Used IT: What to Look For, What to Avoid

It’s important to understand the difference between the types of used equipment before making a purchase, particularly the difference between gently-used (or refurbished) and “as is” used equipment.

Used IT equipment that is sold “as-is":

  • was removed from service for a serious performance deficiency.
  • is resold without anything being done to improve it.
  • comes with no warranty attached to it.
  • probably doesn’t function most of the time.

It is highly recommended to AVOID AS-IS EQUIPMENT for your business.

Used IT equipment that is remarketed as “gently used” or “refurbished”:

  • is often surplus equipment or returned under warranty for a variety of reasons.
  • is akin to “Grade A” or “like new”.
  • is thoroughly inspected and application-tested upon receipt.
  • is carefully reset to factory default configurations/specifications.
  • comes with a standard full-replacement warranty and extended warranty options.
  • should function good as new in any network system.

Many companies make the mistake of getting caught up in the price vs. total cost debate. They confuse the difference between low price of acquisition and low cost of ownership. One involves quick, short term gains, while the other offers longer term returns. A business that requires refurbished/gently-used equipment creates a release valve for their budget. Buyers and users of used Cisco equipment report up to 90 percent savings compared to list-price when purchasing used products.

It is obviously important to work with a reputable vendor like NSR when purchasing used IT equipment. Don’t just look for the lowest price and ignore the trust factor: it may likely end up costing more over time. Be wary of items that are significantly cheaper from one vendor compared to another, and always inspect any low-ball quotes received. Ask questions about confusing terminology and talk to a real person on the phone if possible.