Home > Used Laser Buying Tips > Medical Lasers: Buying New Versus Used

Medical Lasers: Buying New Versus Used

When a new piece of equipment hits the aesthetic market, there is often a race to buy this technology quickly and sell treatments to consumers while there isn’t as much competition. Consumers in the aesthetic industry tend to be early adopters, jumping on the latest and greatest technology, believing that it will finally be the answer they are looking for. This often happens even when there is very little clinic research to support the claims made by the laser manufacturer regarding the equipment.

Those clinics that buy the latest technology typically must buy it from the manufacturer at top dollar. Sadly, most NEW aesthetic equipment becomes obsolete 2 or 3 years after the initial purchase, however most leases on that same equipment last for 5 or 6 years. Any leasing company will require a personal guarantee., which means that when you “lease” you are really “buying”.

In the world of aesthetics, technology is evolving at a rapid pace. This evolution also means that laser equipment does not remain useful for very long. It’s a hard pill to swallow when you continue to make monthly lease payments on equipment that has become a “doorstop” inside your practice. If you’ve paid top dollar for that equipment, it just makes that pill you’re swallowing even the more bitter.

If the technology fails to deliver results, this practice now has a piece of equipment that is only worth a small fraction of what you originally paid for it. A practice that plays this strategy for very long will continue to accumulate additional leases and have equipment that delivers very little ROI two or three years into the lease. It doesn’t take too many years of doing this until the liabilities on your company balance sheet are consuming your net worth and eating up all of your positive cash flow!

Another key issue is keeping your lease costs down so that you remain competitive. If your practice buys a new medical laser and your competitor buys the same laser pre-owned at a 70% discount, your competitor has a large competitive advantage over you. His fixed costs on capital equipment are 70% less than yours which means higher profit margins for him. He also has the ability to offer lower treatment prices and potentially put you out of business. You also have the option to match his lower prices, but you will need to compensate for the higher costs you are paying on that equipment by having a higher treatment volume. If you choose to keep your prices higher, then you will need to somehow differentiate your practice from the competition by offering other “value-added” benefits that justify your higher prices. This could be “Board Certified Dermatologist” or “Onsite Physician” etc.

The Best Strategy for Buying Medical Lasers

The best solution to keep up with advancing technology is to wait 18-24 months after a new device is introduced before you purchase anything. When you do buy, never buy NEW. Always buy used. This will allow the following benefits:

1. You will let someone else take the hit on depreciation (It will allow you to save 70-80%)
2. It allows you to monitor the reception of this technology in the aesthetic industry and go beyond the hype to find out the level of satisfaction of those doctors who have been using the device for the past 18-24 months and review clinical data. A good way to monitor this is to attend meeting such as the ASLMS and discuss items with other physicians who have the technology at trade shows.
3. If the device appears to be living up to expectations, then this could potentially be a technology to invest in and you will be much better off than the practices who jumped in early and have lost significant money by overpaying for aesthetic equipment.
If you’ve decided to buy a used medical laser, you’ve already made a smart decision. You can get a medical laser that’s just as good as a brand-new one without paying for the depreciation that wallops new laser buyers as soon as they fire their first pulse. Even lasers that are less than a year old are 40-50% percent cheaper than brand-new lasers.

Vin Wells, MHSA
www.RockBottomLasers.com
800-791-1097

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