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Guide to Buying Used Lab Equipment in Boston

When looking for quality used laboratory equipment, one should look to the top cities in the industry. The cities with the highest concentration of research labs, college labs, testing centers, and hospitals may have what you need. Boston is home to a slew of labs and at least three medical schools known as the best in the country.

Lab Equipment Industry in Boston

The lab equipment industry in Boston comprises pharmaceutical companies, biotech companies, and academia. Each of these may have used equipment that can otherwise be hard to find. 

One of the best places to start is the Boston University Medical Center. This school offers an equipment exchange that is accessible through the Associate Dean of Research. Unfortunately, there is no website to view what is currently available. 

The University of Massachusetts Medical School does not have any current information available regarding laboratory surplus, but you can contact the Head of Research to ask about what they may have available. 

Similarly, Tufts University doesn’t list their surplus online, but you can contact their director of Research to find out if they have anything available for sale.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for with the universities, try contacting the biotech and pharmaceutical companies in the area. Call or email them to find out about surplus options, as they may not make a list available online. If they don’t have what you need, continue to check regularly as surplus inventory changes often.

A few companies to look into include:

What to Consider When Buying Used Lab Equipment

Shopping for used lab equipment is similar to buying a used car. You want to get information upfront so you can avoid buying a lemon. Always ask about the setting that the equipment was previously used in. If it was used in a research lab at a university, or in a high volume corporate lab, you may be looking at different wear and tear.

Ask to see the servicing and maintenance records. Knowing how often the equipment was cared for can tell you a bit about its current state. If the apparatus has been maintained in a timely manner, it can last you a while. You can also determine if the equipment is near the end of it’s life and if more breakdowns are likely depending on its age and how heavily it’s been used. If the seller cannot provide this information, it’s best to continue your search.

Knowing when the equipment was made is also essential. Laboratory tech changes often, and you want to avoid out-of-date machinery. Some equipment may have active warranties that could transfer to you. That warranty will require the serial number. If you do not have the serial number, you may not have legitimate equipment.

Ask the reseller who their source is. Some third-party websites that sell used lab equipment allow anyone to create an account and sell on the platform. If they don’t know anything about their source or the equipment’s history, you could set yourself up for trouble.

Benefits of Leasing Vs Buying Used Lab Equipment

Purchasing used lab equipment won’t be ideal for all labs. Leasing laboratory equipment can be a viable option for some companies. Leasing allows for better options at affordable prices. 

  • Pros of buying used lab equipment
    • More affordable than purchasing new equipment
    • Maintenance costs can be low if the previous owner has provided proper servicing
  • Cons of buying used lab equipment
    • If the machinery has not been maintained, there may be an increased instance of failures and repairs
    • The older the apparatus, the sooner you will likely need to replace it.
    • Potential loss of productivity because of less efficient components
  • Pros of leasing lab equipment
    • Affordable upfront cost in comparison to credit lines and bank loans.
    • You will have the flexibility and can “upgrade” your equipment as time progresses.
    • The lease is a tax-deductible operating expense. Speak with your tax accountant for clarification

Having a budget, and following it perfectly, is going to help you get the equipment you need. If you are unsure of making a  purchase, always talk to a financial advisor to understand the big picture. It’s better to get clarification than to make an uninformed decision.

Lab Equipment Available in Boston, Massachusetts

If you don’t want to spend a lot of time tracking down the lab equipment you require, Excedr offers a variety of lab equipment that you can lease according to what your lab needs. 

Here at Excedr, we have leasing options to help keep you on budget. Call us today to find out how we can help you.