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What is the Right Price for an Analytical Instrument for Your Startup Lab?

by Stepan Reut

When you start a new lab, you know what you need, but what can you afford? Should you buy a new or used instrument?

Price. Buy an instrument that you can make money on. As a rule of thumb, your new instrument should cost about as much as the two-year revenue that you can make on this instrument. Example. Your lab outsources metal analysis to another lab, and you pay $15,000 a year for lead analysis. It is a good idea to invest up to 2*$15,000=$30,000 and buy a Flame AA.

New Instrument vs Refurbished. New instruments are more sensitive and productive than the older models. If you are in a very busy lab, then buy a new instrument. Your saving on maintenance and fewer lost hours will overweight the cost. If you are on the budget, then buy a used instrument. It will cost 30%-70% cheaper but will last another 10 years.

Don’ts: Do not buy cheap, it will not work; Do not buy scientific equipment from a non-name manufacturer – it will not work, Don’t buy the used instrument if you don’t know who will be fixing it.

And by the way, if you want to hire me as an independent consultant to help your company with starting a new lab, please contact me through the CONTACT US form. I offer my services in video conference format and in-person.

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It is my personal technical blog about laboratory business. 

All content is based on my first-hand experience of being a business entrepreneur, laboratory owner, laboratory manager, QC manager, laboratory auditor, site assessor for AIHA-LAP, and a bench chemist. 
If you like what you read here, and need my help with establishing your laboratory business in Canada or your home country, please send me a message.

Truly yours,
Stepan Reut, Ph.D.
London, Ontario, Canada
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