In the digital imaging world of today there are many clinics that are upgrading from the CR system they purchased a few years ago to a new DR system. Because of this, there are a lot of used CRs on the market today, and you may well find that a used CR system is in your price range.
Craigslist, EBay, Facebook markets, your local x-ray service provider and many more options exist as places to purchase a used CR system. It is the decision you make here, of who and what to purchase, that will decide if you have made a good investment or a bad mistake. Getting your money’s worth for what you pay for can be very difficult when buying used equipment, even more in X-ray than with a used car. Ideally, you need to know both the history and the likely future of the system you are purchasing.
If upgrading your x-ray suite to digital is in your plans but your budget will only allow for a used CR system, make sure you consult someone you can trust, including your contact at a local x-ray service provider. When buying a used CR directly from the previous owner or online reseller, you will not be offered:
A guarantee that it will work when it arrives
A guarantee that the imaging screen will be free of artifacts
A guarantee that the software can still be supported
A guarantee that parts are still available
Support in learning to use and maintain the CR
A refund if any of the above happen to you
In our experience, all of these things can and have happened. Your best chance for a good experience is to buy from a trusted or local x-ray service provider who can offer you some guarantees and support. They may also be able to offer you new equipment at a much lower price than you expected. It is vital to make sure you consult someone knowledgeable about the digital x-ray market before making your decision.
Taking your clinic from film-based x-ray to DR can be a very big step. Opening a new clinic with a strict, tight budget can also mean that buying CR can be a good way to bridge the gap. However, paying several thousands of dollars for something used that may never truly work for you will only hurt your business in ways that may be very difficult to fully recover from. A used system will likely only be a temporary step until you make an upgrade to new CR or DR down the road if your clinic is a success, so make sure you are making decisions now that will lead you successfully to that day.