If you work at a research institute or company there is a good chance that you have a valuable piece of laboratory equipment or scientific instrument on your premises that is hardly in use anymore. Maybe you already purchased a newer model, maybe the instrument is defunct because of a missing part, or perhaps you simply no longer have a need for it.
In these cases it can often be worthwhile to consider selling the redundant equipment, but how to go about it? Before offering up your instrument for sale, your might want to consider some of the challenges and opportunities related to selling second-hand equipment.
Risks and considerations
Selling second-hand laboratory equipment involves more steps than is the case for new devices. Because the equipment was already used before, the seller has to make sure the devices are free from contamination and faults are repaired. It also helps if the original documentation is complete. Similar to selling new equipment, you may have to negotiate shipment, maintenance and think about warranty. You may be lucky enough to have some experience in this yourself, or maybe the buyer is happy to take some of the risk for you and can pick up the equipment at your location. If you want to get rid of your instrument and receive some cash for it fast, you could consider making a deal with a reseller that has experience with used instruments.
Resellers of laboratory equipment are often experienced brokers that have the infrastructure and expertise in place to repair, store and sell your equipment on to other buyers. Resellers usually buy equipment at research institutes and companies, make sure it’s in a good state and then offer it for sale themselves to sell it at a higher price. Although this may seem simple, brokers also incur the costs for repairing, storage, transport and marketing and therefore have to consider many factors and decide if potential profits outweigh the associated risks.
Alternative ways to sell used equipment
There are some alternative ways to sell used scientific equipment via a broker/reseller. One of those is selling your equipment on consignment. In this scenario you remain the owner who holds on to the equipment until the broker has found a buyer. Once a buyer is found and the actual sale can take place, the broker typically picks up and takes care of repairs, shipment, and delivery to the buyer. In exchange, the broker gets a commission, typically a share of the profit.
Other ways to sell laboratory equipment is through auctions and/or by selling multiple pieces at once. Resellers are often on the lookout for opportunities like this, because they can buy a lot of pieces together cheaply, and later sell them individually for a better price.
The role of QuestPair
Regardless of the type of laboratory equipment that’s for sale and whether is new or used, the main issue for sellers is often to find a suitable buyer within a reasonable time frame. In practice, this often turns out to be challenging. To find buyers, sellers often use their local networks or advertise the equipment on their own websites. However, the market for second-hand scientific equipment is very fragmented and there are many buyers and sellers that all use different networks and places to communicate. Therefore, the need arises for a dedicated marketplace that makes scientific products visible so that the matching becomes easier.
The idea of QuestPair is to have one dedicated portal for laboratory equipment and scientific products, so that buyers and sellers can quickly find each other and make satisfactory deals with each other. To do this, we offer a space where sellers can advertise their products and where buyers can list their requests. Other than that, we prefer to let buyers and sellers sort out the details of the sale and logistics themselves.
Listing a few products is free. At this moment, already several resellers of used laboratory equipment such as LabMakelaar and LC&S have listed some of their instruments on QuestPair. To list your products and benefit from more of what QuestPair has to offer, please take a look at the subscriptions on our website or contact us directly through the form below.