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Why Buy a Used / Refurbished Microscope

Why Buy a Used / Refurbished Microscope

Lab equipment in general is very expensive.  For most labs their equipment cost is one of their biggest expenses when starting or growing their lab.  Microscopes often account for a large portion of that expenditure. Research facilities, Pathology groups, and clinical labs have all  experienced the headache of purchasing lab equipment on a budget. A great way to save on cost is to buy refurbished or used microscopes.  But don’t just purchase the first one you see that seems to fit your needs, ask a few questions first to see if it is really a good investment for you.

Has this microscope been tested and serviced by an authorize Microscope Service Technician?

There are quite a few companies selling used microscopes.  But few fully service the microscope before sending it out the door.  Ask if the focus mechanism has been serviced or the stage has been relubricated.  These are common repairs that will give issues down the road, if not right away.

Does this microscope come with a Guarantee or Warranty?

There’s some truth to the importance of a guarantee when it comes to microscopes.  Sometimes a scope might not be right for your intended use . So the guarantee of 7 or 14 days is important.  You can receive the microscope and test it. Few companies offer such a luxury. Also, ask about a warranty. If the company selling the scope believes in their product or service they will gladly offer some sort of warranty.

Will my microscope be professionally disassembled and packed?

Packing!!! The owner of our company Scott Munday packs almost every scope or at the very least inspects and oversees the process.  This may be one of the most important questions to ask. No matter how great the scope or deal is, if it is not properly packed and gets damaged in shipping it is no longer a useful product.  This can push back projects and delay work. Make sure you ask the very important question of how the company will disassemble and pack the microscope. We offer several helpful videos on packing and assembling your microscope see the link below

Is this Microscope manufactured by one of the big 4 (Olympus, Nikon, Leica or Zeiss)?

I am a very Brand Loyal person and I’m not just talking about Oreos and Wheat Thins. When it comes to microscopes I personally prefer Olympus and Nikon as they tend to be reliable and simple to repair if a problem should arise.  But we do have more affiliation with these two companies. All 4 of the main microscopes manufacturers make a good product. Not saying there aren’t other good brands. But Olympus, Nikon, Leica and Zeiss have stood the test of time and have been in the market for many years.  Typically if you are purchasing one of those 4 you will be getting a quality product.

Please feel free to email me with any questions about purchasing a refurbished microscope at Even if you choose to go with another company, please ask some of the questions above.

Author: Chad Potts, 7-22-2019

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