, always check their website and call the office number on the site to make sure it is answered in a business-like fashion. If the number you call is a house phone or if the number is a mobile number you should take extra steps to ensure the person you are dealing with is legitimate. The company name and address should also flag up on Google with a physical location map, make sure to call the number on Google as well and ask to speak to the person who you are dealing with. In a properly established company, there should be multiple persons manning the office and your queries should be answered swiftly and courteously.
How Can I Be Sure About the Physical Condition Of The Machine I’m Buying?
You should not need to physically carry out your own inspection of the machine you are buying – the dealer or supplier should have enough information to ensure that you are comfortable with buying the plant machinery or spares. Your supplier should be able to give you a consistent history of the machinery you are buying along with extra photos and videos to back this information up.
Does my machinery I buy from you come with a warranty?
If your machine is used then your supplier will not normally issue you with a warranty. If, however the unit has been refurbished or is brand new then it should carry either a manufacturer’s warranty or your dealer should issue you with a two months parts warranty that will be valid from the date it arrives at your port. If your dealer claims the machine is refurbished but is not prepared to issue a warranty, then the machine is probably not what it is represented as.
How can I be sure that the hour clock is showing the correct number of hours on the machine I have just been offered?
With used machinery, it is often difficult to ascertain via a service history that the hour clock has not been altered on the machine you have been offered. You should therefore ask your supplier to tell you where they purchased the machine from and to give you a full history of the owners. If they are unable to do this then it would indicate a doubtful pedigree or that the machine has been purchased from an auction site. Ensure that you get a straight through answer to this question. It is one of the most critical questions that you can ask.
Can I get an inspection report on the machine I have been offered?
The industry standard dictates that your supplier should be able to supply a manufacturers report for the machine you are about to purchase. There is normally a cost attached to this (in the region of $1500-4500 USD depending on the nature and extensiveness of the report) and this is normally paid up front. Your supplier should refund the cost of the report if you go ahead and purchase the machine.
What does the inspection report include?
The report is normally issued by the manufacturers of the machine and should include many photos, possibly a video and a condition report on the main components showing the percentage wear overall. In some instances, a third-party report may be issued if it is not possible or impractical to get this done by the original manufacturers of the equipment.
Can I ask my supplier to source other machinery that they don’t have on their inventory list?
After your first purchase, your supplier should be able and willing to source any machine you need within 24 hours. You will need to be specific as to the type, make, model, age and budget parameters. After this, you should expect to receive at least one offer within 24 working hours. If your supplier is not able or willing to do this then it indicates a lack of commitment to long term business relationships and you should be wary about the machinery you are considering purchasing from them.
What Security Checks do we carry out?
At Sigma our priority is making you feel comfortable throughout the whole sales process. To do this we run routine security checks with our suppliers and the machines. We are able to check companies before you purchase a machine and give you the full detailed results of the investigation. To be able to provide you with complete funds security a small handling fee will apply for this service.
Sigma also carry out pre-shipment inspections to either ensure the machine is in a good working order for our client, or to satisfy Import Customs Regulations in the country of destination. When a client requests a condition report we can source a highly skilled and experienced technician with knowledge on that specific machine. They can give us a full detailed insight into the condition.
What projects have we helped supply machines to around the world?
-Safricas – Congo – Goma Airport – This was a resurfacing contract we sold crushers and screens too.
-Sermatech – Airport bypass Calabar City in Nigeria
Can I pay by LC (Letter of Credit)?
Some buyers like to pay by an irrevocable LC at sight to ensure that the goods arrive. Your dealer should be prepared and willing to accept this as a payment instrument as a matter of course. If your dealer is not willing to accept an LC then they are not a competent exporter and should be avoided. The industry standard is that you will be asked to pay a 25-50% down payment up front by TT Transfer and the balance by an LC. 100% LC’s are not normally workable for the supplier and should be avoided.
If I pay a down payment, how can I be sure that this is safe?
If you pay a down payment or pay for your machinery via TT transfer up front then you need to be absolutely sure that your money is safe. Ask your supplier to give you references of other clients that they have sold to in your country and make sure they are on a solid financial foundation.
Can I get credit on my purchase?
Subject to credit status your supplier should be able to put you in touch with banks and finance companies in your own country that can help you with finance for your machine. Your supplier should also have contacts within the export finance department of their countries government that may be able to help. In the UK this is called UK Export Finance. Any lines of credit will of course be subject to status.
Shipping, Delivery and Aftersales FAQ’s
What do the various shipping terms mean?
Your supplier should be very clear on what the various shipping and delivery terms mean. You should make sure that on every quotation, the industry standard shipping terms are used in line with the Incoterms that are valid at the time of the invoice. If terms are used outside of these guidelines, then it indicates that the supplier is not a professional exporter. These terms include ones such as CIF, FOB, FCL and Ex Works. A full list of these and relevant explanations can be found on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incoterms
How do I clear customs in my own country?
Clearing customs is your own responsibility however your supplier should go to some effort to help you do this if you have not done so before. Ask your supplier to give you details of a reliable clearing agent in your home port and who can help you upon your machines arrival.
Should my supplier or dealer clear customs in the country or origin?
Yes, your supplier has a duty to undertake this part of the transaction for you regardless of how you are shipping the goods. If they are unwilling or unable to do this for you then do not purchase goods from them as you will find it extremely difficult to clear customs in the country of origin unless you are based there and have the relevant industry contacts.
How can I be sure that I will get back up with my purchase after delivery?
The industry standards dictate that your supplier or dealer should be able to help you install, commission and train your people how to use your equipment on site in any country of the world. It is only fair that when you are spending large sums of money you get back up regardless of your location. Ask your supplier for details of their travelling engineers and make sure they give you a quotation to supply this service. If they are unable or unwilling to do this, remember that their service is never better than before you buy! For lighter less complex machinery, make sure you have a parts and service backup in your country to call on in the first instance, your supplier/dealer however should always be on call to discuss operational/maintenance questions.
Can I ask my supplier to help me ship other goods and machines that I have not purchased from them?
Your supplier should be very happy to help you ship other goods and machines regardless of where you have purchased them from. They should have their own in house shipping department with whom you can talk to directly and who should be able to give you freight rates both inland and via sea/air/road freight and to any destination in the world.
How often should I expect updates on my shipment once I have purchased a machine from a dealer or a supplier?
The part of a transaction where you have paid for the goods and the supplier is due to deliver them to you via sea freight is often one of the most worrisome part of a deal for most clients. The industry norms indicate that you should expect a full, comprehensive and fully up to date report on the status of your shipment at least once a week. Your supplier should be able to give you the vessel name, the estimation time of shipment (ETS), estimated time of arrival (ETA) and the duration of the shipment. Silence from an exporter during shipment is not acceptable practice and should be reported on a relevant shipping blog site.
What are the documents required for shipment into Lagos – what can we provide for the customer?
For all machinery imports into Lagos the required documents that would need to be provided from the customer would be a Form M Number and also a BA Number. We can provide for you a commercial invoice, packing list, full set of bills of lading and some imported goods may need a Combined Certificate of Value and Origin (CCVO). For any other queries please contact our shipping department at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 (0) 1642 206100.
Where do we ship machines to?
Sigma can ship machines to wherever in the world including countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Iran, African Countries and European Countries. No matter where you are in the world we can find a way to get the machine to your required destination whether it’s by road, sea or air. We at Sigma assure you get your machine on time with no stress or hassle. You can reply on us to make the experience satisfying.