Equipment Author: Robert Finn

Last August, Brett Lane found himself on the horns of a dilemma. The scientists at VivoRx Inc., a Santa Monica, Calif.-based company that's developing diabetes treatments, needed a specific type of Shimadzu spectrofluorometer. But as VivoRx's director of facilities, Lane knew that the year-old company couldn't justify spending the nearly $20,000 that a new model would cost, especially since the instrument would get only occasional use.

So Lane started calling used-equipment resellers. First on his list was Richard Civitate, president of Scientific Equipment Exchange Inc., based in San Diego. Lo and behold, Civitate had the exact model he needed in stock, so Lane put down the phone, hopped into his car, and made the three-hour drive down the coast to Civitate's showroom. When he saw that the spectrofluorometer had no major blemishes, he and Civitate swiftly negotiated a $10,000 purchase price. Minutes later they were loading...

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