We talk to people every day looking for their next C-arm system. Frequently, we're asked if we offer a trial period for refurbished C-arms; a "try it before you buy it" demo so a facility can see the technical capabilities of a system in practice and/or see in person the quality of a refurbishment process.
Most of the time, when you're working with a refurbished equipment provider, the answer to this question is no. Below, we're going to share with you why this is the case as well as an alternative that can create a win/win solution for both your facility and the refurbished C-arm provider you're working with.
Why Most Providers Don't Do Trial Periods
There are a few main reasons why refurbished C-arm providers don't offer trial periods on their systems.
1. They don't hold inventory.
2. If they do hold inventory, they generally have the system fully funded up front and it will turn over quickly.
3.Cash management needs are in play too. Most companies have to purchase a machine up front and will need to see cash back faster than a free trial period will allow.
In a nutshell: because refurbished providers operate from a smaller pool of systems and offer them at significantly lower prices their speed of play, in terms of both inventory and cash management, is too quick to have a system out for several weeks on a trial run.
What You Can Do Instead
So, what is the best thing to do in this situation? It depends on why you want a trial period. If your primary motivation is to learn more about technical specifications, mechanical capabilities, or applications, there are a great number of resources that can provide information along those lines- comparison guides, user reviews, technical spec sheets from the manufacturer, etc.
If your concerns revolve more around vetting your provider and the quality of their refurbishment process, the best solution might be a short-term rental. It's a minimal investment and a great way to get to know a company and equipment; a win/win solution. In many cases, you can even arrange rent-to-own terms that apply your rental fees toward the purchase of the system, should you find that it meets your facility’s needs well.
If a trial period isn't available to you but you still want the opportunity to vet a prospective C-arm, some of the resources below might help you learn what you need to about some of the most popular models. There are also resources that will help you vet a provider.
And if these options still don't satisfy your curiosity, you can always submit a request to rent a C-arm system and have it in house as long you like.