Used Network Hardware - Best Practices for Buyers

The Smart Way to Buy Used Network Hardware

Best Practices for Buyers

So you want to save a bit on your IT budget, and you’re thinking used networking equipment might be an option. But if you’ve never purchased refurbished network hardware before, it’s hard to know what to look for in a provider. You’re worried you could wind up with some kind of used car salesman looking to unload a lemon on you. Or you’re considering purchasing from an online auction site with no credibility or safety net to keep you from getting burned. So you have legitimate concerns. But with careful research and diligent consideration it’s possible to find a reputable partner who can help you get the most value from your IT budget.

Does their used networking equipment come with a significant warranty?

If they’re not willing to back their refurbished network hardware with a solid warranty, that probably means they’re not confident in its performance. Look for a vendor that gives you years of coverage so that you have an extended period of assurance. A vendor that’s willing to back their used networking equipment with an extensive warranty knows they’re providing quality refurbished network hardware, and they stand behind that quality. A promise of quality without a warranty to back it is empty.

Does their network hardware have a reliability rating they stand behind?

If a vendor refuses to draw a line in the sand and tell you what percentage of their refurbished networking equipment works right out of the box every time, it’s not a good sign. It means they either don’t keep track of their reliability using trustworthy means, or, even worse, their percentage is not very good. If a vendor doesn’t come out and tell you the reliability rating of their refurbished network hardware, it usually means they’re trying to hide something.

Do they offer a network hardware replacement program?

Any reputable vendor will have enough faith in the quality of their product to also offer a replacement program to attach to that hardware. As a consumer, you deserve to partake in the insurance a replacement program provides if you so choose. If the vendor doesn’t provide some sort of replacement offering, that could be a pretty good indication that they don’t believe in the quality of their refurbished networking hardware and see a replacement program as a losing venture for them.

Is their used networking equipment priced almost too cheap?

Chances are if the price seems absolutely too good to be true, it probably is. Any vendor that’s willing to price their product so low that it’s far below fair market value is probably engaging in unsavory practices. Many used networking equipment products can be counterfeited. Both remarketing vendors and end-users have to pay a little more for authentic refurbished network equipment. Don’t think the lowest price is necessarily your best bet. You’re better off with quality refurbished networking equipment you know is authentic and is guaranteed to perform.

Is their quality management system approved by a third party source?

Any refurbishing process, like any technical or detailed process, should be safeguarded by a quality management system to ensure redundancy and accuracy in every step. Look for a vendor whose refurbishing processes are backed by a quality management system that is approved by a third party source, like ISO. Quality control and repetitiveness in every process ensures a quality product. Look for a vendor that has ISO 9001:2008-certified quality management. This lets you know that a reputable third party source has done extensive research and testing, and has deemed the system exemplary. Anyone can say their processes are sound, but only ISO 9001:2008-certified quality management processes stand up to rigid third party standards.

Do they use electrostatic discharge prevention methods?

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) is the charge created when two surfaces come together, and separate creating a spark. It occurs naturally all the time, but even the slightest charge of voltage can damage sensitive technology equipment. It’s imperative to seek out a vendor that refurbishes their used networking hardware products in an ESD-protected environment. You have every right to expect the products you purchase to work right out of the box every time. When a very small electric charge is capable of damaging technology to a point where it is defective, you should absolutely seek out a vendor that acknowledges this hazard, and has gone out of its way to safeguard against it.

The time has come for you to Know Your Source™.

Know Your Source


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