Used, refurbished; what does it all mean?
For many vendors, used and refurbished are one and the same. The term "refurbished" has been used in the medical industry for the past 50 years. The FDA does not define "refurbished" but the state of Texas, Department of Health, does regulate the "medical salvage" industry and defines "refurbished" as equipment that has been brought back to OEM performance specifications, by a qualified technician.
The truth of the matter is most "refurbished" equipment has simply been cleaned and checked. Some vendors will go through an extensive process in order to ensure functionality and, to a greater degree, reliability.
Of course, the ultimate question is who can you trust, when it comes to the refurbishing process. Any reputable company, that's well run and managed, will have a written process, for each type of medical device they refurbish. In addition, they can send photos and references.
We live in the digital age and as the saying goes, "the proof is in the pudding." If a vendor can't demonstrate their process through the methods mentioned above, they should not be trusted. Also, beware of ultra low pricing. Refurbishing is an expensive process and although refurbished equipment saves you money, it's also not cheap.
Some items really can't be fully refurbished as it's not cost effective. For example, we sell used instruments and in order to call them "refurbished" we'd have to change out components which may not be necessary. It does not make sense to do that and would also force us to increase prices.
Last but not least, any vendor that sells refurbished equipment should offer payment terms and an extended warranty of no less than 6 months if not, 1 year. Any vendor not willing to offer a warranty is a vendor that does not stand behind their equipment.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to send me an email.