Let’s face it, running a behavioral healthcare lab isn’t cheap.
Staffing, utilities, rent…you name it, and there’s a large investment involved. Of all the typical laboratory overheads, though, the cost of equipment can be a particular burden.
Indeed, many essential pieces of gear can set you back thousands of dollars. With tight budgets and limited funding, such significant sums of cash can be hard to handle.
Which is why buying used lab equipment makes perfect sense. You can pick everything up for a fraction of its usual price. Acquiring necessary lab gear and goods becomes far more feasible as a result.
The downside is that you can’t always guarantee its quality, condition, or general fitness for purpose. And, in a lab setting, that’s never a good thing.
Thankfully, there’s a lot you can do to avoid that eventuality. Sound good? Read on for 7 tips to employ when purchasing second-hand lab equipment.
1. Know Exactly What You Need/Want
Imagine going clothes shopping. Isn’t it easier when you know your size, style, and needs from the outset?
The same is true of buying second-hand lab equipment.
Make sure you know exactly what you’re looking for from the get-go. Try to know the dimensions you need, the brands you like, the model you desire, and the essential features your lab requires.
For example, people come to us looking for a high-quality used auto-sampler.
They want to automate their sampling process. Whether it’s a liquid, solid, or gas, these instruments have an injection valve that takes samples and loads them automatically into the sample loop.
Our buyers tend to have particular manufacturers in mind for the task as well. With a Shimazu SIL-10AF, Hach ASX-7200, and a PerkinElmer Diamond DSC all available, they always walk away happy.
Knowing your requirements will help hone your search. You’ll find what you need in less time and with fewer hiccups along the way.
Find the Right Supplier
Finding the right lab supplier is pivotal. Alas, not all of them are made equal.
Some, for example, operate only as a vendor or middle-man. They know little to nothing about lab goods and try only to turn a profit. They don’t test their products and offer only as-is options.
You buy the product as it comes and gamble your money in the process.
Make sure you put the effort into finding more reliable sources of second-hand equipment. Cheap products are a waste of money if they don’t work properly! Look for reputable names, positive reviews, and good customer service.
Inquire About Testing
Think about buying a used car.
You’d never hand over thousands of dollars for a vehicle you hadn’t test-driven. Looks can be deceiving; there’s no way to know that it runs well, feels good, and handles effectively.
Testing lab equipment prior to purchase is like taking it for a test drive.
You’re doing all of the same things: ensuring it turns on and functions as expected.
Ask a supplier like ARC Scientific about their testing processes for used lab equipment. Ask them if you can see evidence of that testing (such as video footage and/or documentation). Better still, see if it’s possible for you to ‘try before you buy’.