4 Questions To Ask Before Selling Surplus Lab Equipment

You’ve got a bunch of old equipment cluttering up your lab. No one has used it in years. Naturally, you want to know how you can get rid of the equipment and free up floor space while earning back some of the money you paid for it.

If you’ve never sold equipment before, though, you might not even know where to begin. After all, your local Craigslist isn’t exactly the best place to sell a thermal evaporator. Before you begin, here are four questions to ask before selling your surplus.

1. Is anyone else still using this equipment?

Even if the equipment has two inches of dust and looks like hasn’t been used in a decade, someone might still be using it. The last thing you want to do is ruffle the feathers of a coworker by selling a piece of equipment that’s essential for their research.

However, the sticky conversation about what is considered “essential” equipment is one you may need to run by your boss.

2. Who owns this equipment?

Before you can sell something, you need to know if you have the authority to make decisions about the equipment. If you don’t have that authority, you’ll need to seek permission from the people who do.

By asking this question, you might also discover that your organization already has an established process for surplus equipment. Especially if you work within a larger organization like a university, you may need to follow a strict protocol to ensure you’re complying with the organization’s rules. Talk to someone in your accounting department if you’re not sure whether there’s a policy in place.

3. What else can we sell?

Selling lab equipment is often easier in bulk. Look around your lab and see if there’s anything else you can get rid of at the same time. One way to accomplish this task is by creating an itemized list. Go through the list of possible equipment and ask relevant stakeholders if you can sell each item.

Even if you’re convinced you can’t sell anything else, itemization will help you begin to collect information about the equipment you have. Eventually, you’ll need this information anyway when you’ve started the process of selling.

4. Where can we sell it?

There are a multitude of mediums where you can sell lab equipment, and each one comes with different benefits and costs. For each one, you’ll want to weigh the possible returns against the cost of selling. You’ll need to consider how that medium affects how you will handle marketing, arranging inspections, negotiating, vetting legitimate offers, storage, shipping, and insurance. Time is valuable, too, so don’t forget to calculate that into the costs.

If all of this sounds like a lot of work, you’re right. Selling specialized scientific equipment takes time, energy and expertise.

That’s where Lab Liquidators can help. We handle the logistics of selling and removing your lab equipment in bulk, so you can get back to your research. Whether you’re liquidating an entire lab or simply replacing an old machine, Lab Liquidators can help you recover value quickly from your used equipment. Learn more about our process or contact us today for a quote.