Mythbusting: the truth about buying refurbished hardware
19 September 2016
We all know that purchasing second hand refurbished hardware is cheaper than buying brand new – in some cases it can be discounted as much as 70%.
Despite the cost-saving benefits of refurbished hardware, there’s a stigma attached to the word “refurbished” that potentially prevents individuals from considering it as an option when buying hardware. This stigma has led to a number of common misconceptions, or myths, about refurbished hardware. Read on to discover the truth about refurbished hardware, and why it shouldn’t be disregarded when it’s time to consider the purchase or refresh of hardware in your organisation.
Myth 1: Refurbished hardware is always hardware that was previously defective.
The truth: There are many reasons why hardware finds itself on the market as “refurbished”, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s been defective in the past. Examples include:
- leased hardware that has been returned at the end of a contract;
- hardware that finds itself no longer required, for example as a result of a virtualisation or hosted project;
- hardware that has been opened out of the original packaging, but for some reason never used. Maybe it incurred minor cosmetic damage from shipping, for example.
Whilst all refurbished hardware is tested by certified engineers, it’s important to remember that it was never necessarily defective in the first place. It’s true that sometimes refurbished hardware has been repaired and restored, but regardless of its history, it’s always put through a meticulous testing and building process (normally by the original vendor) to ensure it’s suitable to be sold as refurbished hardware.
Myth 2: You can’t get a guarantee with refurbished hardware
The truth: It’s a common assumption that refurbished hardware doesn’t come with a guarantee or warranty, perhaps because it’s perceived as more likely to break, and the seller doesn’t want to have to replace it at cost. This is strictly untrue. Of course, it depends on the seller, but reputable brokers such as Prodec Networks will always provide a guarantee of some level with any purchased hardware, whether it’s new or refurbished.
When purchasing refurbished hardware, ensure you’re aware of the warranty that accompanies the product, and understand whether it’s the responsibility of the original manufacturer or the seller who’s accountable to replace faulty goods.
Myth 3: There’s no support for refurbished hardware
The truth: Leading hardware suppliers and VARs can offer a variety of levels of support, regardless of whether the hardware is new or refurbished. This can even extend to end-of-life support. Even though it’s no longer being supported by the manufacturer, it can still be supported by your provider the same as a top-of-the-line brand new server. Ultimately, it just depends on who you’re dealing with when buying refurbished hardware.
Myth 4: It’s outdated, and old
The truth: A large percentage of refurbished hardware models available on the market are still available to be purchased as brand new, with accompanying software updates available from the vendor. This means that it’s still being purchased by businesses regularly and is still a viable solution.
There may be better, faster, more efficient models on the market, but unless you’re lucky enough to be able to afford to upgrade your entire infrastructure every few months, you’re never going to be at the cutting edge. Purchasing refurbished hardware allows you to manage refresh cycles more resourcefully, whilst standardising your network hardware inventory efficiently.
Myth 5: The biggest myth of all
“Refurbished hardware is poor quality, ineffective, slower than new hardware, and overall a poor investment.”
The truth: As mentioned at the start of the article, there’s a stigma attached to “refurbished” hardware, with many IT professionals and business decision makers seeing it as a poor alternative to buying new. However, with purse strings being tightened and refresh cycles growing in length, for many organisations, purchasing refurbished hardware is the only option – not that it’s a bad one.
It’s important to remember that when you buy refurbished hardware from a reputable vendor such as Prodec Networks, you’re buying hardware that has been examined, tested, and where required fixed, all by a vendor representative. The hardware is then certified as refurbished and available to be sold. When accompanied by strong warranties and support capabilities, there’s no reason why a piece of refurbished hardware can’t be as efficient and effective as an identical model that just happens to be new.