When you need to get equipment for your lab but are working with a tight budget, looking for used machinery for sale can be a great option to save money while keeping your program rolling. One popular option to consider when looking for used equipment is lab equipment auctions. But how do you know whether that equipment will provide you with years of reliable service or will cost you more of your already precious budget funds? In this article, we’ll explore how to inspect lab equipment tat you find available at auction to ensure you make a great investment.
What to look for in used lab equipment auctions
- Make sure the equipment is free and clear to be purchased. If it’s currently part of the collateral for a financial agreement, the person selling it may not have the right to do so, leaving you without either your funds or the equipment you need.
- Check the equipment in question for signs of abuse. If the casing has been dented, the frame bent or poor repairs made to the equipment, it may not operate well enough to meet the exacting standards of your lab.
- See if the used equipment has been calibrated recently. If the equipment hasn’t been calibrated, make sure it can be, otherwise you may find yourself with equipment that can’t be used or will require extensive – and expensive – repairs to be usable.
- Take a look for signs of wear that may require further repairs. If pulleys on a belt are loose, how will that affect the parts the belt drives? Will it cause faster wear in certain areas or require much more frequent belt replacements? If the machinery is in need of repair, remember that connected systems may also have damage that you can’t see yet but should consider in your final bidding price.
- Ask if you can see a sample of the equipment output, if applicable. Knowing that the machinery is functional enough to provide good output so that you can record results is vital to knowing whether the machine will work well overall for your purposes.
- Check for signs of aging or potential failure points. Are there rubber hoses that are beginning to dry rot or crack? Is the plastic view plate beginning to yellow or become opaque? Does the glassware have any chips, cracks or other points of structural weakness? Knowing that the machinery will hold up to further work without failing is vital to determining its true value to your lab.
- Ask what kind of work the equipment was used for in the past. Many types of plastic can be porous, a problem if it can’t be sterilized between the sellers project and your projects. Microbial and pollutant contamination can skew your research results or cause problems with whatever you’re producing in your lab. Have metal parts been exposed to radiation? You’ll need to consider both the past and future uses of the machinery.
By knowing what to look for when inspecting machinery at lab equipment auctions, you can ensure that you’re making a smart investment. Many business owners and lab managers prefer using online auctions, because it allows you to have a longer opportunity to ask the right questions about the equipment for sale.