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How to Purchase Therapy Equipment on a Budget

If you want to know how to purchase therapy equipment for your clinic without breaking the bank, we’ve got strategies to help you save money.

Brooke Andrus
5 min read
June 2, 2023
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When you’re considering how to purchase therapy equipment for your clinic, you’re looking for options that won’t break the bank. At the same time, you want to make sure your setup reflects the professionalism of your practice. Luckily, there are many ways to find a middle ground in this cost-versus-quality tug-of-war and get quality products at a reasonable price. Here are some options you should consider when looking to buy therapy equipment. 

1. Find equipment for physical therapy online. 

When it comes to comparison shopping, you won’t find a better tool than the Internet. In addition to great deals on new devices, you can find a wide range of quality products and physical therapy tools at discounted prices. Tried-and-true options like eBay or the shopping tab in Google search provide great starting points for your budget-friendly buying journey.

If your clinic requires a healthy amount of equipment for physical therapy, try partnering with rehab-centric marketplaces, like the WebPT Marketplace. Once just available to WebPT Members, the Marketplace is now open to all rehab therapy professionals, and is a mecca for discounted clinical supplies and equipment up to 25% off—like foam rollers, therapy bands, pain relief creams, and a wide selection of range of motion, strength training, and exercise equipment. Granted, purchasing in large quantities does not always mean being budget-friendly.

2. Get creative. 

As you list out all of your equipment needs, look for ways to work around buying the big-ticket items that will gobble up your budget in one massive bite. As PT and clinic owner Jack Sparacio says in his guide on how to start a clinic with less than $8000, “Why spend $3,500 on a high-end ultrasound-electrical stimulation combo machine when you can buy separate portable ultrasound and electrical stimulation units for about $100 each?” 

Better yet, why not capitalize on folks selling unused exercise equipment? During the pandemic shutdown, there was a buying spree on at-home exercise equipment. But as people returned to the office, many found themselves with less time to exercise at home and are looking to offload their equipment as a result. Online exchanges like Facebook Marketplace or eBay will help connect you with local sellers and find the best deals on lightly-used equipment.

3. Do more with less. 

We’ve adopted the mantra of “do mas with menos” here at WebPT, and it’s an attitude that any successful company should look to adopt. You don’t need fancy gym products to achieve amazing patient results. At the end of the day, true outcomes come from the therapeutic alliance between PT and patient. So if you’re practical, resourceful, and, in Sparacio’s words, “creatively efficient,” you can find alternative ways to meet your physical therapy equipment needs. 

Plus, assigning patients exercises that don’t involve big, expensive equipment makes their treatment much more conducive for home exercise programs (HEPs) and even home physical therapy—which could boost patient compliance. In fact, according to our PT Patient Experience Report, not having the proper equipment was the fourth-ranked reason (22.8%) for patients not completing their HEP. So, embrace simplicity in your clinic to improve adherence with patient’s home programs.

4. Consider renting or leasing physical therapy equipment.

Often, brand-new products from heavy hitters like Biodex or NuStep come with a hefty price tag if you’re looking to purchase—which is why renting or leasing might make more financial sense. As this article notes, there are some incentives to leasing gym equipment—like a possible tax break—that might make a lease a better fit for your business plan. Plus, if the object of your desire doesn’t live up to expectations, you can always return it at the end of your contract. And unlike loan agreements with banks, which often require lengthy credit approval processes and plenty of tiresome hoop-jumping, lessors are generally more willing to lend equipment to recent graduates with professional backgrounds or even clinic ownership.

Whether you’re operating a hybrid business model that includes cash-based fitness and wellness services or a more traditional mix of physical and occupational therapy, knowing how to purchase therapy equipment you need on a budget is critical. And by saving money on some of the more common—but essential—therapy products, you can splurge on any new and emerging physical therapy technology that elevates your practice.

Do you have any tips on where to find great deals on therapy equipment? Share them with us in the comment section below. 


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