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Buying Medical Imaging Equipment on the Secondary Market

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Buying medical imaging equipment on the secondary market can be easy if you take these 5 things into consideration. Watch as David McAndrews, Your Imaging Solutions Coach, breaks it down for you... 


I was an economics teacher in a previous career and one of the most basic things I taught was the principle of scarcity. In a country where everything is abundant and a mouse click away, it is difficult to truly value the element of scarcity. There are thousands and thousands of pieces of medical imaging equipment in the world.  There are also many makes, models, and configurations that are very rare. At any given time, only a handful (or in some cases none or one) of any particular make and model are for sale.


Because of scarcity you have to be flexible. This flexibility may range from being open to changing manufacturer preference or simply not being hell-bent on a very specific option that may (or may not) come on the equipment. It is important to separate needs from wants. You can almost always get what you need from the secondary market, but you might not be able to get exactly what you want.  In some cases, you can have both without any problem.


Lining up equipment based on need and availability date is crucial to a successful imaging project. It is also one of the most difficult parts of my job as an equipment provider. There are several modalities which require a number of months to adequately plan. So, it is important to choose the direction you want to go early and then be flexible during the selection process. Interestingly, timelines for secondary market equipment are in some cases shorter than new equipment. In addition to the equipment availability, you need to know what your build out will entail and how long that will take.


Paying for equipment in the secondary market may be different than typical payment schemes with manufacturers, who may make financing easy but also cost more with less flexibility. There are many finance options for the secondary market that pair good rates with flexibility or you can always pay cash.  A typical payment schedule requires:

  • Deposit - needed to take the equipment off the market,
  • Majority Payment - due prior to the system's removal from its current location
  • Small Holdback - (if the system is being installed) to ensure both parties are vested in the finished project

Work with your sales rep and financial institution to make sure the money is ready to lock up the system, move the system and install the system.  It will smooth out your process considerably.

Ongoing Service

When you purchase new equipment it typically comes with a warranty of some sort and you do not have to put much thought into the service until the initial contract expires. Depending on how you structure the deal, the same can be true for equipment coming from the secondary market. It is essential to work with a company that can provide quality service and support for the equipment they are offering.

I hope this helps clear up some things about purchasing equipment from the secondary market. Remember that to buy equipment in the secondary market you have to: realize you are looking for something that is scarce, be flexible in your selection, have your timeline worked out properly, be ready to pay according to terms, and have a plan for service.

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