Purchasing used cosmetic lasers for your practice requires weighing the appropriate factors for your specific needs. Medspas, laser centers, dermatologists, plastic surgeons and other medical practitioners on a national and global basis continue to increase the number of aesthetic laser treatment services offered to their patients and customers. The demand for non-invasive aesthetic treatments is growing and has become more affordable, due to the wide variety of lower cost used cosmetic equipment available for sale in the market today.
But is used equipment right for you? In some ways it is a lot like buying a used car. Are you the kind of individual that buys a used car or do you always want new? You may feel the same way concerning laser equipment. Assuming you have determined which laser will provide the need treatment services for your practice, following are some things to consider:
- Cosmetic Defects: If it is used or refurbished it will probably have some cosmetic defects due to wear and tear. Keep in mind these are just cosmetic. If the company you are buying from has completed a full and proper maintenance on the unit (which they should on every laser they sell) then that should be the end of it. Just like cars some owners take really good care of their equipment. Others are careless and don’t perform any maintenance. Again another reason to make sure equipment has undergone extensive maintenance.
- Cost of Acquisition: New lasers come at a premium. A huge capital investment can make or break you if you cannot generate enough revenue from your customer base to cover the monthly cost of ownership. Keep in mind quite a few aftermarket lasers are repos. Used laser equipment does not come with the latest technology features, but they aren’t really that far behind. Is the huge payment for a new laser worth the incremental improvement in technology?
- Regular Maintenance: New and used cosmetic lasers require regular maintenance. Do your homework ahead of time and find out what type of regular maintenance is required for the equipment you are considering purchasing. And invest time in finding a vendor to do the service work. There are many reputable vendors out there and many not so reputable. Check online references and credentials from more than one source; get referrals. Original equipment manufacturers are always very expensive, but not technically more adept. Also many OEM require you to pay a hefty recertification fee on aftermarket equipment before they will service it.
- Cost of Repairs / Parts: If you take good care of your purchase and have acquired equipment from a reputable reseller, the chances of equipment failing is greatly reduced. But mishaps occur, like dropping a handpiece. Or simply due to age, components breakdown. Some replacement parts such as crystals can be very expensive, keep this in mind so you are not blinded by sticker shock. Even if you buy new at some point, you will be out of warranty.
- Accessories: Be thorough, does the equipment come with the manuals, keys, foot pedals. Do you need consumables? Ask questions. You don’t want to have your first appointment show up and not be able to run the equipment correctly.
- Handpieces: If you are buying a system that utilizes multiple handpiece options, make sure the vendor you are dealing also carries those; you can probably work a better deal.
- Electrical Requirements: Make sure you have the proper electrical capability to run the equipment.
- Specialization: If you are buying from a broker, chances are they don’t specialize in any one particular type of laser. Buying from a reseller that specializes in specific brands works to your advantage. They will likely have more extensive knowledge on features, how to use the laser, common repairs, etc and can provide valuable information that will make your investment a success.
- Used Car Dealers: Please be aware of scammers. Unfortunately the invisibility of the internet allows for too many unscrupulous sellers to take advantage of innocent consumers. Do your research.