Factors to Consider when Buying New Laboratory Equipment

  • When one is thinking about buying new laboratory equipment, one can think about the situation just like someone would when buying a new car. There are lots of different types, makes and models to choose from plus a variety of vendors as well. There is the option for you to buy brand new equipment for your lab, or you are able to source second-hand equipment, which will save you money. While buying used equipment does have some risks involved, knowing what to look for and exactly what questions to ask may assist you by managing these risks. Let us look at some of the key factors that one should consider before purchasing lab equipment.

    Identify what equipment you will be needing:

    Just like when you go to purchase a new vehicle, you have to decide whether you want to buy a car, truck or an SUV. Similarly, you need to know exactly what your needs are before you begin shopping for lab equipment. Consider if there is a certain brand or model that you will be needing, plus what features are essential for your lab’s research.

    Find out what vendor options you have:

    Laboratory equipment vendors range from the manufacturers and third-party suppliers to online auction sites. When you purchase equipment from the manufacturer, it means that you are buying new equipment, which will include a warranty and service contract. The manufacturer may also sell discontinued or demo items at a reduced cost. Third-party vendors will have new and used equipment for sale, and they allow you to compare features and pricing of different instruments used for the same task. The third source for purchasing equipment would be online auctions. While this is super risky, as there will not be a contract or any warranty attached, you could score the deal of a lifetime online.

    Ask for a demonstration:

    When you are considering buying from a certain vendor, ask them to give you a quick demonstration of the equipment, as this gives you the opportunity to see how the equipment works and if it is operating at its full potential. You would not buy a car without test driving it first, now would you?

    Negotiate between vendors:

    Once you have received quotes from the different vendors, you are able to use this info to negotiate. You should never pay list price for lab equipment – rather attempt to negotiate the price down by using your other quotes as confluence. You are able to negotiate pricing, longer warranties, as well as a better service contract with both third-party vendors, as well as manufacturers. It is recommended to obtain at least three different quotes before negotiating.

    The good news is that laboratory equipment in South Africa is not too hard to come by, as we have plenty of laboratories, schools, and practises that make use of various different types of equipment to prove theories, complete studies, or perform complex mixtures.