Things You Need To Consider Before Purchasing Used Lab Equipment

7 mins read

Not all scientists or laboratory operators have lots of money to burn, most particularly in terms of buying lab equipment, which represents a huge slice of the laboratory’s funding pie. Luckily, scientists can take advantage of purchasing used lab equipment since these tools are more affordable than new ones.

Rotary Evaporators in Use in a Laboratory

Purchasing used lab equipment isn’t limited to those who operate poorly funded high school laboratories. Anyone who wants to save up money or have limited budget allocation can benefit from choosing to buy used lab equipment.

Aside from potential financial benefits, there are some advantages to purchasing used lab equipment and these include saving on equipment upgrades, reducing landfill fodder, and so on. However, before you can reap all of these benefits, make sure to keep these things in mind before buying used lab equipment:

Know Your Needs and the Demands of Your Applications

Before you proceed to buy any used lab equipment, it’s important to know the needs or demands of your applications. With the different kinds of available lab instruments, you must at least have a clue on particular options for your application. It will help you sort out what you need, especially if you’re aiming for laboratory automation.

For instance, if you’re searching for a centrifuge, check if all of your experiments need a high speed one, units with big capacity, a powerful benchtop model, or a microcentrifuge. If you’re doing research that involves liquid chromatography, you must consider the samples you’ll be quantifying and separating. The sample types would determine if you require particular systems like HPLC or High-Performance Liquid Chromatography and which kind of detector you need.

Find a Trustworthy Supplier

One of the most critical factors you must take into consideration when purchasing used lab equipment is finding a trustworthy supplier. Most suppliers these days have their own websites. You can check online first to see the available used equipment and other information such as the company’s details and customer reviews.

However, be wary of the online resellers that might just be listing equipment pieces that they don’t own. Such brokers are just posting equipment online even though they do not have the equipment on hand.

Oftentimes, reliable suppliers have been serving the medical and scientific industries for years and have their own team of experts who are trained to replace equipment parts and service them. They also provide options in terms of equipment warranties.

Choose Topnotch Branded and Quality Used Lab Equipment

Before you pick any lab equipment, do extensive research about the leading brands in the industry. Prioritize getting some used lab equipment from the leading brands to ensure functional efficiency, durability, reliability, and quality. 

High-quality items will not only let you save money, but you can also be assured that the lab equipment you purchased will last long.

Evaluate Its Overall Condition, Specifications, and Features

If you want to ensure the quality of used lab equipment, you have to do a complete evaluation of the item’s overall condition, specifications, and features. Doing this will help you identify issues and avoid possible risks.

Compare the different brands or models and choose the one that meets your lab space requirements and lab application. You should also remember to ask for the things included such as adaptors, power cords, and some options that come with equipment purchase as such may secure seamless operation of your experiment.

Laboratory glass items in use

To check the condition of the lab equipment, ask if it is remanufactured or refurbished. Refurbished lab equipment has been serviced by qualified technicians and had every part replaced and checked if necessary. On the other hand, remanufactured equipment has had every integral part replaced and already undergone extensive product testing.

More often than not, units that are more than seven to 10 years old are actually considered EOL or end of life by manufacturers. It means that repair service won’t be available by the manufacturer and some parts may be ordered and buying the equipment in that condition is a risky option.

Never Hesitate to Ask the Experts

It is very risky to buy used lab equipment as it requires careful assessment of the available suppliers and units.

 If it is your first time to look for used lab equipment, don’t hesitate to ask for help from the experts. In this way, you can be sure that you will only purchase quality lab equipment from reliable suppliers.


When buying used lab equipment, it is important to know who you are dealing with. Search for reputable suppliers that can offer some kind of warranty and show images of real lab equipment with serial numbers.

If you ask for the serial number and your chosen supplier did not provide you with anything, it’s a red flag and proceeds to search for other reliable suppliers. By transacting with a trustworthy supplier, you can get the best value for your investment.

About the Author: Nicole Sky is a professional blogger who produces content about the different innovations in the healthcare industry. Nicole strives to educate all of her readers about the advancements in this industry and hope that this information will help them take better care of their health and wealth.

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