Often when I am curious about purchasing new laboratory equipment I cannot find a ballpark figure for the price. Companies that sell expensive lab equipment prefer if you contact their customer service or sales teams to inquire about prices. I don't want to go through all of that hassle, as well as exposing myself to potential marketing emails. Is there any website that lists ballpark figures for lab equipment? The type of equipment I am talking about are things like PCR thermal cyclers, Flow cytometers, nucleofection devices, centrifuges, etc.

Thanks in advance.

  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, it is annoying that nobody lists prices. Call them using a temporary forwarding e-mailadres. $\endgroup$ – RHA Nov 6 '16 at 7:47
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, but calling them is what I'm trying to avoid..... I Just want ballpark figures, not exact price quotes based on all the details of my institution/grants etc. $\endgroup$ – Reilstein Nov 9 '16 at 19:07
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    $\begingroup$ I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's not about biology. $\endgroup$ – David Jan 4 '17 at 21:54

The best way (if you're buying new) is to contact the manufacturer/distributor. Sales people get inquiries like this all the time, and are generally more than happy to accommodate you (because they get commission on any sales they make). Most items have customized pricing depending on the customer, their order history, the number of items being ordered, add-ons like maintenance contracts, reagents, etc. Many complex instruments like flow cytometers have many customization options, including the number and type of lasers, different types of filter sets, tube vs. plate-based acquisition, type of computer, licenses for software, etc. Sales people know their company's product lines the best, and are willing to talk to you to figure out your needs and then recommend the product that works best for you, which may not necessarily be the one you were originally thinking of.

You can always ask to not be added to any email lists, and if you are added, commercial emails (in the United States, at least) are required to have an unsubscribe link in every email. Check out the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 for details.

  • $\begingroup$ I specifically asked in the question how to get ballpark estimates for prices without contacting the company, so I cannot accept your answer. I do agree with you based on my experience, that calling the company is the best method of getting this info, but I think that is ridiculous and annoying. I don't want to spend that much effort/time when I am just brainstorming about potential possibilities. It would be nice if the companies just had a price range listed for each machine, that would be a good starting point. $\endgroup$ – Reilstein Nov 9 '16 at 19:09
  • $\begingroup$ @Reilstein unfortunately, I don't know what else to say. Companies generally don't publish list prices for big-ticket items, although you may be able to find some info if they distribute through ThermoFisher or VWR or some place like that. There are sites that sell used equipment, so you could google them for ideas. But, if you're looking to buy new, contacting the company is the only way to go. Remember what I said, sales reps get these kinds of questions all the time, and if you clearly state you're just pricing options at the moment, they should be able to accommodate you. Good luck! $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Nov 9 '16 at 19:17
  • $\begingroup$ I Hear you, and thanks for your tips. I will keep it in mind for when I get more serious about my equipment. I was hoping for someone to have a website that users contributed their prices for equipment recently purchased, but apparently that does not yet exist. Thanks again. $\endgroup$ – Reilstein Nov 9 '16 at 19:24

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