While purchasing pre-owned ophthalmic equipment can drastically save costs, be sure you know what you’re getting and that the seller is a reputable dealer. Here are some questions you should ask before buying used devices.
First, do your homework on the seller:
When buying used ophthalmic equipment, it’s always a good idea to get as much information as possible about the seller. Check out their website. Does it look professional and are there testimonials from other doctors? We also recommend looking up the selling company on Google maps to makes sure they have a physical presence. A guy working out of his garage can make it seem like he’s a large company online, but if this is the case, he most likely won’t be able to support your product after the sale.
Is the unit fully refurbished?
Some resellers do not have the knowledge or capability to fully refurbish highly technical devices. On most instrumentation, a simple cosmetic touch-up job just won’t suffice. Be sure to ask if the pre-owned unit has been repaired, checked for accuracy, and re-calibrated if needed. Refurbishment should be performed by trained technicians that have experience with high-tech eyecare equipment.
Does the unit come with a warranty?
There is always some uncertainty when buying pre-owned eyecare equipment. An included warranty can ease the concern of purchasing high-tech devices that do not come straight from the manufacturing line. Most companies with used ophthalmic equipment for sale will offer at least a 60-day warranty while others will guarantee their equipment for up to a year. If the dealer has a capable service department, you may even be able to purchase extended protection plans to cover your used eye equipment for multiple years.
Does your company have a service department to deal with warranty/service issues?
While a warranty is important when buying used ophthalmic equipment, it is important that the seller has the ability to service that warranty. Otherwise, the warranty is worthless. If you’re purchasing a unit out of someone’s garage, chances are that they won’t be able to help if something goes wrong. Be sure to ask the seller about their service department and how they would deal with repairs covered by their warranty.
Does your company have a relationship with the manufacturer?
Many used equipment dealers have relationships with the manufacturers of the equipment they sell. This can provide for ample inventory as well as service support. Partnership with a manufacturer also gives a used equipment dealer access to factory replacement parts and official software licenses. A premier reseller may even have their service technicians trained by the manufacturer to ensure expert refurbishment and repair of each unit.
How do you package and ship my purchase?
Packaging and shipping are crucial if you want your equipment to arrive intact. Before purchasing any refurbished ophthalmic equipment, ask the dealer if they will be shipping it in its original packaging. If not, it should be boxed with a minimum of 3 inches foam or bubble protection on each side.
Sensitive, high-tech equipment should only be shipped by a qualified freight company. Some dealers even offer unpacking and set-up services with shipment, but this should only be done with a qualified delivery company.
Can you provide me with references?
A trustworthy equipment reseller will not hesitate to give you references. If you’re unsure about purchasing refurbished eyecare equipment, ask fellow doctors about their experiences with specific dealers.
Is financing available?
Consider a monthly payment plan to ease the stress of a large expense. Be sure to ask your supplier about their financing partners because you can often get lower interest rates.