Friday, November 16, 2012

Is Dovebid a complete scam for instruments?

Why the hell not? 
Is there anyone who has had experience using Dovebid to purchase old instruments (GCs, HPLCs)? What's your experience been? Mine has not been very positive.

[It's like sight unseen, right? Who the hell does that? Is there a rating system? How is this not a complete scam?]

Also, should you buy a used HPLC or a used GC? I get the sense that there's real risk there, but I don't really know. 


  1. We have gotten rotovaps, pumps, and stir plates from them, and our experience has been mostly positive. That being said, we have had some of these stir plates and pumps break shortly after starting to use them. This is not a huge inconvenience and, overall, the prices are still cheaper than buying new things. That being said, the headache and price associated with having to fix a more complicated instrument (GC, HPLC) would make me hesitant to buy them through DoveBid.

  2. What is the policy for equipment that craps out shortly after you buy it, or are the sales pretty much 'as-is' and you take your chances?

    1. I get the sense that it's as is (as in I've never seen a return), but I dunno.

  3. In areas with a lot of failed startups, lab equipment in decent condition is availible. We have purchased 2 Agilent 1100 systems from different vendors; the first didn't send all the plumbing and cords right away. Both systems eventually came up properly.

    Beware that some so-called Dealers may claim to have an item in stock. They take your 50% deposit and use it to go shopping for one. I would try to deal locally, and ask to inspect the item.

  4. I bought a balance on DoveBid that never worked when I plugged it in. They claimed that they don't have time to plug in instruments to see if they work. The calibration sticker on the thing was several years out of date, which should have tipped them off that they were selling a non-working instrument. They gave me half my money back when I complained, so I didn't dispute the charge on my company credit card (which I regret). Our balance repairman told me the thing isn't repairable. On top of that, I had to complain like hell to get myself removed from their email list. I wouldn't deal with DoveBid again.

  5. even internal asset transfers can be iffy. When Pfizer shut down several sites, many of the remaining employees were weary of accepting responsibility for the remaining depreciation costs for instrumentation without having a friend at the affected site telling them what they were getting. Some instruments would come missing expensive or non-replaceable parts or broken beyond repair.

    At another company we are putting at lot of stuff on DoveBid as we shut down our site. The chemists are doing their best to only sell working stuff. However, with the massive amount of work involved in shutting down a site, it seems that some mistakes will probably be made.