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Advice on how to buy lower-cost equipment

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When a veterinarian is opening a practice, there’s usually a sense of “sticker shock” when the total cost of outfitting the new clinic comes in. Often, buying new equipment is just too expensive. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could buy the entire contents of a closing clinic for the fraction of the cost? Alternatively, if you have extra equipment you no longer need, wouldn’t it be great to sell it? But it’s not always that easy, for various reasons.

Some of the barriers that arise when sales are conducted between veterinary clinics include:

  1. The seller doesn’t know how much equipment should be listed for, and the buyer doesn’t know how much to pay.
  2. Neither party knows how to repair equipment that’s not working, so it makes for a very confusing transaction.
  3. Unclear contracts and transaction dealings (i.e. should I collect the money before or after they get the product?)
  4. Lack of knowledge regarding shipping and packaging, especially where larger items, such as cages, are concerned.
  5. Veterinarians are typically very busy – especially if they don’t have a business manager. They often have little time to sell surplus assets or acquire used product from each other.

Not surprisingly, veterinarians typically have reservations about buying technical equipment from other veterinarians because of the risk involved. At the end of the day, it’s usually easier just to buy from dealers because of the assurance of assistance in such cases – but again, this gets pricey.

A used equipment broker or exchange network can help you overcome all the aforementioned obstacles. These options can help find a buyer if you’re selling, and a seller if you’re looking to buy. They also provide valuable services such as repairs, warranties, shipping and escrow type services, making buying and selling used equipment a low risk, stress-free experience.

Bob Simpson is the founder of Canmedical, which has been serving the veterinary community across Canada for over 35 years. Canmedical specializes in veterinary digital imaging products and also has a service department equipped to fix almost all veterinary clinic equipment. Approximately five years ago, Bob created VEEN (Veterinary Equipment Exchange Network) for the North American trading market; he also has an American trading network, VEENAmerica, based in New York.