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.