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Online Retailer Series: PART II

Online Retailer Series: PART II

Online Retailer Tip #2: Think About Installation    

We are standing in the midst of an incredible consumer moment: Resources like Amazon and eBay have transformed the dental supply industry with rapid and competitive order fulfilment at the click of a button. But look a little closer, and you’ll see these advancements come with a cost. We’re unveiling everything you need to know as a dental consumer in our three part series. Last month’s article helped define the scope of how to best select purchases online, so this month we’re pressing forward with the second installment of our three-part series: Implementation of your cheap online goodies.

Disclaimer: We use dental technology and hardware as our prime example throughout this series, because that’s what tech nerds do. Still, our points carry to any item one might purchase for their practice.


You’ve thoroughly vetted your online purchase, and have confirmed authenticity upon receipt. The delivery man has left, so the rest is up to you! Can you successfully implement this new purchase? The question may seem silly, but it’s a fair question in the dental world.

Self-Installation

Some items are easy to unbox and begin using immediately, like front office supplies (paper, pens, etc.).  Even computers are simple to unbox and plug in. But a successful installation will include integrating that computer onto your network, installing necessary software, adjusting the settings to meet software requirements, and potentially extending existing protective licenses from your previous computer. Overlooking any one of these details leaves the door wide open to vulnerabilities, equipment failures, and delays in utilizing your new purchase. When you don’t know what you don’t know, it’s best to trust a professional.

Assisted Installation

If you know you cannot install your online purchase on your own, hope is not lost. From intraoral cameras to refurbished panoramic machines, it’s best to have a plan in place BEFORE ordering to mitigate surprises down the road.  In the case of a computer, contact your IT partner to discuss the installation of your online purchase. Sending them the link to your potential order will help them understand what to expect, and they can look for possible red flags. A good partner will do their best to minimize potential issues, advise you of any important details, and even schedule a tentative installation time based on your estimated delivery date to ensure no waiting on your end.

Still, keep in mind that your IT partner can only do so much if the purchase isn’t recommended for your practice (this is where our #1 online retailer tip comes into play). It’s important to know that installation costs can be much higher if the product received has initial issues. For example, if you receive a faulty workstation from an online source, it’s common to incur the following charges: the time to install that workstation, troubleshooting when issues or a faulty product is determined, and resulting reinstallation costs. You are liable for all time involved when the product is not purchased through the IT vendor.

Having an installation plan in place is key when making an online order.

Stay tuned next month, when we dive into the conclusion of our three part series. Have you been enjoying this inside look at online shopping for dental professionals? Let us know your thoughts

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