Is your practice considering adding used dental equipment from a reseller to your practice? In the age of eBay, Facebook Marketplace, Facebook Groups, Dentaltown and other online resources, buying and selling used dental equipment and other devices is more widely accepted than ever before, and it no longer carries the “used” stigma. But not all used dental equipment, or all used dental equipment resellers, are created equally. Here are some important questions you may want to ask before choosing a reseller to provide used dental equipment for your practice.
Where Did You Find This Company?
You likely found them online but referrals may also come from colleagues or others in your professional network. When considering a company, see if they have a website and if it’s easy to navigate and offers the information you need. Also check to see if and how they advertise. If a company is putting money into an advertising budget, you can bet they’re doing well financially and will be able to offer you a good price.
Where Are They Located?
Check the website to see if they have a headquarters and satellite locations. The more physical offices they have, the larger the company. Will they be able to service your area? If so, how? Check the hours. If they are only available during standard office hours in Pacific time, you may be at a loss for half a day if you are on Eastern time and need help right away in the morning.
What Do You Know About the Company?
Look for an “About Us” type of page on their website and see if you can find out how long they’ve been in business, who owns the company, and what their background is (e.g. do they have dental equipment experience?), how many employees they have, and what experience they have.
Look for business metrics such as staff turnover rate and financial profits and losses. If staff doesn’t stay at the company very long, or if they have more losses than profits, they might not have the infrastructure to follow through on a transaction properly.
See what type of customer service they offer. Can they support and/or back the products they are selling? Do they offer any type of warranty or guarantee? Are they knowledgeable about the used dental equipment they sell? Do they sell everything and anything, or do they specialize in just a few equipment types? If something goes wrong, do they have an escalation path? If so, who would you be working with to resolve any issues?
What is the Company’s Reputation?
Be sure to ask colleagues for feedback. Solicit input from local colleagues and referrals, dental meetings and study groups, dental Facebook groups, and other online forums such as Orthotown and Dentaltown.
Read their online reviews. Look at Yelp, Facebook, Google reviews and ratings, and online review aggregator sites such as Birdeye, Repugen, and others.
You might even wish to visit Glassdoor or LinkedIn to see what employees have to say about their time working there.
Also on LinkedIn, look up the company owners and employees and review their profiles to see if their objectives match your own. You can also see who the company is affiliated with to see if this is a good match for your business ethics.
Finally, don’t forget to check out the Better Business Bureau. See if the company is listed and, if so, if any complaints that have been filed against them.
Most reputable used dental equipment resellers should answer these questions positively, but if not – move on. Used dental equipment is an expensive investment. Be sure to invest wisely with the right reseller.