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While there are many benefits to pre-owned lab instruments, many misconceptions surround them. In this guide, we’ll debunk some of the most common myths about used lab equipment, from its quality to its longevity and more.

Used Lab Equipment Is Low-Quality

Buyers’ most common misconception regarding pre-owned lab equipment is its quality. Too many lab managers assume that used equipment subpar and not nearly as capable as brand-new instruments.

This misconception assumes the used equipment was sold because it was broken and, if the instrument was broken once, it will always be defective. Labs sell their equipment to a supplier for many reasons—they need the extra funds, the lab’s priorities changed, or they’re downsizing and moving locations. Selling quality equipment is common for many labs, and at Conquer Scientific, we refurbish any instruments in need so every buyer can get high-quality equipment.

Used Lab Equipment Has a Short Lifespan

Many people don’t consider used lab equipment because they want instruments that will last a long time and believe the myth that pre-owned instruments have short lifespans. While used equipment may have a shorter lifespan than brand-new models, it can still function for years at a much more affordable price than new OEM instruments.

It’s no different than purchasing a used car—a model with 30,000 miles may not be brand-new, but it has a long life ahead of it and is much more affordable than new models. At Conquer Scientific, we ensure all instruments we sell can last for many years, so customers get the utmost value out of their purchase.

Used Lab Equipment Doesn’t Come With a Warranty

Another reason some labs are apprehensive about purchasing pre-owned lab instruments is the warranty coverage. It’s a common fallacy that labs can only get a warranty coverage on new OEM lab equipment and not used instruments, but this myth is easy to debunk.

Labs can still get the same warranty coverage on items from Conquer Scientific that they would from OEMs. We stand by any product available in our inventory, and the proof is the warranty coverage that ensures we’ll make it right if something goes wrong.

Used Lab Equipment Doesn’t Include Services

Maintenance and repair services are critical for many labs when buying equipment, but these services are not restricted to OEM suppliers. Many used lab equipment sellers, like Conquer Scientific, offer repair and maintenance services for all customers.

Our lab equipment repair service team is always on-call and ready to help with malfunctioning instruments. Our staff of equipment experts is experienced and capable of working on practically every type of lab machine from renowned OEMs like Shimadzu, Agilent, and more. For labs operating on a strict schedule, our replacement/loaner program will help them quickly get the necessary equipment so their lab doesn’t suffer downtime.

Used Lab Equipment Is Out of Date

While OEMS rave about the features and technologies of their newest instruments, these additions typically aren’t essential to capable equipment. Labs prefer cutting-edge equipment, but it’s easy to find used equipment that is only a few years old and just as capable of performing the same duties as brand-new instruments.

Let’s return to the used car analogy. A vehicle that’s a few years old may not have all the newest gadgets and features of a brand-new model, but it’s just as capable of performing its primary duties at a much more affordable price. In many cases, the difference between a new piece of lab equipment and one just a few years older is negligible and not worth the significant added expense.

Used Lab Equipment Is Only for Low-Budget Labs

The stigma regarding used lab equipment is that it’s only for labs on razor-thin budgets that can’t afford much. While used lab instruments are common in many labs with low budgets—like university labs and start-ups—it’s just as common at well-funded workplaces.

Even well-funded labs with plenty to spend on new equipment will choose used equipment for the same reason as low-budget labs—they get similar quality machines at much lower prices. Every dollar saved when purchasing pre-owned instruments can go toward other research areas.

All Used Lab Equipment Suppliers Are the Same

While there are many good reasons to purchase used lab equipment, buyers should be wary about the supplier they purchase from. To use the automotive industry again as a comparison, plenty of buyers have been burned by a used car seller and ended up with a lemon.

Some used lab equipment suppliers are less reputable and reliable than others. At Conquer Scientific, we stand by our reputation as a used equipment supplier with decades of experience selling high-quality used instruments to satisfied buyers.

Tips for Purchasing Used Lab Equipment

For those convinced that used lab equipment would benefit their lab, we have some tips to consider when purchasing.

Research the Equipment Seller

As discussed previously, not every used lab equipment supplier is the same, so buyers should research all options before making a purchase. How long has the supplier been around, and what’s their reputation in the industry?

Lab managers should survey colleagues about lab equipment suppliers to see if they’ve bought from them in the past and how they felt about their experience. Colleagues are the best resources for lab managers and equipment buyers.

Ask About the Equipment’s History

As with purchasing a pre-owned vehicle, lab managers should ask about the equipment’s history before making a final purchase. Namely, they should inquire about the equipment’s age and the wear and tear on the instrument.

At Conquer Scientific, we ensure all the products in our inventory are high-quality or have been refurbished so that our customers are comfortable and confident in their purchase.


We hope our explainer has put some myths following the pre-owned and refurbished lab equipment industry to rest. If you’re considering used equipment, Conquer Scientific has a vast inventory of used and refurbished products, like used LC/MS instruments. Contact our expert staff to learn more about our products and services.

Debunking Myths About Used Lab Equipment