Sell Used Lab Equipment Like a Pro: A Comprehensive Guide

Embarking on the journey to sell your used lab equipment can seem daunting, almost like climbing a mountain without a guide. This comprehensive guide will turn you into a pro in no time.

Selling lab equipment to a specialist used Lab Equipment dealer is more straightforward than you might think. Follow the process and gather the correct information so you do not get caught out, but importantly, ensure you get the best price for your used lab equipment.

The step-by-step guide will ensure you can free up space in your lab, generate cash and act sustainably.

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1. Check that you have the approval to sell used lab equipment.

This may seem obvious, but ensuring that the equipment is surplus and is not required for future research, testing, or experiments is critical. So check with your colleagues if they have any plans for the equipment.

Next, do you have the approval to sell off these precious pieces of Science? Having surplus lab equipment might lead to a spontaneous decision to sell. Yet, it's imperative not to rush into the process until you confirm that you are authorised to sell it. Most institutions and companies have specific policies regarding the selling or disposing of assets.

It may seem minor, but disregarding this step could get you into complications later. Securing approval involves more than merely getting a nod from your immediate supervisor. You should contact your finance or administration department, which is generally responsible for asset management within an organisation.

Lease items or those under purchase agreements also generally cannot be sold. But there may also be some clauses if the purchases come from donations or grants. So, it is always best to check the history upfront to avoid potential issues later.

So, you've established approval to sell your used lab equipment. The next part of the checklist for selling used lab equipment is to determine where funds from the sale will go.

Selling used lab equipment Checklist

2. Check where funds from the sale will go to

Refrain from assuming anything in Science - so don't assume selling your used lab equipment will return to your budget. Most organisations have policies to determine who is entitled to revenue from sales of surplus items - it could be returned directly to department budgets or revert to central funds or finance. This provides transparency throughout the process, prevents potential disappointment, and helps identify who should be aware of price negotiations.

A well-conceived plan can turn surplus lab equipment into a source of ongoing income for your laboratory or organisation.

It is also critical to communicate how the proceeds from the sale will be used and that there is agreement within the organisation.

3. Gather all accessories, manuals, documents and service records.

Tracking down all the accessories, power cords, and tools is also crucial; it will provide reassurance that the product has been looked after and ensure that future owners do not have to make purchases to complete the unit. Ensuring that the best price can be raised.

Information on the age of the product will be helpful. This is usually found on the product's nameplate - usually on the side or rear of the unit.

Service records are also critical in selling used lab equipment like a car's service history - proof of maintenance and repair - which provide reassurance about your devices' upkeep and functioning condition.

Some machines will also have a mechanism to count use – such as Hours of service or number of cycles. Buying a centrifuge with 100,000 cycles – it has already had a hard life; buying one with 700 cycles it still has plenty of life left and will attract a better price and more potential buyers.

Having documents shows the owner's thoroughness and attention to detail – qualities that reassure potential buyers that this lab equipment has been well-cared for.

So remember: When you decide it's time to sell used lab equipment, imagine yourself as the buyer and consider what you would want regarding documentation and accessories.

The more effort you put into presenting your item comprehensively and professionally, the higher your chances of securing a satisfactory deal.

4. Check that the unit still works and is functional.

Items may not have been used for years, so checking that they function correctly is crucial. Checking a simple benchtop unit will only take a couple of minutes.

For complex analytical instruments, this may take longer. Still, it is essential that you can confirm that it is in working order. This helps to prevent significant problems further down the line.

Inspect the unit. Is there any cosmetic damage, stains or rust spots that a future buyer should know? Used lab equipment from a busy lab is not expected to be pristine, so provide all details upfront as cosmetic damage. While not impacting functionality, significant cosmetic damage may make the unit more challenging to sell and affect price.

5. Create a list of inventory and details.

Used lab equipment logistics can be up to 20-30% of the total cost of a piece. The more items within a deal, the better. This will reduce the cost of transport per unit significantly and should improve the price you will be offered.

Getting your surplus lab equipment ready for sale requires some groundwork. Start by creating a well-detailed list of your inventory.

This is where you itemise every piece of used equipment, noting specifics such as the make, model, serial numbers, accessories, plug, service record and any unique features they possess. Remember that potential buyers would appreciate a complete list of what each unit includes.

Also, note the current condition of each piece, if there is any cosmetic damage—and if there have been previous repairs or modifications done on the items. Don't shy away from including these details; transparency is crucial when deciding where to sell used lab equipment.

Scientist cleaning used lab equipment Cartoon

6. Clean and decontaminate all pieces of equipment

Cleaning is not just about making your equipment and instruments look good; it's also about ensuring they are safe for use, especially in a laboratory environment where past experiments may have left unseen biological contaminants or hazardous chemicals behind.

Used lab equipment dealers will insist on signed decontamination forms. So you will need to conduct some research on what the unit has been exposed to in its life and ensure that it is clean as per your site Health and Safety requirements,

Giving a quick wipe-down can do wonders for the look of a unit that has been gathering dust and spills over the years. Imagine yourself in their shoes: would you prefer to buy a piece of equipment that's dusty and stained with old chemical residues or spotless and shows signs of excellent upkeep?

At Relabbed, we can also offer a certified decontamination service. However, this must be completed onsite before the logistics team handles the product. However, this does add significant cost.

Scientist taking a picture used lab equipment

7. Strike-a-Pose - Photoshoot Time

The visual portrayal is next on our checklist for selling used lab equipment—it's time to get snap-happy! Pictures serve as their eyes for buyers unable to physically inspect items before purchase (which will often be the case).

Take clear and detailed images from multiple angles: front, back, sides and include a nameplate —leave no perspective out! If there are any areas of concern, such as dents, rust spots or signs of wear and tear—capture them too.

Invest time and effort into capturing high-quality images using a camera or smartphone under good lighting conditions. Remember—the more visually appealing and comprehensive your pictures are, the more chances you can effectively convince potential clients to purchase your used lab equipment!

8. Data Security - Deleting Data.

A crucial step is erasing data held in the unit. User profiles, measurement results, or proprietary information must be deleted to ensure no sensitive information can be shared.

At times, this task may seem simple; deleting files and restoring settings to factory defaults might appear sufficient. However, some systems contain hidden memory areas where sensitive data can persist even after applying a standard resetting process.

9. Shipping and handling considerations

What on the surface seems easy is different from when using lab equipment. Generally, there is no original packaging for the unit to ensure perfect protection.

For a small piece of benchtop equipment, this is not a problem – you can recycle some incoming boxes and bubble wrap.

However, larger or delicate pieces of equipment may need specialist Lab logistics companies to dismantle the unit in a lab box and transport it away. Equipment such as Biological safety cabinets needs professional lifting equipment.

You need to consider packing materials appropriate for the fragility and size of the items, the optimal method of transportation for safe delivery, and even insurance to ensure you're covered in case something goes awry.

This is why it is often better to sell to a dealer who will handle this all for you; they will have insurance to cover them while they are and assume all the risk of transportation plus any damage.  

Just imagine how much smoother things will go when someone else handles all those logistics!

10. Choosing the right dealer

Your journey becomes much easier when you've got the right dealer to guide you through this process. Selling surplus lab equipment on marketplaces can be frustrating, and it takes many years to find a buyer (or even never).

Selecting the correct dealer is like choosing an ally for an expedition: They can lead you through uncharted territories and ensure that everything is right and you get payment quickly.

They will then be familiar with specific requirements and quality standards in the industry; they'll know where to sell used lab equipment and how to navigate any legal or logistical concerns that may arise.

A good dealer will provide transparency throughout the process, from appraisal to agreeing on a price. You should be comfortable asking them about your checklist for selling used lab equipment; no question is too small or "stupid." A responsive dealer who promptly answers your queries indicates excellent customer service and demonstrates respect for their client's needs.

Consider also if they offer services such as picking up and transporting heavy machinery or delicate instruments, especially if you have large amounts of surplus lab equipment. This additional service could save you time, resources, logistical stress, and potential damage during transit.

Selling used lab equipment requires diligence and patience. However, your journey can be quicker and more manageable with the right dealer on board. Just keep calm and carry on ticking off that checklist for selling used lab equipment!

Relab with Relabbed, for an offer within 24 hours.

If you're wondering where to sell used lab equipment, look no further than Relabbed. We are a dedicated team of professionals who can make an offer within 24 hours.

In less than a day, you could be on your way to transforming your surplus lab equipment into extra income for the lab. The process is straightforward – reach out to us with all the relevant information about your items, and we will do our magic.

But why choose Relabbed? Aside from their lightning-fast response time, they also have years of experience in laboratory equipment – they understand the value of what you have. They will offer you a fair price for it. Plus, they handle all the logistics related to the sale so that you can sit back and relax while they do all the heavy lifting. And get the whole process can be completed in as little as seven days.

That's when selling becomes an attractive option not just to declutter but also as another source of income for other investments — be it new lab equipment or a different venture altogether. So remember: if you've got surplus lab equipment lying around collecting dust instead of data — call Relabbed today!


Selling used lab equipment doesn't have to be a daunting task. Having a checklist to run through will help and support you through the process. You will have decluttered your lab space, but you have also contributed positively to scientific research by repurposing surplus lab equipment - fostering a sustainable environment.

When you decide where to sell used lab equipment, remember it's not merely about finding a buyer or dealer; it's more about forging relations rooted in trust. It's about knowing that your well-cared-for cherished pieces are finding an ethical way to new labs around the globe where they will continue their duty in advancing Science and discovery.

It essentially boils down to this: Know what you're selling and its worth, keep all documentation handy, and clean up nicely! Whether it's surplus lab equipment or a single apparatus past its prime in your setting but still functional - every piece has its place somewhere else.

So why leave them gathering dust when they can be used elsewhere? There's something inherently optimistic about this process - knowing the cycle of use continues even as we upgrade to newer technologies or our needs change.

So here's to making sustainable, responsible choices not just for ourselves but for our scientific community and, ultimately, our environment! Sell used lab equipment like a pro.

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