Sunday, July 10, 2011

Part II of a Review of the Resale (Used) Laser Issues

In regard to discriminatory pricing of laser parts and service, it has been customary for laser manufacturers and their suppliers to charge substantially different pricing to owners of resale medical aesthetic laser devices and other individuals and business entities. In my experience, I have noticed that same part have a cost of $100 to an original owner of a device, and a cost of $400 or more to a device owner that is not the original owner. This is not legally supportable. There appears to be wide-spread discriminatory pricing in the resale laser market.
The issue presented here is the anti-discrimination policies under Federal law. The Robinson-Patman Act of 1936 amended prior legislation to prohibit certain anti discriminatory practices of large businesses relative to smaller businesses. The Robinson-Patman Act is complex legislation and there are certainly situations in which pricing variations are legitimate and legally supportable. For example, if a buyer is purchasing in bulk, it would be expected that they receive volume pricing. A wholesaler would also expect to receive better pricing. However, in my experience, the activities of many laser manufacturers in this regard are clearly violative of the spirit and intent of the Act. There is no legitimate justification for the price variance that I have observed. The amount of variance is not justifiable.
There are also situations in this issue that may also violate the Uniform Commercial Code as adopted in all 50 states. It is difficult to discuss this in this forum because each state has adopted its own version of the UCC. It is important to note that the UCC, as adopted in each state, will have protections against this behavior as well.
Also, in regard to pricing of laser parts, in many instances the laser manufacturers will not supply parts to technician at any price. I am going to discuss this tomorrow in the third blog about used (resale) lasers.

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