Industry websites like Industrial Machinery and Sterling Machinery both offer access to large catalogs of used goods and access to refurbishing services, while online marketplaces like eBay boast extensive listings for used machinery such as lathes. Both options provide the ease of online ordering and shipping.
Sterling Machinery supplies all kinds of industrial machinery and parts. Their supply of used lathes is dependent on the resale market and time of year, but it is generally extensive and well refurbished. Machines are typically suitable for immediate use in an up-to-code factory equipped to handle and oversee their safe operation.
Industrial Machinery's website and resale service maintain similar standards. The advantage of dealing with a supplier, even if the costs are higher, is that their services must meet industry standards while online marketplaces like eBay do not regulate such practices. Machinery purchased from an online auction house does not have guarantees on its status beyond site policy.
eBay and other auction houses do offer lower prices, though, and the ability to bid on certain lots. This means that acquiring a used lathe could be much easier and cheaper with a little attentiveness and focus on the task. Once the lathe is acquired it is imperative to clean and inspect it independently before operating it.