Anyone who has ever worked in academia or research probably knows that lab equipment can be quite costly. There are even times when labs might need to replace existing equipment because it’s broken or the equipment has become outdated. Instead of buying brand new products, labs can opt for repairing the faulty equipment which can significantly cut down the maintenance costs. However, repair of specialized lab equipment requires expertise and you can’t take risks hiring any run-of-the-mill technician.
Sometimes though, despite our best efforts, repairing faulty equipment might not solve the issue. The only sensible thing to do in that situation would be to retire it in favor of a new product. Whether you’re managing a high school chemistry lab or a more sophisticated research center, you will eventually have to consider replacing some equipment. The hefty price tags associated with scientific equipment might deter you from venturing into this territory but there are tips that can help you replace lab equipment with a tight budget.
1. Bulk Order
Bulk ordering has been hailed as a holy grail by many thrifty shoppers. Despite what you might have heard about bulk-ordering, it’s a known fact that items ordered in bulk cost a lot cheaper. You can apply the same principle when you go shopping for fancy science equipment for your lab. Many vendors offer a discount when you purchase items in bulk, and the same can be said for sellers of lab equipment.
There are items like flasks and beakers that don’t exactly perish but are often broken by accident in labs so it’s better to stock up on them. For items that have an expiry date, make sure you use them before the due date so you can avoid wastage. Running a cost-effective lab is all about maximizing the potential.
2. Look for Alternate Suppliers
It’s normal for people to shop from familiar brands and stores. This is because once familiarity sets in, we find it hard to venture outside our comfort zone and look for other possibilities. Even though having a rapport with a particular supplier can help you, it’s a wise idea to shop from other vendors and explore their products and prices. Not all suppliers are the same; they differ in terms of their products, pricing, and discount offers.
That is why it is possible to find a better and cheaper item from an alternate vendor compared to your usual supplier. Lab supplies gurus at pasco.com explain that you should look around and browse through the different available options before you make a decision. This will give you a better idea of the range of products and their pricing across different competing companies.
3. Buy Second-Hand Lab Equipment
If you’re running on a tight budget and need to purchase an expensive item, buying a second-hand product could be the way to go. There are many labs that buy brand new equipment only to find out that they will not be used as often as they initially predicted. There are, however, potential pitfalls when it comes to buying used products as they might be faulty or not work as efficiently as you want.
With due diligence, proper research, and inspection, you can find reliable lab equipment at cheaper costs. There are suppliers that guarantee thorough inspection and coverage of second-hand lab equipment so make sure to confirm with your supplier if they offer any similar services.
4. Use Online Tools for Price Comparison
If you’re looking to find the best deal out there, you might want to consider using online tools that allow you to compare different prices. A single product can be available for a different price across many different retailers.
These online tools allow you to compare prices from different vendors and can help you with your purchasing decision. For those operating within a tight budget, these tools can be excellent in helping you find a good bargain.
These tools also save you time because they spare you the trouble of contacting individual suppliers and asking for their prices; you can easily see and compare the prices of different companies for the same product. You can also see a range of options available within your budget.
Lab equipment can be quite pricey in general. Replacing lab equipment on tight funds can seem like a daunting task but it’s actually not impossible.
By using these strategic tips, you can reduce the cost of replacing equipment. All it requires is patience, creativity, and a lot of planning. Remember, just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you will only be able to purchase subpar products. These tips will help you find the best lab equipment that meets your needs without breaking the bank.