Determining The Fair Market Value Of Used Dental Equipment
Are you considering buying used or refurbished dental equipment? It’s only natural to have an extra sense of caution when choosing to buy something used rather than new. You may have questions about the item’s history or the seller’s motivation, for example, but ultimately want to be sure you’re saving money and getting the output and performance you expect to keep your dental practice running smoothly.
According to a survey of our customers, 98% of dentists said they make their used equipment purchase decision based on price. When prompted further, what they were really looking for in that price was value. You’re likely in this majority that is looking to do a quick cost benefit analysis of used equipment. How can this be done?
The best approach to a fair appraisal
For many used marketplaces, like used cars for instance, there exists a large and open exchange that makes it relatively easy to pin down fair price points. In less open industries, buyers must often trust that the seller is providing an accurate price.
There are three approaches to equipment appraisals: sales comparison approach, cost approach, and income approach.
The sales comparison approach is the most accurate way to address the used dental market. It considers the market supply and demand, weighs in used listings and auctions, and gathers as much information as possible about other sales. Atlas uses this approach to identify trends and find optimal price points by using multiple industry databases as well as our own 15 years of sales data of 75,000+ orders.
Hidden values in appraisals
Here are some additional factors to consider with the price to know if you’re maximizing value:
Ensure equipment comes with a warranty, or extended warranty if refurbished. A seller that offers a warranty on its used equipment is a strong indication of good faith and helps you hedge your purchase with some insurance if the equipment doesn’t perform like expected.
Refurbishment and inspection
Sellers who have the technical ability to inspect and refurbish equipment add significant value and security to your purchase. When buying used equipment, check the manufacturer specs but also be sure to check that there are testing and refurbishing notes that certify a detailed and thorough inspection, equipment history, cosmetic issues, lost or missing parts, and any components that were restored or refurbished.
Storage and care
Sellers without the proper storage capabilities might be exposing equipment to conditions that aren’t favorable to the materials or tech, which can further depreciation and possibly shorten the lifespan of your purchase. Make certain the equipment you are buying was stored and handled with professional care.
Shipping and handling
Evaluate the logistics of moving, installing, and uninstalling equipment – the time and cost for these activities can add up in a hurry. Used equipment sellers that provide resources for these activities can help bear some of that burden. You’ll also want to be sure you protect your investment through the shipping process. Every piece of dental equipment is unique, and often fragile, which requires a seller that knows best practices for packaging and shipping multiple types of equipment.
The bottom line with any fair appraisal is to cover all your bases related to cost and future expenses. Sellers who have a responsible approach to how they monitor the market, care for the equipment, and maintain good customer service after the sale will help you get the maximum value out of your purchase.
Atlas buys and sells used dental equipment worldwide and can provide industry insight on anything from pricing to technical support. We welcome any opportunity to partner with a dentist who is evaluating buying used dental equipment.