Buying Used Lab Equipment

BioSurplus specializes in providing buyers of used lab equipment with the highest quality and value in the industry.  There are many reasons to buy used from BioSurplus versus new, aside from the obvious consideration of upfront cost, including the concierge-level assistance of a team member educated in the sciences throughout the buying and post-sale process and without the pressure of an OEM distributor or commissioned Sales Rep.

However, uncertainty on quality or durability of a used instrument sometimes causes hesitation in a potential customer’s decision to commit to the cause.  Customers purchasing from BioSurplus can rest assured that every piece of equipment sold by a sales team member is tested on the way into one of the MegaStores and again before it is shipped to or picked up by the buyer.  Many of the instruments even have video documentation on the website demonstrating the operation!  No matter how simple or complex the system, the in-house service department is well equipped to qualify or refurbish any instrument that comes through the doors, and the warranty program guarantees satisfaction.   All processes are aimed to ensure that “previously owned” is a much more accurate description than “used”.


The most common misconceptions of “buying used” is that the inventory consists of broken, defective, or mistreated equipment picked up at a fire sale, which couldn’t be further from the truth.  The fact is that the majority of the instruments are acquired when major pharmaceuticals close down an entire floor or facility and are forced to liquidate entire labs full of production R&D or GxP certified lab instruments, including fully operational chromatography instruments, HPLC stacks, used microscopes, and centrifuges, all the way down to the computers/controllers, software, benches, and fume hoods.  How does BioSurplus acquire the lab equipment and offer it at such a great price?  Our team works extensively with lab managers and executives at biotech and large pharma companies to assist in the selling of the equipment to recoup costs, and the benefit is passed on to the buyers of the hand-picked instruments in the form of industry tested, high-end instruments and systems offered at a fraction of the cost of buying new from a large OEM or distributor.


BioSurplus also serves as a clearance center for industry leaders such as VWR, offering last year’s model “like new” microscopes at extreme discounts, or Thermo Fisher’s scratch-and-dent liquidation, with a massive inventory of hardly used refrigeration stock, as long as one doesn’t mind a little chipped paint.  Of course, functionality of all instruments is tested, documented, and available to the customer for confirmation prior to purchase – just one less thing to worry about.

The inventory found on the website is all physically located at one of BioSurplus’ MegaStores amongst the 50,000+ sq ft of warehouse and service lab space, and is available to ship anywhere in the world by the professional pack-and-ship team who spends their days building wooden crates and meticulously padding with bubble wrap.

For those customers with a slightly higher appetite for risk, can realize even greater savings by purchasing items directly through a site liquidation auction.

The customer list of biotech startups and larger purchasing pre-owned equipment from BioSurplus is extensive.  With many repeat customers (such as Verenium, BioTime, Sapphire Energy), they look to the industry experienced and highly educated sales team to help find and select the proper equipment to equip the labs of their next startup with high quality instruments like mass spectrometers, NMRs, chromatography systems,  plate readers, and automated liquid handlers on a limited budget.  The equipment comes with a warranty and can even be covered for a longer period by one of the service plans offered by the professionally trained Service Department, which is already familiar with these exact instruments.

Educational institutions ranging from high schools to public and private universities such as The Scripps Research Institute, University of California San Diego (UCSD), Stanford University, University of California San Francisco (UCSF), Tufts University, and Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute are also well represented at BioSurplus.  They are frequently cycling instruments and equipment to meet the changing demands of research studies and academic priorities. Of course, the individual home-lab buyer is more than welcome to browse our online inventory or visit a showroom to walk the aisles of instruments, seeing for themselves the pristine equipment available at affordable prices.

All customers always have peace of mind that at some point, BioSurplus also can help them again by purchasing the equipment back or helping find a new owner with a fraction of the depreciation of a new piece of equipment.  Some of the success stories and experiences are shared in by our customers in their own words on our blog or customer testimonials and reviews.