Used Laboratory Equipment

Written by Jared Vincenti
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A great opportunity to get laboratory equipment at a low price is to buy it used. Many labs that have gone out of business are able to salvage some money by re-selling their lab supplies, usually at prices well below retail. Businesses that are expanding will often pick up used lab equipment to cut the cost of their new labs or services.

What to Buy Used

The best things to buy used are pieces of equipment that retain their value and generally have long lives. Machines like centrifuges, vortex machines, microscopes, or autoclaves are the best values to buy used. These are lab items that are used regularly, but never come into contact with whatever materials or chemicals they are being used for. Thus, having been used will have little impact on them, besides lowering the price.

Some lab equipment retains its utility, but may merit some caution when buying new. Mostly, you want to know exactly what has been done with things such as incubators, freezers, and glassware before you buy them. Misuse of these goods will have no visible appearance, but may have some effect on your lab results. To be safe, only buy these goods if you can talk to a representative who knows the old lab's procedures and products.

Finally, there are several things that you should never bother to buy used. Usually, these are things that are quite cheap to begin with, like microscope slides and pipettes. These goods take up too much of their subject material with each use to be worth buying used. However, if a closing lab has a surplus of these, take the opportunity to buy any sealed boxes that you can.

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