Oct
10

Choosing Lab Equipment – Important Tips

Buying used lab equipment is a great way to save money while still getting the gear you need to get the job done. Of course, you do have to make sure that you are getting what you need – otherwise, it won’t matter that you saved money, as you won’t have received the right items to outfit your lab. Only when you are able to buy from a quality used equipment dealer who offers everything you need will you be satisfied with your shopping experience.

It is no secret that quality lab equipment can be incredibly expensive. Many scientists have had to walk the fine line between getting great equipment and keeping the budget within a reasonable range. If you buy everything top of the line you are likely to blow through your entire budget for the whole year – but buying cheap gear is a recipe for failure. When faced with this conundrum, the resolution is often buying used gear.

A Method for Everyone

You don’t have to be working on a shoestring serological pipette budget in order to value the opportunity to buy used equipment at a great price. Even if you have a well-funded program, there is no reason you can’t look into good used gear as a way to save a portion of your budget for other uses. Thanks to the many quality used lab equipment dealers that are available today, it is possible to buy excellent equipment for a significant discount over the new price.

Know What You Are Getting

Just like when buying a car, the term ‘used’ can take on a number of different meanings in the world of lab equipment. Does used mean ‘used for one project, cleaned, and put back in the box’, or ‘worn out over several years and tossed into the closet’? In reality, used could refer to both of these situations and more. Therefore, you want to look for specific terms that have a more well-defined meaning in the lab equipment trade.

For example, something that is marketed as being refurbished is usually a piece of equipment that has been inspected by a qualified professional, and repaired if necessary. Something sold as refurbished might not be in ‘new’ condition, but it is likely a piece of equipment that you should be able to rely on. On the other hand, something sold ‘as-is’ will be a gamble. As the name would indicate, this is a product that will be sold to you in its current condition, with no warranty or guarantee as to its capabilities. As-is equipment is usually the least-expensive option that you will find, but there is an inherent element of risk with this type of purchase.

Buying Channels

There are a number of ways in which you can track down used lab equipment for purchase. One of the most-popular options is simply to buy direct from a manufacturer who refurbishes their own products. This is a great option because you will know the repair work has been done correctly, since it was done in the same place where the equipment originated. However, this method is not likely to produce the same low prices as other used options. Specifically, going to a lab equipment auction is one way that you can land rather low prices depending on the exact types of equipment that you need.