Kitting out a new cell biology lab on a very limited budget isn’t easy. So recently I’ve immersed myself in the strange and colorful world of online second-hand lab equipment. Unbeknownst to most researchers who work in rich, multi-grant-funded labs, there is a brisk trade out there for used scientific machinery. It makes a lot of sense: why spend £3,000 on a brand-new liquid nitrogen tank when you can pick up a good-quality used one for a tenth of the cost? There’s a lot of junk out there, but amidst the clunkers I’m stumbling over a few finds – tanks, if you will, that little old ladies only drove to the supermarket once a month.
But the marketing and display of some of these websites leaves a lot to be desired. This one is my personal fave thus far: