How Much Does “Free” Really Cost?

You’ve probably received an equipment purchase quote with one or more “free” line items. In reality, it’s not likely these are really free. The costs are likely buried elsewhere in the quote.

Free is Rarely Ever Free

Make sure you are not overpaying on some line items of your quote under the premise of certain items being free. Analyzing the cost of each line item in a quote is an important step to ensure you’re getting the best deal. Refuse to blindly accept something that is included at no charge.

For example, just recently a hospital purchasing a new CT scanner also needed software upgrades on two existing scanners. As an incentive to complete the purchase, the supplier offered to include the upgrades at no cost.

The actual cost of the upgrades was $131,000 — and it turned out the hospital was NOT getting them for free. In fact, the supplier had allocated the full cost of the upgrades into other line items in the overall proposal for the new equipment.

Once the hospital understood the true cost and value of the upgrades, they were able to weigh the cost/benefit and make an informed decision.

Find the True Value of Free Line Items

Two things helped the hospital understand what “free” really cost:

1 — The hospital knew that free rarely means free, and didn’t blindly accept the “free” upgrades without taking steps to validate the proposed costs.

2 — The hospital had access to the right information to know with confidence the true value of the upgrades and new equipment. This allowed them to proceed knowing they were getting the best price.

Know the Right Price

You probably think you’re getting a good price. You certainly hope you are. But do you KNOW? Having access to the right information is the best way to know the right price and get the right price so you can maximize savings.

Want to know more? Contact the Miga Client Experience Team at or (763) 225-8410.