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How to Sell Used Medical Equipment?

August 03, 2020

A single hospital will have hundreds if not thousands of pieces of equipment that is being used every day. Most equipment in a hospital will be used for 5 to 10 years before it is replaced by newer pieces. So, what should you do with the equipment you are replacing? In most cases, that equipment has significant value in the used market. Refurbishers, resellers, and even other hospitals and clinics are interested in purchasing your used equipment.

So, what are the best options for you to sell and have your used equipment removed from your hospital? This article is intended to provide you with a simple outline of the options available to you and the pros and cons to each option.

 

1. List it Yourself: Some organizations have their own Asset Recovery Team that centralizes all the used equipment, photographs it, and creates their own listings on online medical auction sites like Mazree.com.

Advantages: This approach has lowest commission fees enabling you to retain as much of the value as possible.

Disadvantages: You need to have the resources, space, and logistics to support the internal operation of pickup from the facilities, photographing, listing, storing, and coordinating with buyers for pickup.

Best For: This is best for organizations that have the resources and infrastructure (space and courier) to support this. It is usually exceedingly difficult to do this if your health system has several facilities spread across several states.

 

2. Get it Listed for You: Another option is to just keep the items at the hospital and provide pictures and info to a team like Mazree to list.

Advantages: This is a lower commission rate and you do not have to deal with any of the logistical costs of courier or a warehouse.

Disadvantages: You will need to have a resource that can take the pictures and provide the information to a listing team. You will also need some storage space at your facility to hold the item and will need to coordinate pickup with the buyer.

Best For: This is best for hospitals that have available resources to do some of the work and some open storage space at their hospital.

 

3. Trade-In: You are replacing an older unit with a new unit and the manufacturer offers you a trade-in. This is a quite common option that most hospitals utilize for their valuable but retired medical equipment.

Advantages: This does not require much effort on your part. The manufacturer takes care of everything.

Disadvantages: A trade-in is usually significantly less than what it can be sold for in the used market. It is important to note that trade-in’s often disguise the discount you have negotiated on the new piece of equipment. It is common for manufacturers to bury their discounts in the trade-in to hide from the market the discounts they are providing on the new equipment. We have some suggestions below to help uncover your true trade-in value.

Best For: A trade-in is only best if you are getting a great trade-in offer. If you are considering doing a trade-in here are some helpful steps to know if you are getting a great offer:

  1. Quote #1: Ask for a quote without the trade-in first. Do not infer that you will ask for a second quote with the trade-in included.
  2. Quote #2: Once you receive the first quote and know that number, ask for a second quote with the trade-in offer. Now you should have a better idea of what they are really giving you in a trade-in versus a discount on the new equipment.
  3. List to Auction: Now you will want to list the equipment to an auction site like Mazree and set your Reserve Price to at least your trade-in value plus any commission fees. The winning buyer will be responsible for deinstallation and removal at their cost. Auctions can move quickly, so you generally will only need to run it for a couple of weeks. If you get bids above your Reserve Price, then you now have a better offer than your trade-in. If not, then take the trade-in offer.

It is not uncommon for a high bid at an auction to be more than double the trade-in offer. It is also important to note that the buyers bidding on the auction are often the same groups that are hired by the manufacturer to deinstall and remove a trade-in. So, you are generally not getting more experienced personnel for removal whether you go the trade-in or the auction route.

 

4. Full Service: Another common option for selling used medical equipment is to have a company do everything for you – from pickup at the hospital, to warehousing, listing, and sale.

Advantages: There is little (if any) cash outlay for this. You do not need to hire resources for the program, rent warehouse space, or pay couriers for logistics. You also do not need to interact and coordinate pickup with buyers. A company like Mazree can do it all for you. Another advantage is that you will not be filling up rooms and storage closets in your hospital. Your asset disposition provider will come on a regular basis and pick up everything so you can keep your limited space free for other needs.

Disadvantages: Fees for this type of service are the most expensive since the company is doing everything. As a result, the checks that come to you will be smaller.

Best For: This type of service is best for hospitals and health systems that do not have the necessary resources, space, or logistics to sell their used medical equipment. In addition, making money on that used equipment may not be your top priority, instead it is getting everything removed and properly disposed of on a regular basis by a company you can trust.

To summarize, there are a variety of options for hospitals and health systems to sell their used medical equipment. The option that is best for your health system depends on your own objectives, resources, and capabilities. If you need help evaluating the options for your health system, you can contact companies like ours. Mazree specializes in the buying and selling of used medical equipment and we would love to help you implement the asset recovery program that is best for your hospital or health system.