If you are a newly minted chiropractor, starting out in practice can be overwhelming.
You are suddenly faced with determining what your practice focus might be (if any), trying to drum up new patients, finding the ideal office space in which to open your practice, and purchasing all the equipment you will need to fill that office so that you can treat those new patients. The entire experience can take a physical and emotional toll, not to mention a financial one, particularly when it comes to buying large equipment furniture such as tables.
Such equipment can be pricey, and you cannot necessarily afford the investment until you have money coming in from your practice, which you can’t really get going until you have patients, which requires you have that equipment. It can be somewhat of a vicious cycle.
You could also be looking to expand your practice with new equipment or by adding another treatment room.
You may have come across some online sites that offer used chiropractic equipment – particularly larger furniture pieces – at discounted pieces. On the one hand, such offers may seem to be the solution to how you will afford equipment for your new practice. On the other, you may be worried about the reliability of equipment that is not brand new.
The truth is that used equipment can be a great deal, so long as you are cautious about what you are (and aren’t) getting. Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind.
Seeing is believing
Those pictures of that used chiropractic table look great on the website. The accompanying description says it has all the features you want. The price perfectly fits your budget. You may be strongly tempted to just go ahead and click on that P urchase Now button.
However, before you do, stop and think about whether or not what you are seeing online is giving you the complete picture of what you are buying. The hinges may look good, but they may actually stick or slip out of place. Are the photos showing you where the padding might be stained or worn? Does the table actually come with the headpiece that the description says it does? In short, you are buying that table sight unseen, which could turn out to be not the great deal you thought it to be.
Instead, consider doing your initial research online to find local sellers and then actually going to inspect the equipment in person before agreeing to purchase anything. This will allow you to see for yourself the condition of the entire piece of equipment, along with any accessories.
You can check out all the hinges, pedals, connectors, and cables before making a final purchasing decision. Seeing it in person will stop you from having buyer’s remorse after the fact.
Let’s make a deal
Although there are a number of companies who specialize in selling used chiropractic equipment, they may not be your best option for getting a good price. Chiropractors in your area who are either retiring or moving and cannot take their equipment with them are going to be your best motivated sellers for purchasing used equipment.
Consider that those chiropractors have as much of a vested interest in selling that equipment as you will in purchasing it.
This means that there may be some room for you and the seller to negotiate on the price, which can work in your favor. Furthermore, you might also get a better deal if you buy more than one piece of equipment from them.
Obviously, you should strive to find a fair price for both you and the seller, but even a little bit of a bargain downward on the price can help.
Warranties for the win
Is that piece of equipment still under warranty? This could be crucial if it needs repair or even just regular maintenance. Having that warranty could save you a great deal of money in the long run. There may be a way to get the warranty transferred to your name, along with the equipment purchase, so it is always a good idea to ask the seller if that is a possibility.
At the very least, knowing whether or not the warranty has expired will give you some sense of how much you may need to factor in for repairs before making any final purchasing decision.
Although purchasing new equipment gives you the security of knowing that it has not undergone previous use, it is not always financially viable if you are just starting out in practice. Buying used equipment can be a good option, so long as you keep in mind the old Latin adage of caveat emptor.