Purchasing online is getting easier and cheaper everyday. The availability of worldwide access and distribution to products has led to a drastic reduction in costs. Plummeting costs are a result of the ease of access to production. The ease of access to production and marketing direct to consumer has given rise to secondary producers, non-branded private labels and equipment manufacturing.
The question you face as a buyer is whether you should purchase medical equipment online or not?
Medical equipment purchased from a reliable source carries a high premium. The availability of secondary manufacturers and sellers of used and refurbished medical equipment has led to a drop in costs. However the drop in costs incurs multiple issues such as:
When is it good practice to by online and when is it not?
There are certain scenarios where buying online has major benefits. You can secure low prices for supplies and consumables, get reduced shipping and not have to leave your office or even pickup the phone. This system works great when buying products such as consumables that don’t need warranties. However the issue changes when buying medical equipment that is either prone to failure or requires installation assistance.
You have to ask yourself: Does saving a small percentage, worth the risk of possibility spending more in the long run?
When you purchase from known source, there is a face and a voice behind the vendor you are purchasing from. If something goes wrong what you have someone you can contact that will assist correcting the error or mishap.
You may find you are paying a bit more for this assurance and reliability so in the event that the medical equipment you purchase bad or gets damaged, traditional companies stand behind the sale with a solid warranty and exceptional customer support.
Tradition serves as a guarantee for these companies. They know their name is tied to their performance and want to ensure all of their products always work. You won’t find the same support with online companies. Many medical equipment service companies today will not provide warranty service for items if they did not get the sale.
Most often you will find online companies are not interested supporting the products they sell with service. They make money by simply filling orders they receive online without having to pay a sales or service personal to assist the customer through the sale while the customer try’s to save money they end up putting themselves at risk.
Verdict and takeaway: Should You Buy Medical Equipment Online?
If price is the only thing that matters, and the item you are buying is something basic and most likely is not subject to failure, then buying online often works out well. Buying online also works well consumables and disposables such as sterilization wrap or paper towels.
If you are a busy physician looking for reliability and good customer service, stick with your local sales agent, you will benefit from their expertise and experience. One thing you must never do is draw on your local sales agent as a consultant and utilize their expertise, and then undercut them buy buying online, they will likely never want to hear from you again.