4 mistakes to avoid when selling used medical equipment

More than 1/3rd of the USD11 billion medical equipment market in India, is second hand equipment. Selling used medical equipment is common for hospitals and diagnostic centres. There are many reasons for it – You may be going for an upgrade and wish to sell the existing machine. The patient volume is not as good as expected. The overall unit has not been financially viable and being closed down. The features are not adequate, the machine is not user-friendly or the machine is breaking down too often and beyond repair. Whatever the reason may be, surely you are looking for the best deal possible. If so, avoid making these mistakes which bring down the value you could get.

1.     Mistake 1 – Sharing unattractive pictures of the machine

It may seem obvious that a seller would always share appealing pictures of the item on sale.  But you wouldn’t believe how often we get really poor pictures of the machine people put up for sale.

A Dismantled CT Machine

Oftentimes the machine has been in disuse for a while. Even if it is in good working condition, it may be rusted or dirty equipment kept in a store-house among other condemned items for disposal. Often the unit has been closed for a long time and not only the equipment but the entire facility has not been cleaned for a long time. In some closed facilities even the electricity supply has been cut-off.  

Even if the equipment has not been used for a long time, it is important that it is kept covered in a dust-free, rodent-free environment, to protect its electronic circuitry and components and operated once in a while to keep it functional.

A picture is worth a thousand words. If you expect to fetch a good price for your equipment, it is absolutely essential to share clear, good quality photos/ videos of the system and its components to show their overall good condition.

Dismantled X-Ray pic with temporary lighting
A dirty OT Table with carrom board

While selling used medical equipment, ensure that the machine is very clean and the picture is taken under good lighting. Pictures that have been shot in poor lighting look quite bad. Some sellers do not have the patience to take the equipment out from the store, spruce it up and shoot a picture in good lighting. It makes a bad impression of how the equipment has been kept and the value the current owner has for it. It raises doubts about its current working condition. Even if the equipment is in working condition, it may end up being treated as junk.

Capture close-up photos of the tags/labels on the major components, especially showing serial number, Year of manufacture etc. Sometimes the buyer may ask for a video recording to satisfy themselves of the image quality, especially in case of video endoscopes or imaging equipment.

2.     Mistake 2 – Selling equipment needing repair

Buyers normally inspect the equipment on sale before deciding to purchase. If the equipment has not been in use for some time, it is important that, it is thoroughly checked before the demonstration – so as to avoid any unexpected failures during the physical inspection.

During the demonstration to a potential buyer, if there is a failed functionality or compromised feature due to even a minor repair, it will create a poor impression. It is better to get the machine repaired before putting up for sale. If the equipment is not in perfect working condition at the time of technical inspection, it is likely to raise doubts about what other problems it may have.

Selling used medical equipment needing repair, even if minor, on as-is basis will not fetch a good price. Buyers may offer price of its parts and not a whole machine in good working condition.

In order to make an assessment of the equipment’s potential life and possibility of failures, the buyers want to know details of its service history and usage stats. This includes things like – Major repairs, parts replacements, preventative maintenance, reports on significant events if any e.g. flooding, damages due to power surges, software upgrades done, etc. Usage data like number of cases done, especially tube scan for X-Ray ray equipment are important.

The better prepared you are with service record of the machine, the better impression you create on how well the machine has been maintained. If there are hardly any records shared, the buyers will unfortunately assume the worst!

3.     Mistake 3 – Having unreasonable price expectations

Original cost of the equipment from the OEM typically includes various government taxes, transportation, installation costs and warranties, aside from the base cost of the machine, often accounting for nearly 30-40% of the price billed. While selling used medical equipment owners often forget that the buyer has to now bear all these costs including dismantling costs and the risks associated with failure of the machine due to the dismantling and re-installation, if any.

Depreciation on medical equipment varies anywhere from 30-40% per year. Even if the machine is un-used or sparingly used, depreciate is applicable. Depreciation, taxes, transportation, de-commissioning and re-installation costs are significant.

Hence, even if it has not been used at all, expecting 70-80% of the original cost of the equipment is unreasonable and can only lead to huge disappointment (Unfortunately, this happens so very often!).

4. Mistake 4 – Long delays in decision making

Whether you are out to buy a pre-owned medical equipment, one has to be very clear about what are the must-haves and no-regret price. Trying to get the lowest possible price when you like the equipment may lead to missing out on the equipment.

At the same time if you are selling used medical equipment, do a thorough homework on the price right upfront and be ready to make quick decisions. Long delays are only likely to end up depreciating the equipment and losing a good potential buyer.

How much to quote when selling used medical equipment?

When the equipment is only about 3-4 years old, it has a good 3-4 years of useful life left. This means chances of sale to an end-user and getting a good price are better. Even though one may expect some price negotiation, the seller is expected make an initial price quote. Most often users have no idea what to quote. In case you are not sure what the fair market price for your pre-owned medical equipment is – checkout our free valuation tool.


Primedeq can help with medical equipment valuation services for a complete hospital as well as finding potential buyers.

PrimedeQ is an e-Marketplace for buying, selling, renting, servicing and spares of medical equipment. We offer all types of used / refurbished medical equipment , including ultrasound, ECG machine and other diagnostic equipment, endoscopes, OT equipment, Laparoscopic Equipment,  Lab equipment, X-Ray, TMT, anesthesia machine, ultrasound machines etc.  We offer  repair services for all types of medical equipment including Lab equipment, microdebrider,  laparoscope , rigid and flexible endoscopes as well as EUS (Endoscopic Ultrasound Units) and ultrasound probe etc.

Contact us for any medical equipment requirements 7019759765.

Disclaimer : All views and information in this site and the blogs is based on secondary information available in public domain and is provided "as is", with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use of this information. PrimedeQ is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. Readers are encouraged to independently verify all required information.