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Procurement 101: More Bang for Your Buck on the Secondary Market

When buying a new car, shoppers often look at the bells and whistles and have to decide if their dream car is worth the money. It's not uncommon to settle for a less expensive base model to better fit a budget and forego the nice-to-have features that the higher-end model includes. But when it comes to buying technology for your network infrastructure, this buying behavior is better left to cars.

Cisco routers price comparisonBottom line: If you are only looking at list price you might be missing an opportunity to buy your dream model.

OEM list prices typically have greater discrepancies when comparing an entry-level model and the higher-end model. Take for example the Cisco 2800 Series Routers. The list price for the entry-level model, the 2811, is $2495. Compare it to their higher-end model, the 2851, listed at $6495—that’s a 160% price difference.

While we recognize the robust features of the Cisco 2851, we wouldn’t exactly say the added features equate to a 160% increase in value. If you're purchasing the same router on the secondary market, you could get the higher-end model for a comparatively nominal increase.

So if your network requires a switch or router with more robust features, keep in mind that it’s still viable to get the higher-end model without a 160% premium. Check out the guide below featuring similar examples, comparing the features and prices of entry-level models with its higher-end counterparts.

 

Max Throughput

Max DRAM

WIC slots

Network
Module Slots

Dual
Power

CISCO2801

46Mbps

384MB

4 (one voice
only)

0

no

CISCO2811

61Mbps

768MB

4

1

no

CISCO2821

87Mbps

1GB

4

1

no

CISCO2851

112Mbps

1GB

4

1

no

CISCO3825

180Mbps

1GB

4

2

no

CISCO3845

256Mbps

1GB

4

4

yes

Cisco 2811 vs. Cisco 2851

The Cisco 2851 is listed for 160% higher than its lower-end model, the Cisco 2811. Your Cisco rep might justify a 160% price increase because of the extra 51Mbps in throughput along with the extra 232MB DRAM when getting the Cisco 2851. But given the markup, this higher-end option might not be scalable for your entire network. With Curvature, you can get the higher-end model for a nominal price increase, which is just a nominal fraction of the OEM’s markup.

Cisco 3825 vs. Cisco 3845

It's the same situation with the higher-end Cisco 3825 and the Cisco 3845. The higher-end model, the Cisco 3845, is listed at thousands more than its entry-level model counterpart, the 3825. And what you’re getting with the 3845 is a lot more—76Mbps extra, two more network module slots, and dual power. But with Curvature, you don’t have to pay thousands extra if your network requires the more robust features of the 3845.

WS-C3750G-48PS-S vs WS-C3750G-24PS-S

It turns out that the large price discrepancy holds true for many 24-port and 48-port switches with OEMs. For the 3750 Series Switches, the 48-port switch is nearly double the price of the 24-port switch, so you’re essentially paying the OEM port-by-port. Curvature doesn’t nearly double the price for double the functionality. (Note: These switches aren’t reflected in the above chart since the essential difference is simply the number of ports.)