New, Refurbished, Retouched, and Used…


[Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /]

When shopping for a C-Arm, there are four main terms to describe the condition of the unit: New, Refurbished, Retouched, and Used.  Just like when you shop for a car where you have to swim through new terms like certified, mint, and certified pre-owned, when you are shopping for medical equipment you should get familiarized with terms you will be presented with.  Of all these terms, we most often see the term ‘refurbished C-Arm’.  Being able to understand and what it means correctly would help you to properly understand the value of the unit.

Unfortunately, there is no standard definition which all companies follow to describe a unit.  In fact, it is your choice as how you package your product, label them, and market them.  And this means it is up to buyers to decipher these ‘code words’.  But don’t worry.  If you are here reading this, you are about to get ahead on this game.  Let’s start with an easy one.

New.  Everyone likes new things.  And that includes us, sellers, too.  New units typically have fewer issues and they are usually easier to support as long as you have the manufacturer’s support.  [Article: Difference of having manufacturer support]  This is self-explanatory.

Used is also plain English.  Only one thing you need to understand is that used unit usually sells with As-Is or 30 days warranty only.

Retouched.  Retouched usually means that unit has been through minor updates or repair along with retouching of the paint to make it look nice.  Retouching often just means that they only worked on the exterior and a few minor components and not the core component.  It’s like replacing and inspecting a car’s fan belt, oil, tires but not really looking into engines or transmission.  You can think of retouching as fancier used where you’re buying a working condition used car and redoing its paint and able to charge more because it looks nice.

Refurbished.  Refurbished usually means you are going through the unit inside and out, top to bottom.  It often requires a significant amount of work as typically this process includes going through all core parts and redoing all calibration and replacement as needed.  The biggest difference between refurbished in comparison with retouched or used is that refurbished units usually come with warranty coverage.  Coverage can vary from three months to one year but it is very typical to carry that kind of warranty mainly because the unit has been repaired to the state where it’ll not have an issue in the near future, at least according to probability.

Like-New.  This term can be used with pretty much anything you can imagine.  Many times people think as new refers to a condition of the unit and it technically is… but I’ve seen this term used with pretty much any condition, anywhere.  Like new in medical device describes a unit that looks new with a new paint job and another exterior fix to make it look like new, literally.

So there you have it!  Different terms and how to understand them.  One thing to be sure of is to make sure what they say is what they sell.  Because these terms are self-created and affixed terms, you can find misleading labels if you’re working with a less than reputable supplier.

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