Is It Safe to Buy Used IT Equipment?

This year, many Seattle organizations realized how important it was to have updated, standardized IT equipment for WFH employees because managing so many tools was a serious pain in the neck.

But realizing the importance of standardized, updated IT tools like laptops and phones is one thing… actually being able to afford a bunch of those tools is a totally different thing.

And so… here you are wondering if it’s safe to buy used IT equipment.

Good News! It’s Totally Okay to Buy Used IT Equipment

When you purchase officially refurbished IT equipment direct from a manufacturer like Dell or Apple, you can be pretty sure that the used tech you’re getting is trustworthy.

Notice that we said “officially refurbished IT equipment” and not “certified IT equipment.” There’s a big difference.

  • IT equipment refurbishment is a careful process in which licensed refurbishment companies carefully inspect and test every component of used IT equipment, including checking for loose wiring. They carefully replace everything that isn’t up to snuff.
  • IT equipment certification is a fluffy term that doesn’t mean much because every “certifier” has different standards. Much like the term “natural” these days, you don’t know if those “certified” IT devices have really been checked carefully or not.

Again, purchasing refurbished equipment direct from the manufacturer is a good idea because, even though their IT equipment might be a little more expensive than buying on eBay, you know that the manufacturer will stand behind their product and their brand reputation.

The Pros and Cons of Buying Used IT Equipment

The most important thing to remember when buying a used device is to pay attention to the fact that the lower cost you’ll be paying will end up becoming a tradeoff a few years down the road. At that point, the IT you bought 2-3 years ago will almost certainly have lackluster battery life and performance because it’s actually a 5-year-old device.

Over time, laptop batteries lose their full capacity to charge, which means that battery life is guaranteed to get shorter year after year. Additionally, the pace of technology is such that within just a few short years, your processor, hard drive or SSD, memory, or graphics processor may not be able to keep up with the latest upgrades.

It’s not like this is all bad news though. After all, when you buy used tech equipment, you can usually afford much better components, which means a good deal on a used device with a used top-of-the-line processor and graphics card could actually become a device that lasts longer than if you were to pay the same price for mid-level (or lower) brand-new components.

Is There Any Used IT Equipment You Should Avoid?

Amazingly, as long as you are careful to purchase refurbished IT equipment direct from the original manufacturer, it’s totally okay to buy whatever used equipment you need. Laptops, phones, tablets, video phones, servers, routers, monitors, keyboards… you name it, you can buy it.

Just remember, everything you buy used will have a shorter shelf life and will have less support than a new item. Like buying a used car, as long as you do your due diligence (and you have a good mechanic), you should be good to go.

Speaking of Good Mechanics…

If you’re considering an investment in used equipment, you’ll want a good “IT mechanic” (known as a managed services provider) to ensure that your used equipment stays in tip-top condition as long as possible. A small business IT support firm with the expertise to handle complex, integrated IT solutions will save you time, effort, and a lot of headaches when it comes to selecting, setting up, and maintaining your used IT devices.

In Seattle? Lucky you. We happen to know just the managed IT company to recommend.

Ask Interplay your questions about used IT equipment.

For 20 years, the friendly and knowledgeable IT team at Interplay has helped business leaders across a range of industries get more out of their tech, stress free. Not only are we always (and we mean always) happy to offer the best IT support and advice, we’re also the team you can trust for the best cocktail recommendations here in Seattle or in Disney World – we’re versatile! All humor aside though, we’d love to help you reduce IT spend and get your IT running smoothly around the clock.

Photo by Skylar Kang from Pexels