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Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Curvature the world’s leading provider and most trusted source for pre-owned and new networking gear?

Curvature is the world's leading provider of pre-owned and new-in-box networking and data center solutions. Headquartered in Santa Barbara, Calif., the Company is an independent reseller of pre-owned equipment from Cisco, Juniper, HP, IBM and other manufacturers, and we are a Premier member of Dell's PartnerDirect Program. Curvature also offers NetSure® Maintenance Program, a complete and customizable network maintenance solution and affordable alternative to traditional OEM maintenance. The Company offers IT asset recovery, Network Monitoring and technical support services as well as a complete line of OEM and branded optical transceivers, memory, cables and accessories. Founded in 1986, Curvature provides global organizations quality and reliable networking and data center equipment, solutions, and services with access to personalized technical and sales support from its Santa Barbara, Dallas, New York City, Amsterdam, London, Tokyo, and Singapore locations. 


What types of organizations buy pre-owned networking equipment from Curvature and what do they primarily use it for?

Curvature has sold pre-owned equipment to more than 10,000 organizations, spanning Global 1000 enterprises, small- and mid-sized businesses, telecommunications service providers, financial institutions, government entities, educational institutions and healthcare organizations. Worldwide, Curvature’s largest vertical segments are telecommunications and technology integrators. Most of the equipment, including deployments in carrier networks where uptime is essential, is used in production environments. While some organizations buy equipment from Curvature for sparing, testing and disaster recovery applications, the majority use the equipment to support front-line service and network expansions. In fact, a recent survey of 400 Curvature customers found that almost 80 percent of purchases were for production network use followed by 66 percent implemented for network expansion projects.

What are the differences between “pre-owned,” “refurbished” and “used” equipment? What do “new-surplus,” “new/open box” and “new/in box” mean?

Curvature considers all equipment it sells as “pre-owned,” meaning originally it was sold by the manufacturer or an authorized reseller and now is being resold. Some of our inventory is used and some equipment has been resold without being used. All Curvature’s used equipment has undergone full inspection, cleaning, testing and reconditioning to return the equipment to as close to original condition as possible. In some cases, equipment requires minor repairs or cosmetic improvement, and is then designated as “refurbished” Our goal is to return equipment to “like new” condition while offering exceptional savings of between 50 and 90 percent off manufacturers’ list prices.

“New-surplus” equipment has never been used and may also be described in terms of the condition of its packaging. Equipment that is “new/open box” can range in condition from mint to two or more years old, already resold multiple times, but has never been used. “New/in box” typically denotes the product is from the OEM’s distribution channel with its original tape unopened. In either of these cases, Curvature opens the boxes to verify the contents and ensure equipment meets specifications. As Curvature does not sell any new products, both of these instances would be considered “pre-owned” in our vernacular.

What types of equipment are available on the secondary market?

Today, almost any kind of networking equipment can be found for sale on the secondary market. Curvature’s inventory is typically driven by current market demand, so the company aggressively pursues the top 100-to-200 products in order to provide customers with the most popular Cisco routers and other leading network equipment within 24-to-48 hours. With its extensive resources and contacts throughout many vertical markets, Curvature is typically able to deliver even specialized or hard-to-find items within five to seven days.

How much equipment inventory does Curvature carry?

Curvature has more than $200 million (list price value) in inventory—by far the most in the secondary market. Having such a wide range of networking equipment on hand helps Curvature remain exceptionally responsive to its customers. The company maintains a database of more than 2,000 resources globally along with state-of-the-art databases for tracking our entire inventory worldwide. As a result, Curvature typically has the most popular as well as hard-to-find networking items available and ready to ship within 24-to-48 hours.

Where does Curvature get its equipment?

Curvature gets most of its equipment from the same companies that are also its customers. When a company upgrades its network, cancels a project or closes a location, Curvature will buy its surplus networking equipment or take it as credit toward a purchase. We also source equipment from systems integrators who may purchase gear for a client only to see the project cancelled or changed, as well as other used equipment resellers.

What type of warranty does Curvature provide on the equipment it sells?

Curvature offers a lifetime warranty on all pre-owned OEM-branded equipment and all new Curvature-branded equipment. If you experience equipment failure, our technical engineering support teams will either solve your problem over the phone or immediately send a replacement unit for next-business-day delivery.


What kind of maintenance program does Curvature offer?

Curvature’s hardware maintenance and support program, NetSure®, gives IT professionals the ability to select the level of support that makes technical and financial sense for their network core, access and distribution layers, as well as remote offices. NetSure® provides 24x7 technical support by Cisco-certified technicians and guaranteed advanced replacement options, including next-business-day, 4-hour (in select locations), and onsite spares. NetSure® typically costs 50-90% less than manufacturer maintenance programs.

What are the benefits of purchasing pre-owned equipment?

The key benefits are substantial savings and expedited delivery. Companies buying pre-owned networking equipment can save as much as 90 percent off manufacturers’ list prices. When dealing with Curvature, another clear benefit is being able to receive expedited product shipments. In a time when OEMs may take 10 to 80 days to fulfill orders, Curvature can ship overnight if the product is in stock.

Is counterfeit a big problem? How does Curvature handle it?

There is counterfeit networking equipment in the market, particularly with dominant brands like Cisco, but Curvature has seen counterfeiting decrease in recent years. In the 2001-2002 timeframe, we saw much more counterfeit equipment on the market, but efforts of manufacturers, law enforcement and secondary market resellers have significantly reduced those trafficking in these products. Today, the most commonly counterfeited items are lower-value modules like PIX cards and GBICs. In the effort to eradicate counterfeit equipment, Curvature has a Counterfeit Abatement Program (CAP). CAP includes a strict methodology for identifying suspect equipment, quarantining it for detailed inspection, documenting evolving counterfeiting techniques and maintaining a comprehensive knowledgebase used by Curvature quality technicians globally to ensure that all equipment is authentic and meets factory specifications. To help fight this battle industry-wide, Curvature is a founding member of UNEDA (the Used Networking Equipment Dealer Association). Part of this organization’s charter is to help ensure that counterfeit detection practices are shared among all the 300+ members. Awareness among resellers and customers is the best way to fight counterfeiters.

Why do I need NetSure®? Doesn’t the Curvature Lifetime warranty have me covered?

Many people think that a lifetime product warranty eliminates the need for a maintenance and support contract. In some cases this may be true, but warranty, maintenance and support contracts are different and provide varying levels of support.

A NetSure® contract goes well beyond a standard warranty. When IT professionals talk about service contracts, a significant part of that discussion involves product replacement timeframe. Curvature offers varying levels of advanced hardware replacement timeframes including next-business-day,  4-hour, and onsite spare. These options are all available 24x7while the standard warranty is limited to 8x5. So, if you have critical network infrastructure that requires fast hardware replacement, regardless of the time or day of the week, NetSure® is a must-have component of your network strategy.

The technical support available to our NetSure® customers is also superior to our standard warranty support. NetSure® technical support is available 24x7, with a 30-minute response guarantee, and includes troubleshooting and configuration support. Our standard warranty support is 8x5 and is limited to verifying that the hardware has failed and authorizing an RMA. Of course, if in the process of verifying that the hardware has failed our network engineers find that the cause of the issue is not hardware failure, they will provide that information to the customer and help them to resolve the issue.

The quick response you get with NetSure® can dramatically speed up the time required to remedy a network problem, whether due to a failed device or a configuration issue. This can mean significant savings in both time and money for your business. However, if the hardware you’re purchasing isn’t critical to your business, then our warranty will probably suffice.


Why does Curvature need information about the modules and cards in my router or chassis for NetSure® ?

In order for Curvature to appropriately stock all of the hardware our customers have under their NetSure® maintenance and support contracts, we need to know exactly what you have in each chassis or router. This also has a cost advantage to you. Instead of charging a flat price for a chassis, like Cisco does with SMARTnet, we can lower our price according to exactly what you have in the chassis. This is why our NetSure® price for a chassis-based switch is so much lower than SMARTnet in most cases (we don’t have to assume you have the newest, most expensive modules).


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