Why Buy Refurbished? A Look at the New, Refurbished, and Used Lab Equipment Markets
What are the benefits of outfitting your lab with refurbished equipment? Let's carefully consider the differences between new, refurbished, and used lab equipment and the effects each will have on your budget and efficiency.

While many scientists and lab managers may be skeptical of the used and refurbished lab equipment market, the savings and quality of refurbished equipment should not be underestimated, especially in a startup or budget-conscious climate.

First, one must consider the differentiation between qualities of used equipment. “Used” in different contexts could mean anything from refurbished or remanufactured to even being sold as-is. The latter of these is what often causes suspicion when buying “used” lab equipment; as-is products are truly second-hand, and though they may often seem to be a bargain, they are usually accompanied with no knowledge of prior use, no guarantee of functionality, and/or little to no warranty upon purchase. But many providers and retailors often categorized as “used” sellers are instead truly retailors of refurbished and remanufactured equipment sold at top factory specifications (including Marshall Scientific).

So for truly refurbished products, the risk of purchase is extremely minimal, while also providing an obvious cost-effective solution for growing labs, both large and small. Savings from outfitting a lab with refurbished equipment are monumental, with prices often 30 to 70% lower than those of competing new equipment. But how is this possible? Oftentimes, resellers purchase extra or no longer essential equipment directly from industry labs, buy-out closing labs’ inventory when intellectual property has been sold, or purchase from auctions. Then their finds are carefully refurbished, tested, and calibrated to perform at factory specifications by skilled certified technicians.

These economical choices should also come without stress or worry to any buyer, meaning the entirety of the purchasing, delivery, and service process should also be as good as, if not superior, to that of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). This means your supplier, in most cases, knows their stuff, including being able to answer important questions about the equipment they offer and insight to alternatives and current competitive industry products. Refurbished equipment retailers can also often deliver their products immediately to within a couple weeks’ time, unlike OEMs which often keep inventories low and could require months before delivery. Trusted refurbished providers frequently offer warranties on all of their products, like our standard full 90 day parts and labor warranty, to ensure any malfunctions are not a result of overlooked pre-existing conditions during remanufacturing or refurbishing.

Another measure of value when choosing refurbished over new equipment is environmental footprint. By partially or fully furnishing a lab with reconditioned equipment, you have helped to minimize waste and human impact or, at the least, saved landfill space. Many refurbishers sell equipment that is still available new or as top-performing from OEMs, offering the exact same energy efficiency and sustainability without the need for new production and consumption, while also at a lower price.

While it’s understandable to still be hesitant and proceed with caution when considering purchasing “used” lab equipment, sourcing items from a trusted retailor is a good start. With a currently fast-expanding market for refurbished equipment and new resellers, all providers are being held accountable to a higher standard than ever before. And here at Marshall Scientific, we’re more than ready to prove our worth in the marketplace.