I started pumping when my infant was in the NICU. She was born prematurely and we couldn’t practice latching for the first few weeks. So, I researched how to purchase a Medela Symphony to establish my milk supply.
So, how do you buy a used Medela Symphony? A Medela Symphony can be bought online or in person. Before purchasing this pump, it is important to do your due diligence. Verify the number of hours the pump has been used, the condition of the pump, and the serial number.
When I decided to buy a used Symphony, I was nervous about going onto eBay or Craigslist and spending several hundred dollars. I wanted to make sure I was purchasing a legitimate pump and I wanted to avoid scammers.
Below is the process I used to buy a Symphony. Disclaimer: I do not work for Medela and this is not legal advice. Buyers are responsible for their own transaction and its outcome. This post is only intended to help other moms who are interested in purchasing a used pump but may be feeling a bit worried about the process.
Step 1: Verify The Condition Of The Medela Symphony Pump
One important step to purchasing a used pump is to make sure that the pump is in good working condition. Ask for a video of the pump running, so you can see the membranes and diaphragms moving.
You’ll also want to ask the seller for a description of the condition of the pump and to describe any markings or mechanical issues with the pump.
Another item you will want to ask from the seller is a photo of the number of hours on the motor. This is also known as the “Htot” or hours total. In order to obtain the number of hours on the motor:
1. Turn the pump on.
2. Go to the service menu by pushing the “On” button again while turning the vacuum control knob.
3. Turn the vacuum control knob until you get “Htot” (hours total). This is the total hours the pump has run throughout its life.
A motor on a Medela Symphony can run for 6,000 hours based on the user manual. You’ll want to take the number of hours the pump has been used into consideration when looking to purchase a used pump.
If the pump motor or other parts need to be repaired by Medela, the repair can take several weeks, and you will need to use a backup pump in the meantime.
Step 2: Verify The Medela Symphony Pump Is Legitimate
To verify the Symphony is legitimate, I asked the seller a few questions.
I’d ask the seller how they obtained the pump and how long they’ve owned it.
Ask the seller for photos of the serial number in 3 places: etched on the back, on the silver sticker on the bottom, and on the digital display screen while the pump is on.
Be sure to double check that the serial number matches in all 3 places. If the seller is not willing to give you the serial number, this is a red flag.
The next step is the most important step in the process. Call Medela Customer Service at 1.800.435.8316. All you need to say is, “I’d like to check on a serial number.” They will tell you if it is available for sale.
This is very important to make sure the pump was not stolen. This will also help you understand if you will be able to repair the pump if parts need to be replaced in the future. The conversation should last less than 5 minutes and will save you a lot of headache down the road.
The final items to ask for are photos of the Symphony pump. If you see any stickers on the pump, this should be a red flag. Stickers that may indicate the pump was stolen may say something like “Property of Medela”.
Ask for photos of the front of the pump, and photos of the back of the pump including the area above the power cord to check for stickers.
Summary Of Important Items To Ask The Seller To Provide
- Video of pump running
- Photo of hours on the motor
- Photo of serial number in 3 places (on the back of the pump, on the silver sticker on the bottom, and on the digital screen)
- Photos of the front and back of the pump to ensure there are no stickers on the pump
Verify How the Pump Will Be Shipped
Now that you have done your research on purchasing a used Symphony, it is important to ask the seller how they plan to ship the pump.
As this is an expensive piece of equipment, you may want to ask if they are using a hard shell carrying case that comes with the Symphony. You may also want to have shipping insurance on the pump in case it is damaged in transit.
How Much Can You Expect To Pay For A Used Medela Symphony?
After doing some research, a used Medela Symphony generally sells for around $400 to $600. This will depend on the condition of the pump, the number of hours on the motor, and the age of the pump.
Considering that a new Medela Symphony can cost over $2,000, a used pump can save a lot of money on the purchase.
Where Can You Purchase A Used Medela Symphony Pump?
- A used Medela Symphony may be purchased from:
- A friend or co-worker,
- eBay, Craigslist, or Facebook Marketplace, or
- A peer to peer selling app such as Letgo or OfferUp.
The advantage to purchasing from someone locally is that you can verify the condition of the Symphony in person.
When purchasing a used Symphony, I recommend purchasing in person if possible, so you can inspect the pump.
If purchasing online, ensure that the photos are more authentic than stock photos from Medela. Be sure you can communicate back and forth easily with the seller to verify the items discussed above.
If you are using PayPal to purchase a Symphony, PayPal Goods and Services will give the buyer more protection. If PayPal Friends and Family is used, the buyer does not have protection if the pump arrives and it is not how the seller described the item.
If you are interested in purchasing a new Medela Symphony, you can purchase one by contacting a durable medical equipment supplier.
Renting A Symphony Pump Vs. Buying A Used Symphony Pump?
Renting a Symphony makes sense when your insurance will cover the cost of the rental. This may be the case if your baby has feeding issues or if your doctor writes a prescription for a hospital grade pump.
You can always call your insurance and ask about this option. Renting may also make sense if you only plan to keep the pump for a couple months. I have seen Symphony rentals cost anywhere from $60-$99 per month depending on the length of the rental contract.
Purchasing a Symphony may make sense when your insurance will not cover the cost of the rental. It also can make sense when you do not want to wait several weeks for your insurance to approve the cost of the rental.
Purchasing may also make sense if you plan to pump longer than 3 months, or if you plan to use the Symphony to pump for another baby.
Is Selling A Used Breast Pump Illegal?
In general, selling a used hospital grade breast pump should be fine as long as you purchased the pump yourself. You can get into trouble if your insurance paid for the pump.
Hospital grade pumps like the Medela Symphony are sanitary for multiple women. Personal use pumps like the Medela Pump In Style are not hygienic for multiple women.
Please note that this is not intended as legal advice and you should contact an attorney if you are concerned.
Is A Used Medela Symphony Sanitary?
A used Medela Symphony is sanitary. It is a closed system where milk cannot enter the pump motor. Each user should have their own set of pump parts. Hospitals use this pump for multiple women.
A Symphony is different from other Medela pumps, such as Pump in Style Advanced, Freestyle, and Sonata. These other pumps are only meant for personal use and not meant to be shared.
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