Refurbished Computing: Is It Time To Re-Consider?

Used (or refurbished equipment) computer equipment can save you a lot of money and goes far in helping to recycle and be more environmentally friendly. Tiffany Bloomer, Director of Business Development with Aventis Systems, answers some questions about the refurbished technology market.
Businesses do save money when purchasing refurbished equipment, but with computer prices so low is it worth it to purchase used equipment?
Great question! Although major manufacturers such as Dell, HP, and IBM have lowered their prices over the past 6 months to a year to compete in the down economy, they can still only offer products that are currently being manufactured. The advantage to buying refurbished equipment is that companies can go back to the previous generation (or even older) and purchase equipment that meets their specification needs, at a fraction of the price when they were new! There is a common myth that new equipment offers the best performance for the price. The truth is that new equipment oftentimes exceeds the performance requirements for targeted applications. Refurbished equipment can easily meet these requirements at a fraction of the price. Average cost savings is generally more than 40% when comparing refurbished to new equipment, allowing IT departments to extend their ever-tightening budgets.
What role does eBay have and/or other portals of used equipment?
EBay plays a huge role in enabling companies to market not only to the US local market but to the entire world. Also the eBay “store” allows vendors to highlight other characteristics of their business model besides price. In our case, we are able to showcase our wide availability of product, customization, and our industry-leading 3 year warranty.

What about buying used equipment directly from the PC vendors?
Although a few PC vendors offer their lease turn-ins back to the open market, it is not always the best source for end users. Major manufactures do not specialize in used/refurbished equipment, and therefore do not go through the stringent testing procedures refurbished companies do.
What should businesses do for support?
In purchasing refurbished equipment, end users should pay attention to two factors: tech support hours and warranty. Many refurbished companies are interested in the “one time sale” versus building long-term relationships with their customers. Our model is a bit different: we have established tech support hours where customers can call with any questions and speak with a “live” technician who will assist in troubleshooting their issue. Warranty is important because it gives the end user peace of mind when purchasing their equipment. Aventis Systems also offers a full 3-year parts replacement warranty that covers everything from the motherboard to hard drives. Consumers can’t go wrong with saving money and getting a comparable warranty!
I think software does not come with refurbished computers. How should it be acquired on the cheap?
Off-lease equipment generally comes with the original software installed, which allows for companies to resell to the public with the original software and corresponding (COA) Certificate Of Authentication.