It has been 20 years that I have been in involved in identifying and purchasing cosmetic lasers for spas, medical spas and cosmetic medical practices. Through the years I have either purchased for my companies or for Acara clients over 50 cosmetic laser devices. There is nothing like practice to become good at something. Earlier this week I held a Webinar to share my knowledge and expertise in the buying of cosmetic lasers. The Webinar, “Top 10 Questions to Ask When Buying a Cosmetic Laser was so well received that I thought I would post the content here on our blog.
To help simplify the process, I focused on the 10 questions you should ask yourself and your vendors. But before you even get that far your first step is to determine what services you want to offer or should offer based upon your market, competition and positioning. Once you have that identified you can begin to ask these 10 questions.
1. What Laser companies do I want to receive quotes from?
- Do they offer a device that meets my needs?
- Manufacturer or Distributor?
- How long in business?
- Country of Origin?
- Do they have their own service team?
- Who are their luminaries?
2. Who can I speak to that has used the same laser for at least 3 years?
- Receive a long list of references
- Check their website for additional references
- Ask the references:
- Service issues?
- Ease of use?
- Responsiveness of Service Team?
- Responsiveness of Sales Team?
- Quality of Training?
3. Can I have a demonstration and test drive the laser prior to purchasing?
- Receive a demonstration
- Ask to test drive the laser (not always available or advisable)
4. How adaptable is the system for future upgrades?
- Can additional lasers be placed into the system?
- If you come out with a newer version how do I upgrade?
5. What marketing support do I receive from your company?
- What consumer advertising has been done?
- What marketing support materials are available?
- Is there an online portal to access this information?
- Will you support an event to launch the laser services?
6. Are there any consumables?
- List all consumables and their cost
- What is the cost per treatment
7. What training is included with the purchase of the laser?
- Who does the training?
- Where does the training take place?
- How many on my team will be trained?
- Can I buy additional training?
8. What type of warranty/service agreement is included with the purchase of the laser?
- How long is the warranty for?
- What does the warranty cover?
- Can I purchase additional years of warranty up front at a discount?
- What is the turnaround time for a service call?
- What is the number of service calls per laser per year?
- What is the process to place a service call?
- What internal diagnostics are in the laser to help with the service process?
9. Clinical Questions
- What wavelengths or filters are available?
- What are the deliverable spot sizes/footprints?
- What is the range of energies at each deliverable spot size?
- What is the deliverable pulse time in milliseconds at each of those settings?
- What is the wattage ability of the cooling system for the patient?
- What is the cooling range in degrees C?
- Is this a 110v or 220v system and why that choice?
10. How much does the laser cost?
- Make sure you compare quotes “Apples to Apples” (same number of warranty years, etc.)
- Special offers?
- End of quarter deals?
Make sure you document the answers to all of your questions comparing each company and or device. Remember you are about to make a very significant investment, you need to give it the appropriate amount of time needed to make a sound business decision.
I’d like to thank Patrick Clark at Medical Laser Dynamics, one of the country’s top laser training companies, www.mldynamics.com, and Steve Witt at Sciton, one of the worlds highest quality laser manufacturers.