Pre-owned and refurbished networking gear offers savvy companies outstanding deals, extended warranties, impressive responsiveness and stellar post-sale support.
When people buy anything used—be it a car, golf clubs or electronics—they typically are seeking a more affordable price tag on a high-ticket item. It’s no different for any company considering pre-owned networking equipment— and the results deliver undeniable savings or noticeably more for the dollars spent. For companies that do not require the latest-generation equipment, cost savings of 50 to 95 percent are reasonable to expect. IT professionals also are finding that pre-owned and refurbished networking equipment comes with other huge advantages, including access to a wide variety of current and past-generation products, expedited shipping, standard one-year advanced replacement warranties and responsive technical support—all rarities when using the traditional procurements channels of equipment manufactures or authorized resellers.
The proposition sounds quite intriguing, so why don’t more companies buy pre-owned networking equipment? One answer is that many companies, large and small, already do. The word is spreading. A growing number of companies, including communications service providers, financial institutions and healthcare providers—all entities that truly know the importance of maintaining mission-critical networks—are among the organizations that are installing preowned equipment in their production networks.
Despite this fact, IT managers remain cautious—as they should regarding any important purchase. Their key concerns center on trusting the procurement source and ensuring the quality of the equipment obtained. So how can first-time shoppers be sure pre-owned or refurbished equipment is the right choice?
But Isn’t New Better?
Depending on your networking needs, the newest equipment on the market may be nothing more than the most expensive. Like selecting the hottest rookie in the draft, shiny, new networking gear loaded with the latest accessories may carry a mind-blowing price tag. In contrast, many times a proven veteran with a solid track record is more economical and the surer fit.
Each year manufacturers bring their latest releases to market, but some times the new features aren’t relevant to many businesses. If your environment won’t benefit from these new bells and whistles, then the increased investment will not generate an additional return on investment. With original equipment manufacturers’ mark-up on new equipment typically in excess of 90 percent, buying pre-owned equipment can significantly reduce core networking costs while freeing needed capital for other mission-critical technology deployments or strategic investments.
“Pre-owned equipment, therefore, may not only be a cost-effective alternative in the short run, but also a viable part of most companies’ long-term network technology roadmaps.”
Although OEMs release product updates quite frequently, industry watchers agree that routing and switching equipment actually has quite a long lifespan. Pre-owned equipment, therefore, may not only be a cost-effective alternative in the short run, but also a viable part of most companies’ long-term network technology roadmaps.
Know Your Options
When considering new hardware, discuss these needs with an expert in previous-generation equipment. A manufacturer will not always share options for less-expensive configurations. For example, a company considering the newest router or switch on the market could instead purchase the previous model and notice very little, if any, performances differences. In terms of reliability, there also may be no discernable drop-off. NHR helps IT professionals select the previous generation equipment that meets their requirements at prices as much as 90 percent below the manufacturer’s proposed new configuration.
Many companies take advantage of the huge savings available on the secondary market to stockpile “spares” for their networks, keeping onsite back-ups of critical equipment in case of emergency. As with any purchase, planning ahead allows shopping around for the best value.
Many companies report that sparing is a much more cost-effective strategy than buying extended manufacturer warranties, especially on previous-generation equipment. This approach also saves time and frustration by avoiding the endless series of tiered service requests. With spares “on the shelf,” an increasing number of companies double their value by using them for testing and corporate training without having to affect the production network. So what should companies look for when they consider the pre-owned market? Here are five tips for getting the best deals on used equipment.
Do your research
Beware of the "unbelievable" deal
Expect rapid delivery
Quiz your vendor on quality
Demand a warranty to mitigate risk