Laboratory Evaporators: Buying New vs. Used
Although buying a used laboratory evaporator gives you the possibility of saving some money upfront, often times the savings do not offset the cost of fixing the used instrument later on. In most cases, buying a brand new laboratory evaporator is actually a more cost efficient option. Preparing a sample that is free of contaminants is the goal of any analytical chemistry organization. The last thing you want is to do is worry that the second hand sample concentrator you bought may be jeopardizing your operation.
Every once in a while, one of our Sales Technicians receive a call from a customer looking for replacement parts for an Organomation nitrogen evaporator that their lab bought over 30 years ago. The problem that we run into is that often times the parts they are requesting have been retired from our company parts list due to the evolution of our evaporators over the years. We can always provide these customers with alternative solutions to their problem, but this story highlights the main benefit of purchasing new equipment. This customer bought one of our nitrogen evaporators and benefited from continuous operation of the equipment for over 30 years! Do you think that they got their money out of that purchase?
If you are considering the purchase of a used nitrogen evaporator, the safest way is to purchase a refurbished unit directly from the manufacturer. Most of the second hand units you see posted online have been used but not refurbished, often called "as-is" units. These online vendors are often unfamiliar with laboratory evaporators and are not qualified to perform maintenance on the unit. On the other hand, the manufacturer's technicians built the laboratory evaporator and know it better than anyone else. These technicians typically replace all of the wearable parts to bring the unit to perfect operating condition. Buying refurbished products directly from the experts on the equipment is much better than going through on online auction site from a dealer who has never operated the unit.
Since manufactures know the instrument inside and out, they are also more likely to offer an extended warranty on not only new but refurbished instruments as well. For example, Organomation currently offers the same one year warranty for parts and labor on both their brand new and refurbished instruments. Usually, the same cannot be said for equipment brokers who could disappear right after your purchase.
Whether you are interested in new or used equipment, the best piece of advice that I can give is always do your homework. Uninformed purchases are a sure fire way to waste money and not get the product you need.