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Posted by Stefanie | September 22, 2016

Purchasing used hardware? Buyers beware!

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You run a small business on a solid upward trajectory, so what could possibly hold you back? The answer may be closer to home than you think – namely, the hardware you need for day-to-day operations. Purchasing new equipment can be painful for your budget, so buying refurbished hardware might seem like a great solution. But is it worth the minefield that is the secondary market?

I can't believe it's not free

When you consider your options, you may think that while buying brand-new equipment from the manufacturer seems too pricey and going to the local resale store seems too cheap, getting refurbished hardware online feels oh so right. However, for every reputable dealer, there are dozens of “resellers” looking to make a quick buck with any old junk they managed to take a pretty picture of. So, how do you avoid getting scammed?

  • Do your research and search for a fair price within your budget, avoiding the cheapest options. If a price seems too good to be true, it most likely is. If you want your hardware to support your company long-term, you'll have to spend a little to make a little!
  • Look for reviews from other consumers, and be sure to read these discerningly. If there's a handful of outstanding reviews peppered into a sea of negativity, something isn't right.
  • Find out the customer service policy. If something goes wrong with your order, you should be able to easily reach someone on the vendor's customer service team to quickly resolve the problem.

Certified over mystified

The safest way to get a pre-owned machine is a no-brainer: Buy direct from the manufacturer every single time.

Think of it like buying a used car. If you go ahead and take a gamble on that impressively low-priced car on Craigslist, be prepared to go in for your first oil change and come out with a bill for hundreds of dollars in repairs. You may have saved on the sticker price, but your purchase will likely end up costing you more in the long run – and that’s the case for both cars and hardware!

Note that most major retailers provide an outlet selection, allowing you to purchase pre-owned equipment that is maintained at the manufacturer's level of excellence.

Franken-station

Once a machine is out of warranty, replacing parts one at a time can seem like a good way

to avoid making a major purchase, but this approach is only delaying the inevitable. Standard workstations and their warranties max out at about five years, after which parts are harder to find and expensive to replace. Ultimately, even if you do follow the piece-by-piece method, you’ll still have to spend a larger sum to replace the whole unit at some point. You just have to know when to let go.

The right way to go

The secondary market is well known for being cheap and easy to navigate, so who wouldn’t want to take advantage of it? While there are some legitimate deals to be found there, don’t forget that quality dictates your true bottom line, and replacing one cheap machine with another will add up over time.

The only surefire way to get the most out of every purchase is to buy new and maintain your equipment to the best of your ability. Work with a managed services provider to regularly evaluate your IT asset inventory and ensure you’re getting the most out of your hardware. A managed services provider can also help you with purchasing or reselling equipment at the end of the warranty lifetime.

Megan_Perry_Admin Megan Perry, Procurement Coordinator

The purpose of this blog is to answer the questions you ask! Navigating the world of IT purchasing isn't easy, so don't hesitate to reach out to MyITpros and discuss your options! Make sure you get started on the right foot by downloading our on IT technology for small businesses! 

Tags » Budgeting for IT