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Scientists Buy Recycled Lab Equipment At Deep Discounts

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Aired 12/1/10

Scientists can now bargain shop for expensive lab equipment in San Diego.

— Scientists can now bargain shop for expensive lab equipment in San Diego.

BioSurplus is a local firm and one of the first in the country to recycle, refurbish and resell expensive lab equipment at deep discounts.

Office of BioSurplus
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Above: Office of BioSurplus

The company has two warehouses and a showroom in Sorrento Valley, as well as another warehouse in Freemont, California.

Scientists dart through the warehouse aisles like kids in a candy store—snagging deals on high-end lab equipment, like the $70,000 microscope that just sold for under $30,000.

Everything in the warehouse is sold for at least 50 percent off the price of buying it new.

Customers can also buy from the firm’s website— with online auctions similar to eBay’s.

Jackie Townsend, chief marketing officer for BioSurplus prefers to look at their company as more of an online dating service.

“I kind of like to call it the match.com for scientific instruments because you’re trying to find that perfect match between the instrument and the scientist,” explains Townsend.

She also says Biosurplus benefits both biotech start-up industries as well as companies that are closing and need to sell equipment quickly.

Biotech research is so specific that perfectly good equipment often needs to be changed before it wears out, says Townsend.

“The company’s idea was either no longer viable or the researchers discovered something along the way that requires different instrumentation than what they were using in the beginning.”

Before companies like BioSurplus, expensive, but unwanted lab equipment often came to an early end in the landfill.

Now, says Townsend, the lab equipment has gone green—by becoming an abundant source of discounted pre-owned instruments for San Diego’s booming biotech industry.

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