If you’re planning to launch a free or low-cost tattoo removal program and are concerned about the expense of buying equipment, you may want to consider purchasing a pre-owned laser device.
These devices are extremely cost effective – you can save tens of thousands of dollars. And if you know how to buy one, they may work out just as well as a new one, especially for the type of tattoos most people coming out of prison have.
There are hundreds of used devices on specialized medical equipment websites like www.dotmed.com and even general sites like ebay.com that offer a marketplace for used laser devices. But buying them on one of these sites can be problematic. Laser device manufacturer Astanza recommends that you do very careful research, ask the seller for references and search online for scam reports.
A better route to take may be to buy a used laser device from what is known as a certified pre-owned dealer. Certified pre-owned dealers are companies that buy used devices and refurbish them, so they’re in top working order before they resell them to customers.
They actually have an inventory and are not brokers who many times go look for the machine after they have a paid up front order. And it’s best to buy from a certified pre-owned dealer who provides after-sales service or can at least provide a reliable resource.
Save $100,000 or more by buying a used laser device
Buying from a reseller means tremendous savings. “It’s more than half the price of a new one. We’re selling $20,000 and $30,000 lasers that would normally sell for $150,000,” says Drew Shafer, owner and president of The Laser Agent in Indianapolis. “Some of the lasers we sell are older – like 2004 lasers. But if they’re maintained properly they can do all the things that a brand new one can do. I just sold a 2005 tattoo removal laser, and it’s just as good as a 2015 laser if the parts are well kept.”
And beyond that, many of the tattoos sported by those coming out of prison don’t need the most sophisticated equipment to remove.
“I don’t see the need for a very complex system with lots of color reduction,” says Scott Carson, founder of Oscilla Lasers and several other medical device-related companies in Park City, Utah. “Most of the tattoos that come out of prison are darker and homemade. Given the lack of the complexity in the color and type of ink, you can use older and less expensive devices. The only offset would be that if you’re running it 12 hours a day, seven days a week, a newer system would work better because you’d get a service contract.”
Buying direct from the previous user can be a mistake, according to Carson. “The pre-owned industry (of private sellers) is made up of “spray and pray” (spray with Windex and pray that it works). One hundred percent of the pre-owned lasers we bring into our facility have something wrong with them. There’s some level of functionality that’s limited,” he says. They then refurbish these lasers before selling them.
Buy from a company with technicians onsite
Carson recommends working with a pre-owned device seller that has technicians on site who refurbish the instruments. Companies like The Laser Agent and Oscilla Lasers can install the devices they sell and train buyers on their use. (This is very important to ensure both the safety of tattoo removal clients and optimum treatment results.)
They will also connect buyers with technicians through their network of independent providers who can service the devices that their customers purchase. If customers go to the original manufacturer for repairs, they often have to pay a recertification fee that can cost as much as $35,000. The main reason for that, according to Shafer, is to scare people away from buying from third parties.
And, in addition, the manufacturers offer service contracts, which are also quite expensive – as much as $10,000 or $20,000 per year. Servicing of devices can be handled by independent technicians, which means lower costs overall.
In fact, Carson’s company can geolocate customers and refer them to the technicians in the area, so they can choose one to work with.
Used laser company contact info
Interested in buying a certified pre-owned tattoo removal laser device? One of these companies may be able to help you:
Oscilla Medical Lasers
The Laser Agent
Astanza is one of the few tattoo removal laser device OEMs that also offers certified pre-owned devices.
$10-$20 can make a difference and provide funding to send job search books to prison and jail libraries and expand our tattoo removal outreach.