Used Ophthalmic Equipment Basics
There are many distributors of ophthalmic equipment who offer both new and remanufactured or refurbished machines. Some of the more common types of remanufactured equipment are slit lamps, phoropters, chairs and stands. It is typically higher-end equipment, which are remanufactured or refurbished and offered for resale. The reason being, that they can be offered at a substantially reduced price compared to new ophthalmic equipment, and the distributor still makes a reasonable profit. However, it is generally unwise to consider purchasing used surgical equipment, as many procedures require critical, flawless performance, which used equipment generally does not offer.
New practitioners that want to keep costs down are typically the buyers of remanufactured or refurbished equipment. It is not unusual for these practitioners to purchase more than one piece of equipment, in an effort to set up a fully equipped examination lane. It is quite easy to see the cost savings at this level, and with huge debt to begin with, this is the ideal way of starting out.
It is important to distinguish between used, refurbished, and remanufactured equipment. The bottom line is that whether it is refurbished or remanufactured it?s still used equipment and just like buying a used car, you need to protect yourself.
Keeping this important point in mind, can you get yourself a good deal? Absolutely! Just do your homework before deciding to purchase any ophthalmic equipment.
Private individuals who sell their used ophthalmic equipment usually offer no warranty so you may be stuck if the used piece of equipment has problems as soon as you set it up in your office. Calibration may be off, as well as unseen worn parts. This is the riskiest way to buy used ophthalmic equipment. In general, unless the equipment is an expensive, high-end machine that is still it the box and offered for next to nothing, you should probably stay away from it.
Remanufactured ophthalmic equipment of any type is taken completely apart, repaired, rebuilt to the manufacturer?s original specifications and then reassembled. The end result is generally a used machine that is as good as a new one, but selling for much less. Equipment more than 2 years old are the usual candidates for remanufacturing. It is not cost-effective to go through the process for newer machines. This equipment tends to have a limited warranty.
Refurbished ophthalmic equipment is typically less than 2 years old, and can be done either by the manufacturer or an ophthalmic equipment dealer. The machine is cleaned up a bit, and any broken components are replaced. However, it does not undergo the same rigorous tear down and rebuild that goes into remanufactured equipment. As a result, the machine may look a bit used depending on its original condition.
Remember, when making your decision weigh the final price, quality of the work, and length of the warranty. All things being equal, the best choice sometimes turns out to be manufacturer-refurbished equipment, they offer the longest warrantee, and a competitive price. If you?re willing to invest a little time doing some research, used ophthalmic instruments can look, and function just like new.
About the Author: Dr. Jay B Stockman O.D. is a contributing editor for myEyeNet. Visit http://myeyenet.com/ for more information.