Travis Kaya at The Chronicle of Higher Education's Tweed blog reminds readers they'd be surprised by the "stuff you find on eBay." Case-in-point: College of William & Mary biologist Kurt Williamson is the proud owner of a refurbished Zeiss 190 transmission electron microscope worth nearly $20,000, though he paid less than half that by purchasing it secondhand on eBay. Once he had established that the TEM — listed by sellers at Adelsys, Inc., in Ohio, who purchased it from Akron Children's Hospital — was legitimate and operational (given a few repairs, of course), Williamson bid the opening price for it. When they received no competing offers, Adelsys sold the scope for $999.99. The purchase price, when combined with shipping, parts, and labor, brought the total cost of the instrument to about $7,500, Williamson says, which he considers a steal. According to Kaya, Williamson "plans to use the microscope this fall while the biology department waits on federal grants for newer equipment."
A Secondhand Success Story
Sep 28, 2010