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  • Writer's pictureMartin Steel

Why pay more for a refurbished mass spectrometer?

Imagine you are in the market for a used car. Do you buy as-is, no warranty, with a few positive words – “runs great”. Many moons ago, your only option was to buy from an independent dealer who bought low – maybe at auction and sold high.

Then in market strategy changed. Dealerships offered certified used vehicles with little to no warranty and then in the last 10 years CarMax and Carvana made the process of buying a certified used car relatively risk free with warranties and return options.

Unless you like to visit Vegas and gamble, most of us would prefer a stress-free purchase experience when we are parting with larger sums of money.

This translates to the used LC/MS/MS marketplace. Would you prefer to buy a lower cost mass spec, that was shut down an indeterminable amount of time ago, with no history or recollection of its working condition and more importantly it’s performance with the few positive words “working when turned off”? Sound familiar to the car buying experience?

At McKinley Scientific, we believe everyone wants to invest wisely and paying more for a refurbished instrument not only addresses the working condition but also the performance.

However, you look at the economics of the cost; parts, labor, and expertise, they are values that you probably end up paying for whether you buy used or refurbished. McKinley Scientific can perform this work at our test laboratory where we have all the resources on hand to do the work efficiently. Buy a used, as-is LC/MS/MS and find out it needs extensive work can cost you twice as much as the delta in pricing between used and refurbished because all the work occurs off-site, with no baseline performance data, and a myriad of troubleshooting just to diagnose the initial apparent problems. Factor in travel time, travel expenses, hotels, meals, rental car, cost of parts, cost of labor, shipping of parts and the likelihood that a return trip is required, and the bill can spiral out of control.

Paying less can cost you dear. Take a look at a refurbishment on a Peak generator:

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