Used Hardware 101: Buy Used Servers, Storage, Networking

Used Hardware 101CentricsIT’s field guide on how to buy used Cisco, IBM, HP, Sun-Oracle, and others.

Thinking of looking to the secondary market for your data center needs? Hi-five — that forward-thinking mindset has you on the path toward savings, exceptional service, and the higher availability of the exact machine you’re looking for. But just like making any other major purchase, it helps to educate yourself beforehand. CentricsIT has prepared this guide for potential customers looking to buy used servers, storage, or networking equipment for the first time.

Who Buys Used IT Equipment?

Global companies of all sizes, and organizations in every vertical seek out used servers, storage, and networking equipment in an effort to cut costs in the data center. For nearly 25 years, this market has grown from businesses run out of home garages to multi-billion dollar enterprises. When you choose to buy used IT equipment, your choices are numerous — so how do you select your secondary IT provider? Price is an obvious factor, but there are other signs you should look for when picking your used IT provider.

Things to Look for in a Secondary IT Provider.

  • The reseller issues a warranty on all hardware purchases
  • Your used IT equipment is certified for OEM maintenance upon request
  • The reseller employs trained technicians who methodically test and inspect the equipment, using guidelines such as CentricsIT’s 101 Point Inspection
  • Your sales rep returns your calls in a timely manner and answers all of your questions and addresses your concerns professionally and with product expertise
  • The reseller can provide account references and customer testimonials
  • The reseller operates out of a secure office and warehouse facility
  • The reseller has a comprehensive company website

Warning Signs – What to Avoid When Buying Used IT Hardware.

  • Deals that seem “too good to be true.” You can can save 50-90% buying used, depending on the product and manufacturer. But if you see a deal that is significantly less than your other used options, proceed with caution.
  • Online auction Web sites – you don’t know if this is a reputable company
  • Equipment listed “as is,” without a warranty

Think of buying used servers, storage, and networking equipment like you would any other secondary-market purchase (a pre-owned car, for instance). If you educate yourself, ask the right questions, and buy from a reputable company, you will see a much more flexible IT budget and cost-efficient data center.


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