Given the amount of money laser treatments can bring into medical aesthetic practices, it stands to reason that most medical spas would be interested in offering them. However, acquiring a laser can be much more complicated than simply going to a store and choosing one. Here’s what to know before signing a laser contract.
Due to the high price of laser equipment, the commissions that laser sales representatives stand to earn are substantial. Buyers should remember that sales reps make most of their money when they sell a machine, so they can be very aggressive. Prospective customers should attempt to work with reputable companies with established track records. Good sales reps will provide you with the time, information, and references you need to be confident about your purchase.
Carefully consider certain provisions that are typically found in laser contracts.
Recertification fees: If a contract states that a used laser must be recertified before it can be resold on the open market, the manufacturer must inspect it to verify that the laser is operating to its standards. The fee for this service can be very high, $50,000 or more, and it must be paid before the equipment is supported at a new customer’s site, which can harm the machine’s resale value. However, some manufacturers provide a warranty and training as part of this process.
This cost is one reason why it’s important to make sure that the laser you’re considering
purchasing is right for your practice and can be supported by your market. If not, you might be stuck with an extremely expensive laser you can’t use or sell. You can sometimes negotiate recertification fees, and some manufacturers are willing to waive them altogether in certain cases.
Re-sale Restriction: A re-sale restriction stipulates that you cannot re-sell a laser without manufacturer approval, or that it must be sold back to the manufacturer at a discounted price. There are valid reasons why manufacturers include re-sale provisions in their contracts. However, these provisions can limit a practice’s options when buying equipment. A re-sale restriction can sometimes be negotiated.
Service clauses and warranties: You must ensure that the service clauses and warranties offer sufficient protection for your practice. These machines will need to be serviced, no matter how reputable the manufacturer, but good companies prevent downtime and expense when servicing their laser equipment. You must ensure that everything important is covered for a fair period and that service is guaranteed to occur in a timely manner.
You only have leverage before the contract is signed, so do what you can to protect your interests at this time. Also, fully understand the contract, because this is likely the only time the price can be negotiated. Take the time to make sure your comfortable with the purchase and that it bring profits to your business.
Alex R. Thiersch is a Chicago healthcare attorney who represents medical spas, plastic surgeons, and aesthetic medical professionals. He is the founder and director of the American Med Spa Association (AmSpa) and is also a partner at ByrdAdatto Law Firm. Visit www.americanmedspa.org or email him at [email protected].