Buying a band saw for cheap is a matter of smart shopping and using any resource available to you. By asking around to see if anyone is trying to get rid of one, you can save yourself quite a bit of money over buying new. Metal shops often have equipment they rarely use, so simply stopping by and asking to buy a band saw may result in helping them free up room and saving you money.
Call or stop by local metal shops in your area to see if they have any used equipment they'd sell. Band saws often become unnecessary as shops downsize due to economic conditions. You can often get a well-worn band saw from a metal shop and save hundreds of dollars over the new price. A shop may have a band saw it doesn't use much anymore, and by stopping by and specifically asking for one you may convince it to sell the equipment to you for a low price.
Check your local Craigslist listings for band saws. Many people use this website to sell items locally due to the fact that it is free and there is much visibility for the item due to the popularity of Craigslist. You can find many different items for sale, and they are often grouped in categories that would make finding a band saw easy. You can also search for the term band saw to get targeted results.
Check eBay for a band saw as well. You can narrow searches to local on the menu located to the left of the items. Many people use eBay because they can sell locally and nationwide. You will most likely want to find a band saw for sale that you can easily pick up, as they weigh several hundred pounds and are not easy to transport. Some sellers are also willing to drive to deliver the item for a small fee.
Wait for sales at such places as MSC Direct and Enco. They often have sales that lower the prices of band saws and other metal shop items to very inexpensive levels. They often offer import models that are substantially less than more popular, name-brand saws. Chinese-made saws can sometimes be bought for half the price of an American-made version. Quality of imports have increased dramatically in the past five years, so you may be able to find a new band saw for cheap.
Contact local tool shops in the area. Since they sell to local metal shops, they may know of a shop looking to sell one or they may be able to order a new one for you at a discount. They may even to willing to haggle over pricing on your behalf with the distributor or manufacturer.