Photobiomodulation/Laser Therapy

Buyer Beware – Why You Shouldn’t Buy Therapy Lasers Secondhand

  • September 17 2023
  • Kyle Aaron

Everyone loves a deal. The more expensive the item, the more tempting it can be to shop around to make sure you’re not spending more than you need to. When it comes to medical equipment, however, it pays to be cautious during your deal hunting. The old adage, “you get what you pay for” takes on a new level of gravity when investing in a several thousand-dollar product that you will be using for years to come.

Therapeutic lasers are an increasingly popular investment for many veterinary practices, and as with any other piece of equipment, most price-conscious practices (which, let’s be real, is all practices) shop around before purchasing. Not surprisingly, along with this increase in demand has come an increase in direct-by-consumer secondhand sales, and it is not uncommon to see a posting for a “used laser for sale” or “veterinary laser for sale”. While it can be tempting to buy secondhand to save some dough, it is always better to buy directly from the manufacturer or a qualified distributer, and here’s why:

You know what you’re getting

When you purchase a therapy laser directly from the company who makes it, whether it is new or certified refurbished, you know exactly what you are getting. When you buy a pre-owned laser from another practice or unqualified seller, you have no way of knowing the shape that piece of equipment is in, what components it is supposed to come with, and most importantly, how to operate it.

Think about it - would you feel comfortable buying a used car with no verified history, missing parts, and no instructions on how to use all the features you paid for? You should demand the same level of information when purchasing a therapy laser.

When you buy a laser used, is the seller able to answer questions like, “Has the laser ever had a problem and been brought in for service?” and “Has the laser been tested and verified to be operating as expected?” If you can’t get the answer to these questions, you can’t be sure the laser is in optimal, working condition.

You should also know whether the laser has all the necessary accessories. Does it have all the correct treatment attachments, safety eyewear, cords, etc. that it originally came with? If you are missing any of these components (which you may not even know you are missing) you are not getting everything you paid for and will not be able to use the device as intended.

The biggest unknown you face when purchasing a laser secondhand, and the most critical, is the knowledge of how to use the device. When purchased directly from a reputable manufacturer or distributor, your laser should come with an in-person training for the entire staff. For example, Companion Animal Health customers receive a training that covers everything from basic operation of the device to technique demonstrations designed to help you not only use the device safely, but get the best clinical results out of every treatment.

You’re getting more than just a laser

You should get much more than just a piece of laser equipment when you are spending thousands of dollars – you should get a company who partners with you to guarantee your success. You need to be sure that your investment is going to pay off, because who has the money to buy equipment that is just going to sit there collecting dust?

Marketing support may not be one of the key features you think of when laser shopping, but it’s important. A good therapy laser will deliver clinical results that speak for themselves, but you still need to educate pet owners and staff about the benefits of laser therapy and advertise your services to get the ball rolling. When you buy a laser secondhand without any marketing assets, you’re building your laser therapy program on a foundation that’s missing one of the key support structures. But when you buy from a manufacturer like Companion, you receive the marketing support you need to build a solid foundation for success.

Access to a dedicated customer care team is another perk you receive when buying direct. Whether you are purchasing new, or certified refurbished, you will need support at some point. If you buy from the manufacturer, they will have a complete record of your laser device’s history. This makes getting assistance much faster, and when you have a fully booked treatment schedule, every second counts.

Your investment is protected

Any time you are spending a significant amount of money, you want to make sure your investment is protected. Many therapy lasers come with a standard warranty that protects your laser for several years. Companion offers several types of warranties, so you can opt for the level of protection that best suits your needs.

If you purchase a used laser online, you have zero protection. Not only do you have no warranty, you have no idea what condition the laser is in, so the chances of you having to spend even more money in the near future on replacement parts, services fees, and shipping costs are much higher. Not to mention the cost of having to tell a long list of clients that you are going to need to reschedule if the system breaks down.

Investment protection extends beyond warranties too. When you purchase a phone, for instance, you occasionally need to download system upgrades, to install new features or resolve bugs. The same is true for lasers. When you purchase a laser from Companion, you will automatically be notified and guided through software upgrades to ensure your equipment is always up to date. You will also receive communications related to upcoming educational opportunities, science updates, and new products, so you can feel confident that you are getting everything you need to get the most out of your laser.

Bottom Line

If you are in the market for a therapy laser, do yourself a favor and purchase from the manufacturer or a qualified distributor. Whether you are purchasing new or certified refurbished, you will not only be saving yourself more money in the long run, you will be saving yourself hours of frustration and wasted time.