Cheap Warehouse Racking: What Are You Really Getting?

Outfitting your facility with pallet racking is not a simple task, and it can often be a significant strain on your budget. If you’re looking for cost-effective options for pallet racking, you may be considering purchasing products from a less-than-reputable brand.

But what are you really getting when you purchase cheap warehouse racking? Is it worth it in the long run? Read on to learn more about the realities of buying cheap equipment for your warehouse.

Why You Don’t Want to Gamble on Cheap Equipment

Pallet racking is a critical component of any storage facility. It needs to stand up to hefty loads, bumps from lift equipment and everyday wear. While cheap equipment seems alluring at first, you often get what you paid for — which in this case is poor-quality racking.

So, what can you expect if you opt for a cheap option from a low-quality brand? 

Low Quality

It’s easy to look at a simple piece of equipment like pallet racking and think they’re all the same. You’ll find that many manufacturers produce common styles like teardrop pallet racking fairly often. While these racks may look similar in appearance, the differences in quality between brands can be quite stark.

For example, a popular brand like Interlake Mecalux puts its products through rigorous design and quality control practices. Not only will they use high-strength materials, but they’ll ensure the quality of welds, use robotic assembly for consistency and offer other features like enamel baked finishes or powder coating.

If you opt for products from a cheap brand without a good reputation in the industry, you won’t have many assurances of the overall quality of the pallet racking. It is still possible to find some less popular styles of pallet racking for cheaper prices that still provide quality, but those options are few and far between.

Pallet racking (pictured) is often a critical component of a warehouse. Low-quality racking is less reliable and can affect daily operations.

Structural Integrity

Most manufacturers make pallet racking of either roll-formed or structural steel. Each has its own advantages in terms of load-bearing capacity, strength and cost. What is often left out of the conversation is the quality of the steel and the welds.

If you’re buying cheap pallet racking from overseas suppliers, it’s hard to accurately determine the overall quality of the materials. American steel must meet specific regulations and quality control standards set by organizations like the American Society for Testing Materials (ASTM).

Moreover, most reputable companies will employ welders certified to American Welding Society (AWS) standards. Cheap brands that use outsourced steel and manufacturing won’t meet these standards — meaning manufacturers may compromise the overall structural integrity of the pallet racking before it makes it to your facility floor.

Ease of Installation

With cheap warehouse racking comes the possibility of irregularities in products. While a reputable brand will ensure every piece of equipment that leaves the manufacturing floor is up to quality standards, a cheap brand may opt out of a rigorous quality control process.

This might mean beams and uprights aren’t exactly similar sizes. This can cause quite a headache when it comes to assembly. Moreover, it might mean that racking systems from the same manufacturer won’t seamlessly fit with each other, making outfitting a large space difficult.


Combine all the above factors and you can see why cheap racking may not last. The steel may not be of high enough quality to make it through years of service, the welds may fail early or warped components might make safe assembly close to impossible.

It’s easy to see your equipment purchase as a solely upfront investment. But because this equipment should last you for years to come, thinking in longer time frames is beneficial. Cheap products might last a few years, but if you have to replace them too soon, you’re essentially paying double for a racking system.

For that price, you can find affordable, high-quality used equipment — if you know where to look.

Pallet racking (pictured) needs to stand up to years of storing heavy loads. Cheap racking does not offer the same longevity as quality products.

Is Buying Used Storage Equipment a Good Option?

Now that you understand the huge downsides to cheap racking, what are your other options? Since the allure of the cheap warehouse racking was the first thing to catch your attention, you’re most likely still looking for affordable equipment.

Used equipment is an excellent option for those looking for durable products at a fraction of the cost of buying new. Often, you can find products from major manufacturers that still have many reliable years of service in them. Since most reputable brands focus on durability and quality, you can still get high-quality products at used warehouse racking prices.

Keep in mind that not all used pallet racking is the same. Ensuring you trust your retailer is the key to finding quality equipment.


Looking for High-Quality Used Equipment That Won’t Tank Your budget?

At East Coast Storage Equipment, we carry a wide selection of quality used warehouse racking at competitive prices.CONTACT US

It’s All About Finding a Quality Retailer

If buying used appeals to you and your budget, your first move should be finding a quality retailer. You can find used equipment in many places, from Craigslist to liquidation sales. What’s often missing from the picture is the quality assurance and level of service provided by professional used equipment companies.

A professional equipment company like East Coast Storage Equipment will offer much more than used racking. You still get the low used warehouse racking prices, but equipment goes through quality checks and refurbishment to ensure you get the durability you need. Additionally, these companies will offer installation assistance and transportation services, so you’re not on your own when it comes to logistics.

Affordable Used Pallet Racking with East Coast Storage Equipment

Cheap warehouse racking might be a cost-effective option, but it might cause issues in the long run. Often, cheap brands use low-quality materials and subpar manufacturing processes to get costs low. As an alternative, used equipment is often both reliable and affordable.

If you’re looking for high-quality used racking that won’t break the bank, East Coast Storage Equipment can help. Our team of experienced storage specialists can help you with every step of the process, from planning your racking system to installation. Reach out today to learn more about what we can offer your facility.

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