Many laboratory owners shy away from sourcing used lab equipment in San Diego. This article highlights the benefits and what you need to consider before buying them. Let’s look at the benefits first.

5 Benefits of Buying Used Lab Equipment

Saves You Money

Let’s face it, buying new lab equipment is capital-intensive and might derail one from opening a laboratory. On the other hand, buying used lab equipment in San Diego is cost-effective since you don’t have to pay a premium. In fact, you might save 50% to 70% of the initial price of the equipment.

Besides, buying used lab equipment allows you to refurbish, enabling you to add new components at a discounted price. And if you are on a budget, getting second-hand equipment is the ideal way to kick-start your laboratory business. As time goes on, you can upgrade to new ones for improved productivity.

Saves You Time

Ordering new lab equipment can take weeks or months, like in other industries. It is because manufacturers have to create new ones from scratch. Unfortunately, labs don’t have much time to waste, given the tight deadlines they have to meet. As such, opting for used laboratory equipment enables you to cut back the wait time.

Furthermore, installing used lab equipment is easier and less time-consuming since you only need to liaise with the previous owner or supplier.  It is unlike new equipment that require the manufacturer’s input and intense staff training before it can commence operation.

More Investment Opportunities

Since buying used lab equipment in San Diego is cost-effective, you can use the extra amount to invest in other areas. For example, you can buy more equipment, diversifying the research scope of your laboratory. It can allow you to engage in more experiments and research programs. Besides, it can enable you to hire and retain more staff since you have the financial capability.

And as you’d expect, training your staff will be seamless, not to mention upgrading your laboratory. If you were to purchase new equipment, you’d not enjoy such investment opportunities since it is money intensive.

Reduced Waste

Buying new lab equipment has an enormous environmental impact than you might think of. Generally, when lab equipment becomes outdated or breaks, they end up in landfills across the country. And as you’d guess, there’s environmental pollution due to incineration. In addition, the plastic components do not decay, harming the soil’s quality.

By buying used equipment, you are promoting sustainability, which reduces carbon footprint. If all laboratories in San Diego were to exercise buying used lab equipment, it would have a great positive environmental impact.

Reduced Depreciation

New lab equipment depreciates faster than used equipment. Depreciation is the reduction in the value of an asset over time. With used equipment, you don’t calculate depreciation like a new one. Instead, you write off parts over time. As such, you will have better control over the amount to write off annually.

With it comes better financial management. And since used equipment are bought at a reduced price, the depreciation is minimal. Moreover, the resale value of used instruments often stabilizes for 12 months or more. It means you can replace it with a new one without losing much of your investment.

Things To Consider When Buying Used Lab Equipment

Overall Condition

It is arguably the chief aspect you should consider. You don’t want to buy equipment that will break down after a few months of use. As such, you should avoid buying equipment with noticeable tear and wear. If outside repair and maintenance are required, it signals that it requires more monitoring on the inside.

Before buying the equipment, you should ask if it is refurbished. If so, it indicates that a professional technician repaired the equipment, replacing parts as needed. You should also consider the equipment’s age. If it is over ten years, it indicates that it is outdated and the manufacturer no longer supports it.


Well, it’s no doubt you should consider pricing when shopping for used lab equipment in San Diego. Often, the higher the price the higher the quality. While this is true, it is not always the case. Consider buying from another vendor if you get a price too good to be true.

On the other hand, if a company is offering a raw deal, consult other companies and suppliers. If possible, don’t let the pricing be an indicator of quality. Otherwise, you might overpay for low-quality equipment.

Supplier’s Integrity

The marketplace is awash with many rogue equipment suppliers, and it is not uncommon for labs to fall prey to such criminals. When shopping for used equipment, ensure to research each supplier. Look at customer reviews and testimonials. If possible, you can visit their warehouses or stores to uncover their operations.

A genuine supplier in San Diego will not hide anything from their clients. In addition, most reliable suppliers will seek long-term partnerships with their customers. To run a successful lab, you need a dependable equipment supplier who can also provide repair and maintenance services. Also, ensure their processes and standards are compatible with your company’s vision.

Warranties and Guarantees

Every lab should protect its equipment with a warranty. Most resellers offer basic warranties. And since lab work takes time and precision, ensure the warranty is at least 90 days. Ensure to go through the warranty so you can know what it covers. Most guarantees will cover minor problems; as such, it is ideal to invest in an extended warranty. While doing so, ensure to abide by your budget.

Service Records

While it is unlikely to find service records for smaller lab equipment, a supplier of more complex equipment should provide service and calibration records. They should also provide the equipment history and use.

If calibration history is missing, but the item has always been under a manufacturer service contract, it should also be possible to obtain calibration history via the instrument serial number.

Used vs. New Lab Equipment: How To Choose the Most Ideal

If you are torn between used and new lab equipment, here are the top things to consider.

Type of Equipment You Need

Like buying any equipment or asset, you need to consider your needs before purchasing lab equipment. Consider the brand or model plus the essential features for your lab’s progress. It will help you determine whether new or used lab equipment in San Diego will be an ideal option.

Find Out Your Vendor Options

Lab equipment sellers range from manufacturers, and online sites, to third-party suppliers. As you’d expect, buying directly from a manufacturer means investing in new equipment. The best part is that they often come with warranty and service contracts. In addition, since they are more knowledgeable about the equipment, they can offer better support.

On the other hand, third-party suppliers often sell used equipment from various brands. As such, you have the freedom to compare prices and features. Moreover, suppliers will allow you to choose between basic and extended warranty and service contracts.

Ask for Demonstrations

Before settling for specific equipment, ask for a demonstration. It allows you to see how the equipment will fit your laboratory needs. You’ll also gauge their ease of use, ensuring you pick the best option.

Generally, most, if not all, manufacturers will provide demos for new equipment. That said, you should request a demo from a third-party supplier. It will allow you to gauge the equipment’s performance and help build trust.

Consider Associated Costs

You should also consider the expenses you will incur when using the equipment. Most new equipment will have a monthly fee, such as servicing price. On the other hand, it might be daunting to find supplies for used lab equipment might be daunting. It means it will cost you more in the long run.

You should also consider the cost of replacement parts. Replacement parts for new equipment are expensive but more durable, while those for used equipment are cheaper but not as durable.

Compare the Cost of Ownership

Buying new equipment will see you spend more money upfront, and there might be fewer problems during the first few years. As such, the maintenance cost will be minimal. Furthermore, the warranty will cover most of the issues you will encounter.

Conversely, if you buy used lab equipment, you will spend less money upfront, but you may spend more on parts and repairs over time. Therefore, it is prudent to compare the cost of ownership so you don’t spend more than buying new equipment.


There are many benefits with used lab equipment, from saving you money and time to increasing investment opportunities. As such, do not hesitate to purchase used lab equipment in San Diego. If you want quality equipment, you can always consult Biotechnical Services Inc.