When buying ophthalmic equipment, price is far from the only consideration. Warranty, reliability, quality, service, support, and company reputation are all topics to engage when purchasing equipment. After all, ophthalmic equipment is an investment in your practice, and its proper functioning is vital to the health of that practice. So how do you go about evaluating each factor before your purchase? Let’s break them down into a manageable approach.
There is plenty of support behind each of these options. A new product will often come with both a warranty and a company that will stand behind their manufacturing from day one. Used products, on the other hand, come with a greater risk, but also a high monetary reward.
If you’re purchasing new, shop around for pricing but don’t sacrifice company name or integrity. Go with a brand you trust, and seek out references from fellow peers. If you decide to purchase used, make sure that your seller has a well-documented service history, and that they have maintained the product diligently throughout their ownership. Many sites sell used equipment and therefore have standard documentation, limited warranties, and return policies in place that can reduce the risk of buying used.
Used equipment is often dated, and placed for sale after the owner has upgraded to a newer technology. Assess the needs of your practice and decide whether the latest and greatest is a priority for your practice. Oftentimes the small additional investment for a newer model is worth the cost. It depends on what you feel you truly need to help you keep your practice running at its best. Think about whether a new or used piece of equipment will retain its value over time, will suit your needs, and will ultimately pay for itself in the long run.
Warranty and Service
When it comes to large purchases, warranties are a very important item to review carefully. Maintaining your equipment is important and key to making your investment last. And remember, anyone can make a promise. A warranty from an upstanding company is much more valuable than one from a relatively unknown supplier. Before purchase, take some time to provide yourself with a few assurances:
- Does the supplier have a good reputation?
- Do they have a dedicated service department?
- Do they make on-site service calls?
- What exactly is covered on the warranty?
- When does the warranty expire?
- Are there any hidden costs for repairs under that warranty?
- Does the company do their own repairs or do they contract out the work to a third party?
- How quickly can they repair your piece of equipment?
- What is the return policy?
Buying ophthalmic equipment is a serious business decision, and should be conducted with an eye on the return of investment that the purchased piece can provide over time. If a dated model still performs all of the necessary functions, you may be able to save a significant amount of money by purchasing equipment used. Yet, often the safety and security of a new piece of technology under warranty is worth the extra cost. Price matters, but it should not be the only factor considered when making such an important decision for your practice. Take the time to get to know your equipment manufacturer and their history, reputation, and service. After all, you are not simply buying a piece of equipment, you are also buying a relationship that must last throughout the lifespan of that equipment.
There are multiple factors to consider during any large purchase you make for your practice, and ophthalmic equipment is no exception. Price, service, warranty, and the particular seller you choose are all factors that should be included as a part of every purchase you consider.