The pros and cons of buying new, used, and reconditioned tables: Part III
As a chiropractor, your adjusting table is your practice’s most important piece of equipment. The table is the centerpiece of your profession: It allows you to successfully treat patients, complements and enhances your technical skills, and safeguards clients and yourself from accidents and injury. However, such importance and versatility come at a cost, as adjusting tables are also one of the most expensive investments for DCs.
For both of these reasons, you should carefully consider your choices when buying a chiropractic table.
In a perfect world, all DCs would be able to afford the latest, high-tech table designs, but with some modern tables costing more than $10,000, this isn’t the reality we’re faced with. In cases where new tables are unaffordable, used and reconditioned tables can be great options. That said, new tables offer advantages you just can’t get when buying used or reconditioned equipment, and because the table is such an important asset to your practice, it can sometimes be wise to pay more to ensure top quality.
Because we’re all living and working under such different circumstances, the table that makes the most sense for you—whether new, used, or reconditioned—really depends on your own personal situation. Given this, it’s extremely helpful to know as much as you can about the advantages and disadvantages of buying each type of table.
To help you learn more about buying new, used, and reconditioned tables, this series of articles will examine the pros and cons of each type of table. Armed with this information, your table purchase will hopefully be a little clearer, easier, and inexpensive. This article will cover the purchase of a used table.
Buying a Used Table
Buying a used table that has not been reconditioned is usually the most inexpensive option, and if you do a bit of research, you can find some amazing bargains. Some used tables can cost nearly 75-percent less than a brand new one, and most will run around 25-percent less than reconditioned tables.
Today’s chiropractic tables are built to last. Obviously, some used tables will be in better shape than others, but nearly all modern tables have a lifespan of about 10 years and others are built to last even longer. So as long as you purchase one that’s less than five years old, you should be able to find a decent one with little to no serious wear.
Buying used allows chiropractors who are starting their careers or who have small practices to afford some of the more advanced table designs that would be financially out of reach if they had to buy them new. The most technologically sophisticated table models, such as elevation flexion distraction tables, can cost more than $10,000, but if you buy the same model table used, the price can drop to under $5,000 in some cases.
Buying a used table used to be much more difficult since you basically had to know a fellow chiropractor who was getting rid of his or her table and then negotiate the purchase with them on your own. However, with the arrival of the Internet, there are literally hundreds of websites, including www.chiroeco.com, where you can find chiropractors selling a wide variety of used tables in every price range. To get the best deal, shop around numerous websites and other resources, such as trade journals and newspapers.
When you buy a used table—as opposed to a new or reconditioned one—you’ll almost always be purchasing straight from another chiropractor, so the chances of getting a damaged—or even broken—table are much increased. For this reason, only buy from reputable sources, and personally inspect the table beforehand if possible.
Used tables will rarely have active warranties. You’re basically getting the table “as is,” and may or may not be able to get your money back if anything goes wrong. To counter this, find out if you can buy spare parts for the model you are buying in case the table needs repairs, and discuss refund options with the seller before buying.
Unless you can work something out with the seller, you’ll likely be on your own when it comes to financing. However, you can go with a conventional loan through your bank, and the interest rate may even be lower than what you’d pay when financing a new or reconditioned table through the manufacturer.
Check back next time to read the pros and cons of buying a reconditioned table.
Chris Towery is the former associate editor of MASSAGE Magazine and is currently a full-time freelance journalist. He has written hundreds of articles for more than 20 different magazines, newspapers, and custom publishers. Much of his recent writing has been for the complementary and alternative healthcare industry. To contact Chris, email firstname.lastname@example.org.