Ask The Expert

A Guide to Buying Refurbished Equipment

Learn SOMA Technology's perspective on buying used or refurbished equipment over new items. What questions should buyers ask and why & what to consider.

Mon Feb 19 2018By ATWright

On this week's MedWrench Ask the Expert series, we will be talking about the benefits of purchasing refurbished equipment. Ever wondered what questions to ask when buying refurbished equipment? This week's blog is for you! We spoke with SOMA Technology's Alyssa Adler for information on this topic.  


1. What are benefits of purchasing used/refurbished over new equipment?


There are many benefits to purchasing refurbished over new. The largest reason people tend to choose refurbished equipment is that it is around half the cost as new. This leaves more room in capital medical budgets for other projects.  As long as the equipment is refurbished and sold by a reputable company which warrantees its work, the refurbished option will be functionally identical to a new version.  Refurbished equipment is also a greener option as refurbishing both requires fewer raw materials than new construction and also reduces the size of landfills.  

2. Should the buyer expect a warranty when purchasing used/refurbished?


All of Somas refurbished equipment is brought back to the original equipment manufacturers specifications. This includes a warranty on all products that we sell. While warranties vary depending on the specific piece of equipment, they mirror what is available from the original manufacturer. We also offer the option for preventative maintenance and extended service contracts.


3. Are parts and service options available after the sale is made?


Service is included for the duration of the warranty period. Additionally, installation and in-service can be provided for any product we sell, including JCAHO and electrical safety certification. We stock enough parts to be able to support our equipment for 7-10 years beyond the original purchase and  also sell replacement parts directly on our website, If you need a replacement part, please email, with a description of the part and the part number.


4. What questions should a buyer ask when purchasing new?


What is the cost of equipment?  Which accessories, if any, are included?  How is this model different from the previous model? Will any additional features improve clinical outcomes, patient safety or compliance? How will it affect standardization in the facility? What is the maintenance cost compared to the older model? Are there low cost 3rd party companies trained to work on the new model? How long after the new model is introduced will OEM support for the older model be stopped? What is the standard warranty?  What is the current lead time on the equipment?


5. What questions should a buyer ask when purchasing used/refurbished?


What is the cost of the equipment?  Are any accessories included? What is the refurbishment process? How long is the warranty?  Does the warranty cover parts and labor? Is the company certified by reputable organizations? Is the product in stock? Is pre-payment necessary?


6. How can SOMA help customers acquire the latest high-tech capabilities a facility needs through refurbished equipment?

Oftentimes, Soma will carry refurbished options for the same items which are still being sold new by the manufacturer.  Even if a certain piece of equipment is too new to be available refurbished, we likely carry alternatives which offer similar functionality, whether from the same or alternative manufacturers.  Either way, the customer will save money compared with purchasing the same equipment new from the OEM while still receiving the same warranty.  And in those cases where a facility does not have the available capital budget, we also offer financing and rental options.


7. What features should a facility consider when purchasing C-arms?


The two most important factors to consider are the procedures the c-arm will be used with as well as the budget the facility currently has available.  By having a clear idea of their current and likely near-future cases, a center can avoid buying too much or too little machine for their needs.  For example, the standard 9 image intensifier (ii) is all a center would need if their caseload consists of pain management, small orthopedics (knees, ankles, wrists, etc.) or urology procedures; however, they would likely need a 12 ii for hips or shoulders.  Similarly, while the general or extended surgical software packages (GSP and ESP, respectively) will work for the vast majority of cases, if a center will be doing vascular studies or cardiac procedures then more advanced software packages would be required.  


From a cost perspective, the more flexible a center is able to be, as far as brands and models are concerned, the wider availability of price options.  For example, some brands are generally priced a bit lower than others while still offering similar capabilities to their more expensive competitors.  Even if a customer is only open to one specific brand, there can still be options.  In this case, the most recently replaced model likely offers very similar functionality for a significant savings when compared with the currently manufactured option.



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