But here begins the difference between the ‘cheap’ price tag and the good value. Firstly such sophisticated equipment needs to be carefully looked after and serviced in order to make sure that it’s not only delivering effective treatments but also that it’s safe to be used on members of the paying public. Anything less could result in a best-case scenario of clients demanding their money back, a worst case of damaged clients suing for injuries.
Secondly, the machines have components that wear out as they are used – the main one being the bulb that produces the light/laser output. A worn out bulb in a second-hand machine will not produce the treatment that the machine is designed to deliver. Once again we’re potentially in the territory of clients demanding refunds.
Thirdly these machines cannot be used safely or effectively without the person who’s going to use them being properly trained by the manufacturer of the machine. In addition to knowing how to tackle client’s unwanted hair or skin conditions, this training will supply the owner with certification necessary for them to obtain proper insurance cover.
Without this training we’re back to the very real possibility of clients demanding refunds or suing for damages, made worse by the fact that no proper insurance cover will be in place, leaving sole traders in particular with a terrible risk.
The options for the second-hand IPL buyer are to contact the manufacturer of the machine once they have spotted the listing on the internet or in the magazine. The manufacturer will be able to give them advice about what they will need and also to quote them a cost to service the machine and replace the bulb (as well as any other work that may need to be done) and how much they charge to deliver training.
This, unfortunately, is the ‘cheap’ and good value factors of a privately sourced, a second-hand machine can quickly disappear. The amount of servicing for such a machine can often be very costly, running into thousands of pounds, especially if the machine has been poorly looked after. Then there’s the cost of a replacement bulb – this will range from a few hundred pounds to a couple of thousand depending on the machine. Lastly the training, this is likely to be a few hundred pounds too.
All of a sudden the cheap, good value second-hand buy has increased in cost and doesn’t seem like quite such a good deal. It’s unlikely that the seller of the machine will either think to explain any of this to the buyer or if they’re a little less than honest they may choose not to mention it.
It’s best if you’re looking to pick up a discounted, used IPL machine, to contact the manufacturer directly. They are likely to have some second-hand stock, due to existing customers upgrading their machines or part-exchanging their old ones.
The huge advantage here is that these machines will be provided with a full service, new bulb, training and a comprehensive warranty included in the cost. In most cases, you’ll find that these machines cost less than the privately sourced, second-hand equipment by the time that the costs of servicing, re-lamping and training have been added on.
In short, the best value, and likely the cheapest, option for second-hand IPL equipment is to buy it directly from the manufacturer. Or to contact the manufacturer about brand-new equipment – believe it or not, this can often cost less than the old second-hand machines online by the time you’ve added all the additional costs!
Ryan Smith of High Profile Technologies Ltd, the supplier of the InteliBrite ‘intelligent’ IPL systems commented:
“We have a very effective programme for the supply of used IPL machines. We constantly have customers upgrading machines and returning their used equipment as their business prospers.
“We offer all second-hand units with full refurbishment and servicing, new bulbs, certified training and a fully comprehensive warranty. Our customers buying a used InteliBrite machine get exactly the same package that all our customers buying a new machine gets."
“As well as offering a great level of service at a great price it’s comforting to know that we’re supporting safe and effective treatment delivery in the marketplace to the general public.”