5 things all IT buyers MUST ask before buying refurbished IT equipment

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So you’re considering buying remarketed IT equipment (servers, routers, storage, etc.) but you’re not quite sure what to watch out for. Buying used IT gear is a great decision for stretching your budget but there are some questions you might want to ask when choosing a vendor so you get top-notch quality equipment and don’t get burned.

1. Are you getting the real deal?
Is the quoted equipment true manufacturer-branded hardware? (Example: Is the memory IBM or some 3rd party knock-off?) This is HUGE when you try to add hardware to existing maintenance agreements. No 3rd party hardware is typically supported. Sometimes dealers will try to slide 3rd party components into system quotes and hope you won’t notice – or worse yet, they won’t even mention it. Be sure to ask.

2. Who exactly are you dealing with?
Is the outfit you’re buying from a legit company? Check their website, Google the company name, ask for references, referrals and current customers. You might even do a map search of their address just to see if they’re in an office building (and not some random residential address).

3. Is there a warranty?
What happens if the products show up and don’t work, or cause system errors? Can someone troubleshoot it? Is there tech support? Who do you call? How fast can the problem be solved? A solid warranty as well as a strong technical staff are great indicators of a company that is proud to stand behind its products.

4. Supplier or Broker?
Do they have complete knowledge of the products or are they just buying from other dealers, and don’t own it? Anyone can sell parts, just check eBay. But you will want a company who will warranty products and guarantee work done. These companies own large inventories of products and quality check everything in their own technical labs. Shipments will arrive quicker, cheaper and with greater peace of mind from stocking vendors.

5. Too Good to be True?
If it seems too good to be true, it often is. When offered unbelievable low prices, something is being sacrificed. Is it quality? Authenticity? Be sure to find out and get it in writing (something to the effect of “the following product is in perfect working condition and guaranteed to be IBM original”). There are some great deals on refurbished and used equipment, but sometimes these truly are too good to be true.

Michelle Clough is an account executive at Vibrant Technologies working with clients from various industries and has over 10 years experienced in the remarketed IT industry. Contact her with further questions or if you have IT equipment to buy or sell.

email: sales@vibrant.com
phone: 952-653-1700

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