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Tips for Buying a Used Purge and Trap Autosampler

Autosamplers are essential for laboratories that process a high volume of samples using a gas and/or liquid chromatograph. Allowing an autosampler to inject samples into a chromatograph results in greater sample reliability and a more efficient chromatography process compared to injecting the samples by hand. For these reasons, most laboratories select for autosamplers instead of stand-alone concentrators that require manual assistance.

Due to its refined technology, an autosampler can be a significant investment. Consequently, many laboratories, especially those opening or expanding on a limited equipment budget, opt to purchase them used. If you are considering buying a pre-owned purge and trap autosampler, the tips below will help you find one that offers quality performance for a reasonable price:

Identify a Model that Offers Quality

Two things determine the longevity of a pre-owned machine: how well it has been maintained, and how well it is designed. Concerning the latter, make sure you select a model that gets solid reviews. Performance areas to be aware of as you investigate reviews are: analytical ability, mechanical reliability, productivity, ease of maintenance, and ease of use.

Inspect the Maintenance Record

A poorly maintained autosampler can break down prematurely and fail to provide accurate readings. The best way to avoid buying laxly maintained purge and trap equipment is to request a maintenance record for every autosampler you consider buying, even ones that have received minor use. If the record shows gaps in maintenance, the safest choice is to look for a different autosampler.

Buy from a Professional Seller

Used autosamplers are available from various sources, but you should only buy from a professional seller of used laboratory equipment. Although amateur sellers may offer attractive prices, buying equipment that may or may not be properly inspected is not worth the price difference. Professional sellers properly assess the condition of used autosamplers, and, if necessary, refurbish them before reselling them.

Evaluate the reputation of the Seller

Some sellers do not mind selling bad equipment, and their business history usually shows it. If you find that the references of a seller seem dissatisfied with its products, or its record at the Better Business Bureau (BBB) reveals a history of unresolved customer complaints, find a different seller who demonstrates a dedication to customer service.

Inspect the Equipment Firsthand

The best way to assess an autosampler’s state of wear is to inspect it firsthand. As clear as digital photos can be, they seldom reveal as much as the naked eye can see, and they seldom expose the equipment from every angle. If you cannot travel to the location of the seller to inspect the equipment, hire someone to perform the inspection for you.