Why Buy Refurbished Than New:

September, 2020


1). It’s Typically A Better Financial Move

Although not an exact measurement, I see most refurbished devices with Acme are priced at about 40%-60% of the current manufacturer’s MSRP. Not only does this say a lot about depreciation (see 2), but it also says something about corporate profits from health devices. Manufacturer marks ups are typically vast– allowing for salaried (and commissioned) sales representatives and excessive margins. Carl Zeiss Meditech made nearly $234 million dollars in 2019 meaning we estimate their margin at about 16%- significantly higher than most manufacturers- of anything. Compare that with motor-vehicle manufacturers whom enjoy narrow margins between 4.5%-6.5%


Q: “If I buy new I’ll get training and install support which Acme Revival does not offer, right?”

This is true– Acme does not offer in-person installations or training services. If this service is worth the (usual) thousands you’re saving purchasing refurbished, then perhaps new makes sense here. An industry secret (and federal law) would however point to a user manual as just as helpful as any sales representative 😉



2). Refurbished Devices See Far Less Depreciation

Besides the obvious notion that refurbished instrumentation is certainly less expensive than new, a refurbished instrument maintains its value far better. Let’s take the Zeiss Humphrey FDT 710 Visual Field Screener for example. The device new from Carl Zeiss Meditech is nearly $8,500 delivered–we predict that within the first 30 days that device will lose almost half its value. The same device purchased from Acme Revival, should lose no more than 7% per year. In short, a pre-owned device means the original owner took the brutal financial hit for you.


Q: “But Phillip, what happens when my refurbish device breaks, then it will be worth nothing?”

This is a valid question and something to consider- when purchasing anything (new or used). That being said, there is little evidence to support that a refurbished medical device, less than 10 years old, breaks anymore frequently than one that is brand new.”


3). They’re Typically Just As Robust As New

I think most potential customers fear a refurbished device has had some prior catastrophic event that left it defective and left in some warehouse to rot before we got our hands on it. This is not the case. Most devices that Acme sources come from clinical trade-ins, corporate liquidations, or bankruptcies. These devices have had a normal life cycle with normal use that you would find in any office. Plus- Acme would not fulfill a device with prior defects or a turbulent history.


Q: Do Acme devices ever get rebuilt or constructed using multiple broken units to combine as one working unit?”

The short answer here is no- almost every device is previously from a clinical environment where the unit was operating to factory specifications. There are rare circumstances with devices older than 19 years of age which require us to rebuild certain components to be in compliance with our stringent quality guidelines- as encouraged by the Food and Drug Administration.


Q: Then why not just buy a used one from a colleague or another internet source?

In my experience, most internet vendors are asset liquidators that have little knowledge as to what they’re selling. They attend an estate sale where a medical device that was kept in a basement for some time is auctioned. Unaware of the key functions of the unit- they power it on and see that some functions work. They then advertise this device as “FANTASTIC CONDITION POWERS ON AND IS ALL GOOD,” completely unaware that dozens of functions and hundreds of parts and components have not been checked. You then receive a visual field machine with burnt out LEDs, or a tonometer that isn’t calibrated, or a patient monitor with a broken NIBP connection; I could go on-and-on– I’ve seen it all. You also run the risk of unprofessional packaging causing damage and leftover PHI causing HIPAA violations.

Acme is a professional corporation that must abide by strict FDA quality requirements and federal law that requires every device be operating to factory specifications prior to being fulfilled. You also can rest assured that a massive shipping operation means custom shipping containers and packing materials.


4). Acme Offers The Same Warranties As Most Manufacturers

Most manufacturers offer 1-year warranties. So does Acme Revival. Should a device experience a defect, we’ll either exchange it or repair through the manufacturer directly- through the same process as the manufacturer.

Q: But do I even need the warranty from Acme?

The answer here will depend on both financial factors and your personal preference. I see customers everyday whom prefer assurance that their device is protected, even if the odds and the math is against them. I’m a numbers guy and so I typically attempt to figure the odds of a defect and the cost of a repair without the coverage when making these decisions. Like insurance, Acme’s warranty coverage is calculated using a sophisticated risk-pool algorithm which is designed to sell more devices.


5). Medical electronic devices do not ‘break down’ or deteriorate the same way motor vehicles or other machinery does

Unlike motor-cars, electronics don’t experience significant wear and tear through use (mileage). There are some components that do have limited lives, and will eventually cease to operate, however this wear-and-tear is measured at much smaller increments than other more mechanical machinery. For example, a brand new device and a 5-year old device should look, feel, and function just like a new device- given normal or average clinical use.

Devices 15 years or older should however not be expected to ‘live’ as long and like with most things- older technology, parts, and manufacturing techniques typically mean more breakdowns.