Aging gracefully: the maturing of the cosmetic laser industry
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Vieillissement avec élégance : la maturation de l'industrie de laser de produit de beauté

par Gus Iversen, Editor in Chief | January 08, 2015
From the January 2015 issue of HealthCare Business News magazine


That experience ultimately pushed her over the edge and into third-party servicing. “They told me over the phone, without even knowing me, to push a button on the side of the machine. They said it sometimes gets stuck. And sure enough, the monitor came up and it’s worked fine ever since,” says Hemphill, who now deals exclusively with third-party dealers.

But things are not that cut and dry.

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“It’s difficult to buy a laser — and do it where it doesn’t impact your company badly,” says Chris Cella, CEO of Sentient Medical Technologies, the third-party vendor and servicer Hemphill switched to.

Cella says the historically dubious practices of laser brokers have enabled manufacturers to cultivate fear of pre-owned lasers in the market by suggesting they won’t work. According to Cella, bad third-party sellers may not keep the machines up to specifications and may not even know how to properly install them.

In a sense, those kinds of horror stories have benefited companies like The Laser Agent and Sentient Medical Technologies, which aim to distinguish themselves as trend-setters in accountability. They offer personalized services and consultations to physicians and med spa owners looking to capitalize on the drastic price benefits of shopping used. In terms of demand, Cella says it has never been higher.

“I will steer buyers in the direction of device models and manufacturers that are easier to get third-party service and support on and don’t have proprietary consumables, such as single-use tips,” says The Laser Agent’s Kokjohn. He says servicing a laser through a third-party typically becomes easier once the system is five or
so years old.

“The hardest thing to do is try to re-sell a very late model system that has consumables,” says Kokjohn, “Something that’s a year old, has proprietary consumables, and the customer paid a ton of money for.”

Cella says it is not unheard of for doctors to order consumables in bulk online and then sell them through a website. “You can get them, but the way you’re getting them isn’t something that’s scalable,” says Cella, who contrasts this practice with a more transparent transaction like going to the auto shop for a replacement car part.

Servicing from the manufacturer
On behalf of Fotona, Bateman says, “When a used Fotona laser is sold independently, if the buyer wants a service agreement on that laser, we will first need to check it out. If anything needs fixing, we will fix it and charge for it, but our rates for that are virtually the same as if they were just another of our customers.”

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