As a business owner, you know one thing: IT equipment can be expensive. The costs for computers, servers, software, support and security add up quickly, and for most businesses, it is not a place to cut corners.
However, with the cost of doing business rising all the time, most business owners and purchasing managers are looking for cost efficiencies and areas where they can achieve the most value for their money. One of the most effective money-saving ideas for many businesses is to choose refurbished equipment over new. In fact, opting for pre-owned equipment offers a number of significant benefits for businesses of all sizes.
Much like opting for a pre-owned car means that you can get a better vehicle for less money, purchasing a refurbished server or other IT equipment allows you to get something more upscale without the upscale prices. Purchasing refurbished equipment from a reputable retailer usually saves you at least 50 percent over the price of new equipment; in some cases, you might be able to save upwards of 75 percent or more on the cost of equipment. For a business looking to maximize its expenditures, such significant savings — for better equipment — is a smart move.
Did you know that it takes almost five times as much fossil fuel to make a computer as it does to make a refrigerator — and that each year, more than 20 million computers end up in landfills in the U.S. alone? And, were you aware almost 75 percent of a computer’s lifetime energy use occurs during the production process?
By choosing refurbished IT equipment, you are doing your part to reduce the waste associated with the manufacture and disposal of old equipment. Refurbishing old servers helps keep toxic chemicals out of the air and water, keeping you and your family safe and healthy.
People often hear the word refurbished and think “second-rate” or “broken.” While it may be true that at one point a particular piece of equipment was not functioning at its optimum levels, refurbished equipment from a reputable source has been completely rebuilt and repaired. In fact, in many cases, a refurbished machine may function better than it did originally, as non-working systems are repaired — or more likely, replaced and upgraded. You gain peace of mind knowing that the bugs have all been worked out and your refurbished equipment will work just as well, if not better, than new.
Even after weighing the cost and environmental benefits of purchasing refurbished equipment, you might be still reluctant to invest in equipment that has been used by other businesses. One key concern among many purchasers is security. You might be concerned that previous user data might still be present on the machine, or that previous users would still be able to access the machines.
The short answer to this concern is that in terms of security, refurbished equipment is just as safe as new. Again, refurbished essentially means rebuilt; the entire device, whether a server, a hard drive or even a telephone, has been completely cleared of all data, and in many cases, the memory and disk space is brand new.
Another common concern relates to breakdowns. Some purchasers believe that when you purchase used equipment, you’re purchasing someone else’s problems. However, refurbished equipment isn’t always equipment that was owned by someone who was unhappy with it. Some of the most common sources of refurbished equipment include demo models, retailer overstocks and former rental equipment. Reputable dealers of refurbished pieces will generally include a warranty with purchase as well as a service contract to provide repairs in the unlikely event that something goes wrong.
Some retailers even argue that their refurbished products are of higher quality than new, primarily because they have been completely repaired and reconditioned, and often contain higher quality parts than the original. Either way, you don’t have to worry about getting a subpar product when you opt for something reconditioned.
For a small business with big demands when it comes to technology, refurbished equipment could be the ideal solution for meeting those demands while also maintaining the budget. Before you rule out used technology, take a look at the options available and calculate your savings. You might just find that refurbished allows you to do more than you ever thought possible.
Des Fontaine worked as a purchasing manager for nearly 25 years before retiring to open a technology consulting firm. He strongly recommends that clients visit xByte to weigh their options in both new and refurbished servers.