Top reasons why you shouldn't buy a secondhand laser device
Quarantine restrictions are slowly being lifted across Asia-Pacific and the wider world. As a result of these changes, cosmetic clinics and medical spas (medspas) are growing more confident about reopening their businesses. Now is a great time to invest in new service offerings to welcome new and returning patients.
If you’ve been considering updates to your service menu, the idea of buying a new laser device may have crossed your mind. A single device can be used for many different services, and it’s a great way to promote your reopening.
Still, investing in a brand new device canx be a challenging decision for many medspa owners and beauty clinicians to make. Preliminary research will lead you to two main options: purchasing a new one, or getting one secondhand.1 Which one is the better option, and why?
The market for secondhand laser medical devices
You can find a lot of secondhand laser aesthetic devices from resellers on the Internet, or even on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
Because these devices can be obtained for a fraction of the cost of new ones, they are tempting for inexperienced beauty treatment providers.
Unfortunately, it isn’t clear exactly who these resellers are. What is their history? How did they obtain the devices? Are they the primary owners, or did they buy the device from someone else?
When you try to answer all these questions, you may find yourself wondering if buying used is really worth the savings.
There are too many risks involved with secondhand
Even if you purchase your medical device from another medical clinic or hospital, there’s no guarantee that it’ll function according to your expectations. Sellers can easily lie to get unwanted products off their hands, leaving you with a massive bill for a defective product.
There are five main risks for you to be aware of when purchasing your laser medical device.
The product may not be authentic
As much as we’d like to believe otherwise, there are untrustworthy sellers out there, and even scammers hoping to make a quick buck. Even if you purchase from a fellow medspa owner, there’s no guarantee that the product is 100% authentic.2
Looks can be deceiving. A product that appears to be in good condition may actually be full of fake or replaced internal machinery.
With a secondhand laser aesthetic device, you also have no way of knowing whether or not the device was outfitted with used or secondary parts.
You may not know what’s wrong with the product until it’s too late
One of the biggest risks with purchasing a secondhand laser medical device is the inability to thoroughly vet it for errors or defects before bringing it home to your medspa. Even if the seller allows you to check the product, a fifteen-minute inspection isn’t likely to reveal hidden defects and software errors.
When you buy online, the seller may not give accurate descriptions of the product—or completely fail to mention known shortcomings until you have already paid and the device is shipped. This is an even riskier scenario because you have no way of getting your money back or meeting the seller to discuss the issues.
Ecommerce platforms may not always be willing to help you make a claim if something goes wrong with your purchase. Their guarantees tend to be limited to missing shipments or incorrect delivery addresses, and the online shops selling on these platforms are often uncooperative when it comes to making a claim.
Even if you are eligible for a guarantee, these tend to be limited to just a few days. You may operate the machine for several days and only begin encountering issues after a week or two has passed—making it impossible to ask for a refund.
You’ll be on the hook for accidents caused by secondhand laser devices
An aesthetic laser device is a medical tool with the potential to injure patients if used incorrectly. Accidents can lead to a malpractice suit even if you use completely authentic equipment—if a secondhand laser device hurts a patient, you’ll be under even more scrutiny.
Like we mentioned earlier, there’s no guarantee that a secondhand laser device is authentic. Some scammers and fraudulent sellers use photos of results from other legitimate devices and medspas to sell their fakes, which are made with inferior parts and powered with fake software. There have been many instances of counterfeit medical devices causing serious and painful burns3 to patients.
Maintenance costs can quickly add up
Medical laser devices aren’t like hair dryers or toasters, which have limited functions and don’t need software updates.
Aesthetic medical devices have the software and myriad settings to fully customize treatments. That means you must regularly install software updates and patches to fix bugs, address security vulnerabilities, and keep the system running smoothly.
When buying a secondhand laser device, you may not know how to upgrade systems when updates become available. You also can’t replace parts if something goes wrong. That means that if it does break or malfunction, you won’t be able to replace it safely. Though you may have some luck calling a technician to take a look, they may not be willing to repair the device without a valid warranty or original proof of purchase.
You might struggle with a lack of proper training and support for the device
A medical aesthetic device is a highly complex machine made up of many moving parts. When purchasing secondhand, you may not be eligible to speak to authorized clinical educators about how to use the device to its full capacity in your medspa. This results in opportunity costs due to wasted potential. You may also use the device improperly, leading to faster degradation.
The lack of dedicated customer service support for the device also means that troubleshooting basic errors can take hours or even days.
When buying a medical device, new is best
As a trusted provider of medical services, it is imperative that you put clients’ wellbeing first. You can do this by purchasing a brand new laser medical device, which comes with a lengthy warranty and in-depth safety guidelines.
A new device is protected with a strong guarantee and regulated according to the latest international safety standards. Any time you have an issue, you can contact the manufacturer and request service.
Additionally, because a firsthand laser medical device supplier is invested in your success and eager to build a close relationship with you, they’ll always be available to provide medspa consultations and troubleshooting. If something goes wrong, you can get your product repaired with authentic parts by certified, professional technicians. This safety net isn’t available for secondhand laser devices.
Some manufacturers go above and beyond by offering complimentary clinical training and additional education so you can better understand your device and grow your clinic further.
If you really must reduce your budget, a certified pre-owned laser device from original manufacturers can help you reduce your expenses. These devices are almost brand new—most are refurbished with original manufacturer parts and only sold if they have passed the same Quality Control standards as a new device.
In the long run, a few thousand dollars of savings is not worth the potential risk to your medspa’s brand and to your patients. Invest in your clinic and make a commitment to your patients’ safety by purchasing the right medical device from the right source. Always strive to give the best possible treatment to your patients, without sacrificing quality!