In spite of being necessary for lab work, some analytical machines are priced as if they were luxuries, ones scientists are lucky to afford. Depending on your funding and the price of the equipment you need, you may benefit from buying your equipment used. But before you conclude that “used” equates to “second-rate, ” remember that many labs buy new equipment annually to preserve their budget, which means secondhand equipment that performs like new is definitely out there. You just have to know where to find it.
Due to their complex technology hplc autosampler machines such as chromotographs, spectrometers, and autosamplers can still require a significant investment when you purchase them used. With a little shrewdness and common sense, you can find a machine that offers the performance you need at a price you can afford. To find that machine, it helps to consider the following things:
If a particular brand offers proprietary technology that you need, choosing a different brand might not be an option. However, if you only need a machine that fulfills its basic functionality, do not feel bound to a certain brand because its name is well recognized. As long as a machine receives high ratings in the following performance categories, you should feel comfortable buying it:
The more expensive analytical equipment is, the more attractive buying it under warranty becomes. The question is whether buying a machine that is still under warranty – which could cost considerably more than a machine that lacks a warranty – is worth the money.
Because it is used under easy operating conditions in a controlled environment, most lab equipment – even equipment that has a sensitive mechanism such as a purge and trap concentrator – ages well. If you are concerned about the long-term dependability of a machine, assessing its reliability in terms of its prospective lifespan and maintenance record makes more sense than relying on a warranty to protect your investment.
Usually, the question is: how old is too old? It is also possible to buy a pre-owned machine that is too new – a machine that, in spite of its used status, costs almost as much as it did when it was new. While it is thrilling to find a pre-owned machine that has only had its buttons pressed a few times, if it does not cost at least 15 percent less than it did when it was new, its value in terms of purchase price is somewhat negligible.
Buying analytical equipment involves several concerns, one of which is whether to buy it new or used. If you decide to buy used equipment, asking the questions above can help you make informed decisions that preserve your equipment budget. For advice on evaluating the condition of particular machines and mechanisms (e. g. a purge and trap concentrator), contact a supplier of new and used lab equipment.
Equipment that performs analytical functions is necessary in every laboratory. But the quality of the equipment you get – and the price you get it for – depends on how you go about buying it. In this article, we look at the best process for buying lab grade analytical equipment, beginning with determining your budget.
If you are buying products for a company, your budget is probably mapped out. If you’re buying products for your own laboratory, it might not be. To determine how much you can spend on any product, the key is to determine the products you need and when you need them.
If you find it difficult to afford what you need when you need it, consider buying some of your products used. Because many laboratories replace existing equipment with new equipment to maintain funding, used products that are like new are not difficult to find, and they might offer the cost savings you need.
If you decide to buy used products, you might feel uneasy about buying products that aren’t under warranty, as they could still be rather expensive. Because used lab equipment that is almost new isn’t hard to find, neither should used equipment that is under warranty be hard to find.
In most cases, however, the greatest value of a warranty is its psychological value for the equipment owner. If you plan on using the equipment for the foreseeable future, its warranty will expire anyway. Instead of insisting on a warranty, insist on buying used products that are in great condition.