4 Things to Consider When Buying Used Computers or Networking Equipment

When it comes to buying used items, there’s an unofficial rule of thumb that says, “The fewer moving parts, the better.” When it comes to computers and networking equipment – items that have lots of “moving parts” – it’s important that you have a system in place to vet potential purchases. This will allow you to buy with confidence, while still getting a good deal.

4 Considerations for Buying Used Tech

When purchasing used equipment, most people are solely focused on how they can get a good deal and save as much money as possible. And while there’s nothing wrong with saving some money, there’s a lot more to it.

“Getting a great deal when you buy refurbished networking hardware is one thing, but making sure you understand the entire buying process will help you avoid any catastrophic mistakes,” BrightStar Systems explains.

Whether it’s refurbished networking hardware or a pre-owned computer, you need to take your time and make sure the purchase will prove to be beneficial on all sides of the equation. Here are some considerations:

  1. Needs vs. Wants

Whether it’s buying used tech or purchasing a piece of furniture for your bedroom, it’s imperative that you take the time to understand the difference between a need and a want. People who have a clear understanding of the dividing line between the two are typically in a much better position to be successful than those who let emotions influence what they do and don’t buy.

In terms of your personal life, you only need four things to survive: a roof over your head, food and water to sustain your health and energy, basic healthcare and hygiene products, and clothing to keep you warm. Everything beyond this is a want.

While this is an extreme way of viewing the needs vs. wants equation, it’s technically the correct way to see it. Once you realize that you don’t need any piece of technology, you’re free to lower your expectations a bit and see the value in buying pre-owned/used.

  1. Privacy and Security

When purchasing used computer and networking equipment, you have to think carefully about privacy and security. Whether it’s for personal or business use, a lot of private information and confidential data is processed through your computer and over your network. The last thing you want is to purchase something that could potentially be compromised by someone else.

The best way to ensure maximum privacy and security is to purchase through an accredited vendor or retailer and to always conduct a master reset prior to using any device. If you have hesitations beyond this, an IT professional can answer your questions and help you set up additional safeguards.

  1. Quality and Condition

“People often buy used systems and underestimate how much they’ll end up spending on upgrades,” A&D Computers explains. “A $300 used laptop is a great deal…until you buy a $100 external hard drive, a $90 software license, and any other programs you need. Heaven forbid you have to upgrade the hardware anytime soon. The cost of a new solid-state drive alone, on top of the purchase price, could make buying a new computer a more attractive option.”

Consider the quality and condition of what you’re buying prior to purchase. Then consider whether it makes more sense to buy something new (which will presumably have a longer useful life). If the answer is no, then go ahead with the purchase of the pre-owned item.

  1. Warranty or Guarantee

When buying pre-owned equipment, warranties and guarantees are especially important. You never know when something will go wrong and it’s nice to have the peace of mind that comes with a warranty. (Though you should know that most companies won’t offer anything more than a 6 to 12-month warranty.)

Adding it All Up

Some decisions are bigger than others. For example, if you’re buying networking equipment for an entire small business, the process will clearly be more intensive and focused than if you’re buying a used laptop for your daughter to complete her English homework. However, both situations should be treated with care.

By working through some of the issues discussed in this article, you can be sure you’re making a smart, calculated decision that’s both cost-effective and high-returning over the next few years. Take your time and don’t rush the process!

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