Used Modular Drawer Cabinets?

Used Rousseau Cabinets

A Great Option… IF you can find them.

Today’s competitive economy demands efficiency of every organization.  Evaluating your current capacities, strengths, and weaknesses can lead to creative ideas for improved operations in manufacturing processes, work-in-progress parts storage, maintenance and MRO supply storage, and order picking layouts.  Sometimes those ideas will demand consolidation and reorganization of your storage or manufacturing facilities.  If you have read any of our previous posts, you will know that we strongly recommend the use of Rousseau drawer cabinets or drawers in shelving systems for greater storage density, faster picking and easier inventory counts.


However, although we know that more efficient storage systems have a high return on investment, installing all new drawer storage products can be costly. So, you may want to consider purchasing used or factory surplus drawer storage equipment from a professional equipment dealer to keep your initial costs lower.

Choosing used or factory surplus industrial drawers may be a good option for several reasons. First of all, if the exact equipment you need is available, then the lead time can be shorter and you can start your reorganization sooner. The cost will also be lower for used equipment; typically 25% to 40% less than the price of new equipment. One very lucky option would be to find used Rousseau brand modular drawers in good condition. The advantage of the Rousseau modular drawer system is that they are manufactured in true North American dimensions and are compatible for installation in most standard shelving sizes. You can purchase drawer adapter brackets for over 30 brands of shelving that will allow you to install the drawers in your existing shelving units. This can save up you to 50% of the cost of new drawers in shelving units by integrating the used drawers with your existing shelving system.


However, there are some downsides to looking at the used drawer storage option.  First and foremost, it is important to get a drawer system that is sized to fit your specific products. Most of the new drawer storage systems that are sold are designed with drawer sizes and heights to fit a specific storage application. It is not likely that you will find the exact sizes and quantities that will optimize your particular storage situation.

A well-networked used equipment dealer may be able to locate the equipment you need, but it may have to come from other areas of the country where they happen to have more of that particular item.  So, you may end up paying more for shipping charges than you anticipated. Or, since your exact specifications may not be immediately available in used equipment, you may need to be more flexible, and thus less efficient, than you would be with your preferred layout.

You also need to be cautious with the age of the equipment. There is a lot of used equipment available that is very old, often from a company that has already upgraded to newer and more modern equipment. The drawers in question may already be worn and ready to be retired. Investing in equipment that is not in excellent condition may leave you with large repair and replacement costs going forward. There are many older models where parts are not even available. So, before you buy, contact the original equipment manufacturer of the product to make sure you can get replacements components for that specific system.

You also need to be prepared for different payment terms than are customary for new equipment.  Since used equipment dealers usually pay cash for the equipment they buy, they need to be paid sooner than a new dealer who receives terms from his suppliers.

In conclusion, there are two key points that will help keep you safe when making a purchase of used modular drawer systems or components.

The first and most important is to Know the Dealer.

  • How long have they been in the Used Equipment business?
  • Do they respond in a professional manner to your requests?
  • What references can they give you in your field of business?
  • Can they handle all the freight & installation details if required?

The second is to Know the Equipment.

  • The equipment should be available for inspection: in person, by video, mobile video conferencing, or with photographs of the equipment. Verify the age of the equipment (and the pictures).
  • What would be the cost of comparable new equipment? You should have a quote for new equipment as a comparison, prior to the purchase of any used equipment.
  • Check with the original equipment manufacturer to be sure that parts will be available (either used or new) for this equipment in the future.

These are important considerations in any purchase you make for your company: Know your Dealer and Know the Equipment.

For questions or help with any Small Parts Storage Application:

Innovo Storage Systems 1 Goldsmith Street, Johnston, RI 02919  401-383-0883

e-mail us at:

See our used/surplus Rousseau Cabinet Specials:

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