Global Marketplace for Laboratory Equipment Benefits International Scientists
LabX, a leading online business-to-business website for buying new and used laboratory equipment and related hi-tech industrial products, joins scientists and engineers from around the world looking for lab products.
Helping researchers locate laboratory equipment they could not find otherwise, business-to-business marketplace LabX.com is the conduit of choice for many international scientists and engineers.
LabX, a leading online business-to-business website for buying new and used laboratory equipment and related hi-tech industrial products, joins scientists and engineers from around the world looking for lab products. Established in 1995, LabX (www.labx.com) welcomes more than 500,000 visitors each month looking to buy and sell equipment through auctions and classified ads, where approximately $60 million-worth of equipment is exchanged each year among users in North America, Europe, Asia, Central and South America and Australia.
Sandy Famulari of ACS Laboratories in Australia uses LabX to purchase secondhand lab equipment typically as add-ons or replacement parts, as well as for purchasing laboratory consumables.
“Before we found [out] about LabX, we had to buy optional extras for old equipment through the manufacturer,” Famulari says. “These items would either be too expensive to justify for the age of the equipment or unavailable. LabX has enabled us to expand the use and increase the lifespan of good instruments, which otherwise may have been scrapped due to the absence of replacement parts.”
“For a small and growing business, this has been crucial as new equipment is very expensive in Australia, making it very hard for a small business to get off the ground,” Famulari adds.
One of the main advantages of the global trading platform nature of LabX is that it makes large used lab markets, such as the one in the United States, available to countries having very small secondhand markets that would typically involve third-parties which can significantly inflate the purchase prices.
“From the U.S. we have been able to purchase used parts to repair our equipment at a fraction of the price we would pay in Australia—assuming we could even find the parts—or buy equipment that are considered optional extras, which we do not have,” Famulari says.
“We simply bid for items of interest and pay for them using Paypal wherever this is accepted.”
David Miller of D.A.M. Geotechnical Services Ltd in the UK has been a registered LabX user for more than 10 years. He also feels that the main draw to LabX is that a large quantity of fairly priced equipment is made available to users worldwide.
“In the UK, secondhand laboratory equipment is still quite expensive because the number of labs is relatively small. In USA, there are so many lab facilities that the supply and hence price of the equipment is more reasonable,” Miller says.
Both Famulari and Miller have greatly expanded their capability over the years with low expenditure due to the greater availability of items in the U.S. compared with their own countries. However, they do face some inconveniences when purchasing large equipment, due to the cost and risk of transport.
The distance between countries can result in extended delivery times, expensive courier fees, and the inability to return defective items, as it’s not often feasible and rarely worth the postage fees and effort.
“The main disadvantage is the cost of freighting and the difficulty oftentimes in getting sellers in USA to ship overseas,” Miller says. “There is also a disadvantage to buyers outside of USA in that many auctions end at awkward times, such as 3 or 4 a.m. UK time. This can lead to us losing out on lots we have an interest in.”
Despite the small drawbacks, both agree that LabX is a great place to source high-quality second user laboratory instrumentation for their facilities.
“The advantage is the choice available when planning to presource a particular project or test set-up,” Miller says. “I would say to LabX ‘keep up the good work, you do a good job and have serviced us well over the last 10 years.’”