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Selling Your Used Medical Equipment

Posted by Carlos Rosado on

Most health care facilities have little idea of what their equipment is worth, when they want to sell it. Unfortunately, there's no such thing as a "Blue Book" of medical equipment prices.

However, we do have the internet and it can be a very valuable tool, in terms of researching the value of your equipment. My two favorite websites for cost research are Ebay and DotMed. 

Although these sites can help give you some insight as to the market value of your equipment, that does not necessarily mean the pricing you find, will be the price you receive.

Think of medical equipment the same as any other commodity. What really drives pricing is demand. You may have a piece of equipment you paid $10,000 for a few years ago and you're expecting to get anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 when you sell it. However, that piece of equipment may no longer be desirable or perhaps it is now obsolete. In short, don't base your price on the original purchase cost of the item.

Here's a simple way to determine value and I'll use a hypothetical scenario to help illustrate it. You would like to   sell your Datascope vital signs monitor, which is 5 years old and you purchased new for $4000. You find they are selling on Ebay, with the same accessories and parameters, for $2000 so you naturally believe your monitor  should be worth that same price. If you can find another clinic or facility that needsone, you may get that price. However, if you're selling to a vendor, you'll need to lower your expectations. 

Vendors will typically pay 25% - 50% of the price you find on Ebay. Not because they're trying to low ball you but rather because they are buying the monitor on speculation. They will add it to their inventory, when they sell it, they'll likely have to put some money into it, as well as carry a warranty. Sometimes it takes a year or longer to sell a piece of equipment so a vendor has to purchase at a price that ensures they'll make money if they have to sit on their inventory for a while. 

If your Datascope monitor is selling on Ebay for $2000, a vendor will likely only offer you $500. However, once you sell the monitor its no longer your problem and hopefully, you've already depreciated it off your books. But, if you sell it to another clinic or even on Ebay, you are now responsible for making sure the monitor is fully functional, with all accessories. If it were to break, 30 days after you sold it, you'd have to warranty any repairs or expenses. Healthcare facilities are not in a position to deal with these kinds of problems. 

Make your life easier and sell to a vendor. If you don't know where to start, feel free to send me an email and I can point you in the right direction. Depending on the item, I may be interested in buying it myself.

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