Every lab has faced major breakdowns in lab equipment, leaving them to wonder if it’s easier to repair it or replace it. Many times, managers operating on a limited budget may find themselves throwing money into repair after costly repair because replacement equipment is too costly. There may be a solution, however; most lab equipment can be found used, in perfect operating order, and far cheaper than a new piece. Of course, there are concerns with buying used lab equipment: is it reliable? Is it covered under warranty? What should labs do with the equipment they’re replacing? Here are some things to consider when making the decision to purchase.
Refurbished, Reconditioned, or Remanufactured?
When shopping for used lab equipment, you may see several descriptions such as refurbished, reconditioned, and remanufactured. While each term means the same thing as far as the reliability of used lab equipment, they mean slightly different things in the path to the equipment’s resale certification.
- Remanufactured equipment has been tested for reliability, often with nearly all components replaced to bring it back to nearly new condition
- Reconditioned lab equipment means equipment that was returned to full functionality after being turned over by a previous owner due to issues, and is available for resale after any broken components are repaired or replaced.
- Refurbished equipment is equipment that was turned over in good condition. It is fully checked by technicians, who replace or repair components that show signs of wear.
Each piece of equipment offered for resale should be inspected, guaranteed to be fully functional, calibrated to peak efficiency and accuracy, and should offer a warranty. Never purchase any equipment that is offered “as is,” even if the price seems to be right. “As is” equipment can’t be guaranteed for accuracy or reliability.
Benefits of Buying Used Laboratory Equipment for Your Lab
You have a choice when faced with broken or outdated equipment. You can continue pouring money into repairs, purchase a new replacement, or find a used lab equipment dealer near you who can offer the same piece for far less than purchasing it new. Of the three choices, purchasing used equipment is generally the safest and most cost efficient option. Here are just a few benefits of used equipment.
1. Eco-Friendly Solution
You don’t often put “eco-friendly” and “lab equipment” in the same sentence, but purchasing used is a great way to recycle. Buying this equipment used means saving the resources necessary to manufacture it, and trading in your old equipment for a replacement is a great way to keep the recycle-cycle going.
2. Get a Jump on Devaluation
As with anything, lab equipment begins to depreciate the moment it leaves the manufacturer’s floor. Purchasing used means that you’re already paying the “depreciated value” of the equipment, and will allow you to resell it much closer to the price you paid for it. New equipment will drop in value significantly within the first few years of ownership, meaning that you will take a larger financial hit should you need to resell it.
3. Saves Delivery Time
Purchasing new lab equipment frequently comes with an extended wait time. Depending on what you need, you could be looking at weeks or even months before you receive your order. Used equipment is usually available immediately, meaning your lab will not suffer significant loss of productivity while waiting for it.
4. Budget Friendly
It’s estimated that buying used lab equipment can save buyers between 40% and 60% when compared to buying new. This is a welcome piece of news for any budget, with those savings being better spent elsewhere. Replacing frequently malfunctioning equipment with used is also a far more budget-friendly option than paying service calls, emergency repair fees, and parts and labor to nurse equipment at its end-of-life to remain serviceable. Frequent equipment breakdowns not only hurt your budget, they hurt your productivity, too, and may disrupt the accuracy of your research.
5. Trade-Ins Eliminate the Off-Loading Dilemma
You’ll find that dealers in used equipment will offer fair prices on trade-ins and even surplus equipment. That’s because these dealers know that they will be able to inspect, service, and repair the equipment for resale…after all, it’s what they do. Trading in your old equipment for new equipment may not afford the same fair pricing, depending on the supplier’s policies. Ultimately, you want a good price for your old equipment and you need it out of the lab as quickly as possible, not just collecting dust and taking up valuable storage space.
Do Your Research When Purchasing Used Lab Equipment
Buying used lab equipment is safe when the dealer is reputable, but how do you choose a trusted supplier and appropriate equipment?
- Customer testimonials: Don’t be afraid to ask for testimonials and even reach out to some of the previous buyers to make sure they are legitimate.
- Google reviews: Google is a reliable source of reviews, fully exposing the good and the not-so-good experiences of real buyers with a business.
- Word of mouth: Ask fellow facilities if they have had experience with purchasing used lab equipment, and what company they would recommend.
- Warranties: Only do business with a company that stands behind its equipment with warranties, and make sure to check for additional warranties from the manufacturer.
- Integration: Any new-to-you equipment must have an ability to be fully integrated into your own environment. Avoid equipment that is near-obsolete or nearing its end of life.
- Service agreements: Make sure the company selling the equipment is willing to perform preventive maintenance and service it if it breaks down. The seller/buyer relationship should not end when you finalize the sale.
BaneBio is a trusted source for your used lab equipment, offering a 14-day money-back guarantee on our entire line of products. All used equipment is quality tested by our highly trained service technicians for proper operation and functionality, and backed by our standard 30-day warranty. We also purchase your lab equipment, or use it as trade-in for used or new equipment. Ready to see how BaneBio’s used lab equipment can save your lab time and money? Contact us now.