It does not matter if you are a large and thriving hospital, a tiny startup clinic or a small private practice, you will find that medical equipment is a necessity for your business. This equipment will need to be dependable, high quality and top notch to keep you profitable. This is why many in the medical industry think that they must buy brand new equipment complete with warranties and maintenance programs. However, many are now turning to used equipment to help supply their businesses while saving some extra cash. The decision to buy used or new can be extremely difficult. Are you giving up reliability to save a few dollars? Do you feel comfortable rolling the dice on equipment you know very little about? There are many arguments for and against buying used or new. Here are some things you may want to consider before making this decision.
1. The cost
One of the big pluses to buying used is the price is significantly lower. If you have a shoestring budget, then you may have no choice but to buy used. It costs a lot to get and keep a business running, and some of us need to cut some corners in order to remain profitable. Also, most of the equipment’s value depreciates quickly. Once you open the equipment the value starts to drop, and many cannot justify spending that much on something that loses its value so quickly. Therefore, they believe in getting the most value for the money spent would have to lead them to buying used, and many people in the market are following their lead. Buying used is a growing trend that seems to only be growing in the future.
Most of us will wonder if it is worth the risk of getting faulty equipment in order to save some extra cash. This is where you will want to do a little research. You can choose manufacturers that do a pre-certified check like some car dealerships do. They will test the equipment, replace any non working or worn out parts in advance and may even offer warranties and replacements for a certain period of time. Remember to ask any manufacturer you deal with if they offer these types of guarantees. You should always get any guarantees or warranties in writing and file them in a safe place where they are easily accessible.
3. The condition
Many may not be aware, but you can choose the level of “used” that you prefer. As mentioned above you can opt for a pre-certified type of equipment, which is the top of the line when it comes to used equipment. Then you could choose something that has been refurbished on the inside only. The outside may not look pristine, but it will work as needed. However, you need to remember that most of your clients will feel more secure seeing newer equipment. If you are a gambler, you can also opt for a more used piece of equipment that will cost the less. It is up to you, how much you can afford and what makes you comfortable.
4. Guarantees and warranties
Not every piece of used equipment will come with a warranty. You need to make certain that you know for sure if your piece of equipment has any warranties or guarantees. You will also need to ensure that the equipment you buy will have easy access to replacement parts. Some machines are out of date and manufacturers may not make them anymore and the supply may be limited. You may want to inquire if there is any loaner equipment available in case your equipment stops working and you need to get it repaired. Remember when it comes to these guarantees and warranties it is best to get everything in writing and keep them filed where they can easily be found when and if they are needed.
The lifespan of the equipment should also be considered. Most of us would assume that the lifespan of new equipment would be far longer than the lifespan of used equipment. You do not know how much wear and tear has been placed on any used equipment that you may buy, and you do not know how it has been treated or if the maintenance has been properly done. Therefore, you cannot know how well or how much longer this piece of medical equipment may or may not work. This may all boil down to you having to replace this piece of equipment much sooner than you would have if you had bought new equipment. This is just another gamble you are going to have to take if you buy used instead of new.
As stated earlier, many patients will feel as if you are more reputable if you have the latest and greatest medical equipment at your fingertips. You will make your patients feel more at ease if they see the equipment that you are using is the best condition possible and offers all the bells and whistles that only top notch equipment can. And, you better believe that they will tell everyone how this machine does this or that and how your business went above and beyond what they expected. Word of mouth is important in any business and having the best equipment out there can put you ahead of your competitors and keep your clients coming back for more.
There are many factors to take into account before deciding if used or new equipment is the best option for you. The only way to make the best decision is to do all of the necessary research and trust that you know what is best for your business. Remember this is not a one size fits all type of answer. It will vary from one medical practice to another, and it may vary at different times in your business history. You will have to choose what is best for you at the time you make this important decision.