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Is Buying Used Laboratory Equipment the Right Choice for Your Lab?

 

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You have a choice when faced with broken or outdated equipment.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.

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Buying Used Lab Equipment? Know What Questions to Ask the Supplier

For many labs with limited funding, equipment failure can put a huge and unwelcome dent in the budget. Is the cost of fixing it more than the cost of replacing it? If it needs to be replaced, can you afford a new piece? What if you’re expanding operations and just need to update your lab with more equipment? More and more, labs are turning to suppliers to purchase used equipment, but that isn’t entirely without its own risks. Here are a few questions to ask if you’re buying used lab equipment.

How Old is This Piece of Equipment?

Knowing how old the equipment is a key piece of your purchasing decision. Older equipment may be obsolete, which means finding replacement parts and qualified technicians may be harder if the equipment breaks down.

Is This Piece of Equipment Covered Under Warranty?

Many pieces of used lab equipment are still covered under warranty. Ask about the status of the warranty to make sure it’s transferable to your lab. If not, does the supplier offer a warranty?

Is This Piece of Used Lab Equipment High Mileage?

How many hours of use has the equipment had, and how long has it been sitting in storage? If it has been in storage, is the facility a clean one with a climate controlled environment?

Are There Service Logs Available?

Service logs on used lab equipment can be helpful for determining if the equipment was properly maintained. They can also provide insight for any past issues the equipment may have had under the previous owner.

What Kind of Customer Support Can I Expect from the Supplier?

Check reviews of your supplier to make sure customer support is available if there is an issue with the equipment after you purchase it.

Has the Used Lab Equipment Been Thoroughly Cleaned and Disinfected?

Make sure to ask the supplier to provide proof that the lab equipment has been thoroughly sanitized and is safe to use.

Is This Piece of Lab Equipment in Good Working Order?

No one wants to buy someone else’s problem, so make sure the equipment is certified as being in good working order, is fully operational, and comes with a guarantee from the supplier.

Will the Equipment Need to be Professionally Installed?

Does the supplier offer professional installation services on the equipment? If it’s oversized, will the supplier ship it and move it into your lab?

Is the Equipment Compatible with my Lab?

From space and size of the equipment to the outlets and power supply, make sure the equipment will function in your lab.

Bane Bio is a Preferred Provider of Used Lab Equipment

We are a top supplier of used equipment, whether you’re looking to buy a replacement piece or sell your unused equipment. We provide a large selection of used equipment, and a 14-day money back guarantee on all products we sell. Browse our selection of used equipment, or let us take a look at purchasing your unwanted lab equipment.

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Selling Your Surplus Lab Equipment

used laboratory equipment
January seems to be the month when we look around our homes and businesses and decide how we can organize and declutter– and that process often starts with an inventory of what we actually need vs. what we can “rehome” in some way. For example, if you work in a lab, you know firsthand: technology outpaces equipment at a rapid rate and we outgrow stuff fast. It doesn’t take long for that corner in the warehouse where “surplus stuff we don’t need anymore” lives to fill up.

Selling some of that surplus used laboratory equipment off will put some money back in your operations budget while clearing out some much-needed room… but you have a few decisions to make first.

First, you need to decide if you’re going to go it alone or partner with a professional lab equipment reseller. Even confirmed DIYers will tell you– using eBay or LabX can be trickier than you think. Acting as your own agent doesn’t necessarily mean you will keep more of your selling price when you consider the following factors:

• Are you starting from scratch on eBay or LabX? Previous selling history is a big factor in motivating buyers to trust an online seller. Unless you have some positive, peer-reviewed transactions with colleagues in the industry, your stuff is likely to get skipped over.
• How much time do you have? If you do get some action on a listing, be prepared to respond promptly– this audience is used to hearing from sellers within a few hours, so you delay at the risk of that seller’s rating you’re trying to build.
• Payment Processing. You’ll want to set up a PayPal account or something similar to keep your company safe from the kind of liability any sort of personal account leaves you open to– scams are not uncommon online. There are set-up and transaction costs associated with any of these third-party payers and vendor support is nearly non-existent.
• How are you going to handle shipping? Packing is expensive and shipping methods are pricey and on the rise.
• What’s your claims policy? Responsibility for the equipment or instrument reaching the buyer in working condition is yours. How will you address broken stuff on delivery when it happens? The cost of on-site service could very quickly absorb your profit.
• What about refunds? Do you offer a satisfaction guarantee?

Partnering with a professional lab equipment reseller like Bane Bio can facilitate this process in a number of different ways:

Consignment. You and your chosen reseller split the profit after we sell and deliver your item. Before the split, we deduct costs like refurbishment and testing. It can take a while to find the right buyer, but if you’re not in a hurry, this scenario may yield the best price.
Direct Sale. The reseller offers you a price for the item and takes it away. They pay for any marketing, testing, and refurbishing. It’s simple and a quick way to get paid if the item has value that the reseller feels is worth paying for.
Auction. Got a lot of equipment to unload? Closing or restructuring? Selling everything at once at auction can work well. Once the auction is complete, you receive a share of the auction price. There are fees associated with auctions, but you can sell a lot at once and you’ll know when you will be paid, even if the ultimate price is up to the bidders.

Maximize your chances of making top dollar by preparing your surplus lab equipment using three basic steps:

Collect each item for sale and be sure everything that goes with it, including all cables, dongles, and small accessories.
Clean and decontaminate all surfaces thoroughly, including the data it may contain. If personal accounts were used on the system, wipe them and create new generic admin and user accounts to allow the reseller to operate and access the system without using employees’ personal logins.
Document the manufacturer, model, and serial numbers of each component. Include a list of everything included–accessories, parts, or consumables. Provide the software licenses and keys. Providing the original invoice or packing slip and/or the service history of the system is also helpful. The more information that a reseller can have about the lab equipment you’re selling, the better.

Making a decision between choosing an experienced reselling partner or going it alone is a balancing act between time, effort, risk, and money. Only you can make that decision, but remember that Bane Bio is just a phone call or mouse click away to help you list your surplus equipment on consignment, or sell your items directly to us or to other companies at auction.

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How to Buy Used Lab Equipment

New lab equipment can be expensive – very expensive. Of course, if you’re in the biotech and science industries, that isn’t breaking news to you! Anyone who has done any shopping for new lab equipment knows that it can be hard to stretch a budget very far in that market. If you are going to get everything you need to fill out your lab properly, it will likely be necessary to turn to the used market instead.

Continue reading How to Buy Used Lab Equipment