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Buying a used machine

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Buying a used machine

Post by Seana on Thu Oct 08, 2015 3:00 pm

This article started as a response to a question on Rea's blog at folikill., but it's especially applicable right now because qute a few new DIY'ers seem to be looking to get into doing hair removal lately and are in need of equipment so I'm reposting it here.

I think I can help a bit with this question it’s one I get a lot. The art of checking out a piece of equipment that you are likely to spend a LOT of time working with. I have a feeling this may end up another Seana contribution to Rea’s blog if I’m half as long winded as I usually am.

First ,as to buying through kijiji, the site is set up similarly to craigslist, meaning each ad posted is an individual seller.Sometimes you wont get a reply because they have simply sold the equipment and not bothered to take down the ad.

When dealing with sellers from the province of Quebec, it’s usually a good idea to speak french.If this isnt possible you can sometimes squeak by using google translate, but in my experience the translator is a crude tool. However making an effort to speak the sellers language increases the probability you will get a reply. I usually have a friend whose first language is Quebecois french go over my reply to an ad first, so I don't come across as a fool.

One of the advantages ( and disadvantages) of dealing through someplace like kijiji, is it is USUALLY a face to face transaction. No shipping costs, and it provides you with the opportunity to test a machine before you buy it. I cant stress this enough. NEVER EVER buy untested equipment.

I learned this lesson the hard way! The first machine I bought, was a silouette tone SB2 .When it arrived, I was eager to get down to removing hair! I couldn't do this however because the galvanic part of the machine, didn't work. When I took it to a service person to be checked, we discovered the machine had physical damage to the component board which had been repaired but poorly. I was very lucky to get my money back. You would think I would have learned from this experience, but I did not. I immediately rushed off to Montreal to buy a machine there, an Apilus SM-500 that I use still currently. However fantastic the deal I got on the machine, I made a second mistake, I didn't test it before I bought it and came back to Ontario. I was missing a memory card the machine would not work without. It cost $300 to replace. So any time you buy a machine, TEST IT!

So how do you test a machine? This is accomplished through 2 simple tests, the bubble test, and the egg white test. So you will need to bring with you to the sellers a jar with water in it with a pinch of salt, a probe ( this wont be used on any human so even an old one will do) and a second contain with an UNREFRIGERATED egg white in it.

For the first test, known as the bubble test you will place the Anode from the machine with its wire going to the machine (this is that big piece of metal you usually have in your hand when getting electrolysis), in the jar of salt water. Load your probe into the probe holder. Set the machine to produce galvanic current , preferably on full, and dip the probe into the salt water and depress the pedal of the machine. If it’s working you will see bubbles rising from the probe in the salt water. If there are no bubbles, the galvanic is not functioning but if you get a steady stream of bubbles rising from the probe int he salt water , then galvanic is working.

The second test is to test the function of the thermolysis part of the machine.Set the machine controls to produce thermolyysis current, prefereably as high as you are able to. Insert the probe into the room-temperature egg white and push the pedal on the epilator. If a bit of egg white cooks onto the end of the probe, then thermolysis is working.
These two tests should be done before any machine ever touches skin.

I’d also like to mention, that there is a lot of emphasis for new electrologists to want to learn on the latest Apilus equipment .From a learning aspect though, any machine that functions and was built in the lst 50 years, probably will workl just fine. Some of the non-computerized epilators are perfect for learning with. Dont snub your nose at a fisher scientific, an Silouette tone, or a hinkel or clairblend machine. They may be older they may be newer , but often you will find they function just fine and in fact for some work, especially fast blend techniques, a manually operated machine is superior to most computerized models.

An excellent demonstration of the performance of a egg white test is shown by Josefa Reina here:

And an example of how to perform a bubble test is shown by Josefa here:

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