Knowing when to buy used lab equipment in San Diego can be daunting. This article highlights all you need to know about purchasing pre-owned lab equipment. Here is the breakdown.

What Is Lab Equipment?

Lab equipment is the collection of various devices, containers, and other apparatus necessary for conducting experiments and procedures in different laboratory settings. These tools are crucial for performing syntheses and analyses and are exposed to harsh chemical and physical conditions.

As a result, laboratory instruments must be able to deliver precise measurements, have a long lifespan, and ensure the user’s safety. Lab equipment must be of high quality and built to last to meet the rigorous demands of laboratory technology.

Why You May Consider Buying Used Lab Equipment in San Diego

Buying new lab equipment is a capital-intensive exercise. And if you’re operating with limited resources, purchasing new equipment may not be feasible. Fortunately, Biotechnical Service Inc. can help you source used lab instruments in San Diego.

Using pre-owned lab equipment can significantly reduce the cost of outfitting your facility. It is possible to save a huge percentage compared to buying new equipment. You can even purchase small items, such as test tubes, at a lower cost if you opt for used equipment.

While most people assume only poorly funded labs buy used equipment, large labs also opt for used ones, especially when they cannot find specific models in their local market. The option also eliminates the need to acquire knowledge of operating new equipment.

Importance of Knowing When To Buy Used Lab Equipment

Knowing when to purchase pre-owned lab instruments in San Diego can help you avoid common mistakes that lab owners make. 

  • Enables You To Acquire the Right Equipment

Before acquiring used lab equipment, you need to identify what you need. If you can do without it, there’s no need to buy another. Besides, purchasing the right instrument comes with numerous benefits, such as:

  • Improved accuracy and precision
  • Increased efficiency 
  • Enhanced capabilities 
  • Reduced contamination risk
  • Compliance with regulations

In short, having the right lab equipment can help to improve the quality and accuracy of your research or experimentation.

  • Helps Reduce Expenses

Often, laboratories in San Diego want to acquire new equipment to stay up-to-date with advancements in the industry. However, if you are cash-strapped, you can opt for a secondhand model to save money while maintaining the industry advancement momentum. 

  • Allows You To Take Advantage of Discounted Prices

You can decide to buy used instruments from auctions. They often sell equipment at a throwaway price, which is an advantage to any lab owner. Besides, online-specific suppliers sell used equipment at a discounted price. As such, you can wait for such time-limited chances to buy many instruments at half the normal retail price.

Benefits of Buying Used Lab Equipment in San Diego

So, what are the advantages of working with used instruments in your San Diego lab? Let’s find out.

  • Saves You Money

The most obvious advantage of purchasing pre-owned laboratory equipment is cost savings. By buying equipment that has been previously used, laboratories can acquire equipment that they may not have been able to afford otherwise, thereby enhancing their capabilities.

In addition, when a laboratory lacks the financial means to purchase a machine outright, obtaining a moderately priced pre-owned instrument through financing is a more reasonable option than acquiring a brand-new one.

  • They Are of High Quality

A common misconception about pre-owned equipment is that it is of poor quality. Although some suppliers may offer subpar equipment, this is not the case with our equipment as they are of high quality.

The equipment undergoes thorough refurbishment to operate as if they are from an OEM factory. The refurbishment process includes thoroughly examining cleaning and essential maintenance work.

  • Saves You Time 

Manufacturers that create new laboratory equipment often have a significant lead time, sometimes stretching beyond six weeks. It is not feasible for most laboratories, especially those in the Biotechnology industry. 

Acquiring secondhand equipment eliminates this waiting period, enabling laboratories to resume operations promptly.

  • Reduces Depreciation 

The new instrument will probably lose value far more quickly than the used equipment. Depreciation is when an item you’ve purchased for your company loses value. When you write off parts over time rather than deducting the cost of used equipment from your normal taxes, you can better manage your finances because you have greater control over how much money is written off annually.

What To Consider When Buying Used Lab Equipment

Before buying used lab equipment in San Diego, here are some factors you need to consider:

  • Previous Setting 

If the laboratory equipment was utilized in a healthcare setting or manufacturing plant, it likely experienced heavy usage, indicating it may be in disrepair. If it was, however, used in an academic or startup setting, it might have less wear and tear. 

  • Previous Maintenance and Servicing 

If possible, find out the instrument’s maintenance and servicing schedule in its previous setting. Ask the supplier or owner if they have the maintenance report, which indicates the instrument’s repair track record. If the servicing and maintenance were frequent, you could be sure it would serve you for an extended period. Otherwise, find another vendor. 

  • Serial Number and Year of Manufacture

Obtaining this information will give you a more comprehensive understanding of its maintenance history and insight into the potential future cost of servicing. The OEM can help you check the serial number hence knowing the instrument’s age and history.

  • Reseller’s Source 

There are many places to source used lab equipment in San Diego. As such, you need to inquire where they got it from. Is the individual or business selling the device obtain it through a liquidation sale, dissolution of a company, or auction?

Having this knowledge can help you understand why the equipment is being sold. It means you can avoid purchasing poorly performing instruments. 

  • Certification and Calibration

Make sure the lab equipment is certified and calibrated to be used safely and accurately. Some lab equipment may require certification from a third-party organization or manufacturer.

  • Return Policy and Warranty 

Check the seller’s return policy to make sure you can return the equipment if it doesn’t meet your expectations. Also, inquire if the seller is providing any warranty on the used equipment, and if not, if they could provide any service/repair on demand.

Where To Find Used Lab Equipment

There are many places you can find pre-owned lab equipment in San Diego. Here are the most common.

  • Online Scientific Supply Retailers 

Many online retailers are selling used lab equipment, including Biotechnical Services. We sell high-quality pre-owned lab instruments at an affordable price. We got you sorted if you need incubators, liquid handlers, or a micro-centrifuge. 

  • Local Classifieds

Check your local classifieds, such as those in university or science journals, for used lab equipment listings.

  • Manufacturers and Distributors 

Some manufacturers and distributors also sell refurbished or pre-owned equipment. These can be a good option if you want a specific make and model.

  • Lab Equipment Auctions

Several auction houses, like Rabin Worldwide, Quibids, etc., specialize in selling used laboratory equipment and often have a wide selection and competitive prices.

  • Trade Shows

Some scientific and laboratory trade shows can be great places to find used lab equipment and networking opportunities with other scientists and equipment dealers.

Before buying any used lab equipment, research the seller and the equipment carefully to ensure that you get a quality product at a fair price. It would help if you also inspect the equipment in person or ask for detailed photos and a detailed condition report before purchasing to avoid potential issues.


Buying used lab equipment can be a cost-effective solution for many research and laboratory settings. However, it is important to carefully consider the condition and functionality of the equipment before making a purchase.

Investing in a reputable supplier with a history of providing high-quality used equipment is crucial. It is where Biotechnical Services Inc. comes into play. We are a leading seller of used lab equipment in San Diego. Contact us to learn more about our pricing.