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8 Things to Consider When Comparing Refurbished and New Equipment

Information Technology is assuming increasingly larger proportions of companies’ budgets. When looking for ways to improve the bottom line, businesses of all sizes naturally explore how they can shave some spend from this swelling category.

Technical personnel are passionate about getting the latest and greatest tech, but it’s important they tow the company line and spend conscientiously. An excellent way to reduce IT spend is to consider purchasing refurbished desktops when it’s time to get an employee a new workstation. Now, this doesn’t mean you’d be giving them used or beat up equipment that would hinder their productivity. It’s actually quite the opposite…

What does it mean if a computer is refurbished?

Is a refurbished computer better than used? Most definitely.

Unlike used equipment, all refurbished systems have underperforming components replaced, are comprehensively cleaned, and pass rigorous testing. In fact, the vast majority of refurbished desktops were not actually used at all. They typically were returned by a customer before being used, are the result of a canceled order, or initially failed to meet the manufacturer’s quality testing for a new out-of-the-box machine.

The law prohibits the equipment in any of these circumstances from being sold as ‘new’ and it must be classified as ‘refurbished’ when put back on the market. That’s why refurbished inventory often gets rapidly snatched up — it’s an opportunity to get effectively new equipment at a considerably discounted rate.

Still, it’s critical that any company thinking of purchasing refurbished gear asks the vendor detailed questions about the system’s history, specifications, and refurbishment process. Here are 8 things to consider when weighing a decision to purchase refurbished desktops and other items versus new equipment:

1. Buying refurbished computers lower businesses’ TCO

Almost one hundred percent of the time you end up spending less when purchasing refurbished gear. Best practice states that savings of at least 15% versus buying new warrants purchasing a refurbished equivalent. However, it’s common for refurbished options to save businesses 30% to 50% off the retail price of a new system. If a computer is still on the market, cost comparisons are simple. Although the risk of receiving a faulty machine is very low, the savings to outweigh the risk you perceive for it to be a prudent decision.

2. Buying refurbished reduces your environmental impact

E-waste (discarded electronic devices) has adverse effects on the natural environment, including the diffusion of toxic chemicals from metals commonly found in electronics into our air and water.

For companies that are looking to promote sustainability initiatives, purchasing refurbished equipment is a boon. Acquiring a refurbished desktop prevents a perfectly fine computer that likely was never used from being dumped wastefully.

3. Refurbished computers are often tested more rigorously than new computers

Arguing that refurbished desktops are on par with new counterparts does not give refurbished gear enough credit. Since the components in refurbished products have been tested more extensively than ‘new’ equipment, the chances of you getting a faulty unit are actually less. Many IT professionals believe refurbished models are the best to come off the assembly line since they’ve been doubly scrutinized for performance.

4. How do warranties differ between new and refurbished equipment?

At a minimum, a refurbished desktop should come with a warranty that aligns with the terms offered by the original manufacturer for a new model. The best-refurbished desktop vendors actually provide warranty packages that go beyond manufacturers’ offerings. This virtually eliminates the risk of purchasing a workstation that’s not ‘new’.

5. Do refurbished computers allow more customization than buying new?

Third-party refurbishers often accumulate a diverse inventory of computer components. They can sell business models that are still on the market, but with component upgrades to deliver a solution that more granularly satisfies the business’ specific needs. Original manufactures can only maintain so many SKUs at scale, but refurbishers can often deliver more variability in hard drives, processors, GPUs, and other components, while still being more cost-effective.

6. Do I need the latest and greatest hardware?

It’s typically hard to get your hands-on refurbished versions of the latest models of hardware; you’ll have to wait. But rather than sit around, consider that last year’s refurbished model likely had its BIOS upgraded by the refurbisher, receiving some of the latest critical developments, rendering them superior to their off-the-shelf equivalents.

In the past three to five years, Moore’s law has slowed significantly — chip manufacturers have effectively packed as much power into processors that current innovation allows. There’s little difference between the capabilities of this year’s and last year’s desktop hardware — it’s the underlying software, particularly the BIOS, that matters most.

7. Are refurbished computers good for the cloud?

If you use Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, purchasing refurbished models, even a few releases back, are ideal. Cloud-based applications save local machines from processing data; the heavy-lifting, rather, is done in a remote data center. Having the most up-to-date hardware holds less value than it did just a few years ago..

8. Do new, used, or refurbished offer better customer service?

When your refurbisher doubles as a managed services provider, you’ll actually garner customer service superior to that delivered by the original manufacturer. Desktop manufacturers are competent in building their products, not operating it. By purchasing a refurbished machine from operational experts that package in ongoing support, you’ll benefit from a safety net of experts that can assist you with the unexpected.

At Aventis Systems, we offer you equipment that’s refurbished to the highest standards possible. You can feel confident that the equipment will continue to provide reliable service for many years. Additionally, Aventis Systems offers warranty programs: a standard 3-year comprehensive warranty on all services and storage equipment and a 1-year comprehensive warranty on all Cisco and networking equipment, workstations, desktops, laptops and hardware components.

Contact us for more details on buying refurbished and recertified equipment for your business.

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