The Pros and Cons of Buying Used Cisco Products vs. New Ones

You’re on the hunt for some new Cisco networking equipment… but have a tight budget to keep in mind. What are your options? Let’s take a step back to 2012, when the hit song “Thrift Shop” had taken over the radio. Don’t recall? Feel free to look it up—we’ll wait.

In this song, Benjamin Hammond Haggerty, known by his stage name, Macklemore (the name of his made-up superhero), makes thrift shopping sound pretty awesome… and he’s got the right idea.

While buying new is certainly an option, purchasing pre-owned apparel can save you some serious money. This doesn’t just apply to designer clothing—it can apply to that expensive networking equipment you have your eye on too.

You’ll need more than $20 in your pocket like in the song, but when you’re working with a limited IT budget, buying pre-owned Cisco equipment may be the best option for you.

Before you start popping tags, below are a few pros and cons to consider as you jump into the buying process. We want to make sure that you not only save money, but also walk away with functional and reliable networking equipment.

 

Pro: Save Your Cash

While it’s a trusted brand, new Cisco equipment is not exactly known for its low price. Whether you have a particularly limited IT budget to work with, or you just want to save as much money as possible, getting pre-owned Cisco equipment is a great solution. You can save your organization up to 90% off list prices—and still get high-quality technology you can rely on.

 

Pro: Avoid a Complete Network Upgrade

What if your organization is at that in-between stage where you’re ready for some new equipment, but not ready for a full-on upgrade? Buying used Cisco equipment can help you hold off on an upgrade until you’ve gotten the most out of your existing network.

If you were to upgrade every three years as OEMs suggest, you’ll undoubtedly be left with equipment that hasn’t truly reached the end of its useful life. This means you’ll be upgrading when you still have valuable networking equipment, and you’ll lower your ROI by turning over that equipment too soon. Buying used technology at your pace saves you money in the long run as you can replace failing machines without doing a full upgrade and maximize the returns on your initial IT investment.

 

Pro: Help the Environment

Buying pre-owned Cisco equipment not only allows you to have quality equipment at a fraction of the cost, it also keeps perfectly functional equipment out of landfills longer. This reduces landfill waste and the direct impact your organization has on the environment. In an age where the focus on “going green” has been stronger than ever, promoting environmentally friendly practices will also help maintain or improve your organization’s reputation with customers.

 

Con: Making the Switch from an OEM

If your organization worked directly with an OEM partner when you first built your IT network, be prepared for some hassles as you switch over to buying used gear. Think about it—the OEM is about to lose some major business, so of course they’re going to try their best to convince you to abandon your plans of buying used networking equipment.

You’ll get every argument under the sun, from “used equipment won’t match the performance offered by new equipment” to “used Cisco gear doesn’t qualify for maintenance or support.” These claims may be valid if you’re not careful about doing research on the secondary market provider you’re buying from.

However, most of the arguments you hear can be debunked by doing some simple research to prove you’re getting your Cisco equipment from a reputable vendor. Make sure you know your source and ask the right questions about your technology partner to ensure you’re getting the highest quality equipment, at the best value, for your business.

 

Con: Confusing Terminology

Many of the arguments you’ll hear from the OEM apply specifically to “used” equipment. Here’s where buying used can get a little tricky. You need to pay specific attention to the terminology used. There’s a big difference between equipment that is simply “used” and equipment that is refurbished and deemed “certified pre-owned.”

To clarify, when we talk about the pros of buying “used” we’re referring to equipment that has gone through a stringent refurbishing and certification process, meaning it has been cleaned, tested and reset to meet the original manufacturer standards.

How will pre-owned Cisco make your job easier?

 

Let’s go back to the thrift shop for a second. If you’re eyeing a pair of used shoes there’s a very good chance that they haven’t been cleaned, and it’s anybody’s guess as to whose feet have been in them. Gross.

Now, imagine if these shoes could be refurbished? It would restore them to a like-new condition so you’d never have to worry about any of those things. The same goes for networking equipment. This is a con that can be made into a pro as long as you do your research.

 

Con: Lack of Maintenance Support and Warranty

Another thing to watch out for are companies trying to sell used equipment that doesn’t come with any maintenance support or warranty. If you’re buying a Cisco router from an unknown vendor, there’s a high probability that your gear won’t be covered, and you certainly won’t be receiving additional support.

However, trusted companies like CXtec will offer third-party maintenance with the certified pre-owned equipment you buy, which matches the coverage of OEM support and saves you up to 50-60% less than OEM offerings.

A reputable seller should also offer a warranty with their refurbished equipment, so your organization will be covered no matter what. CXtec offers equal2new refurbished equipment which is performance guaranteed and comes with a true lifetime warranty as a standard business practice.


While you may be stuck with that ninety-nine cent leopard mink from the thrift shop, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’ll have a warranty and support with Cisco equipment that you were able to get for a fraction of the price. We’d say that’s a pretty good bargain.

 

Download this useful Smart Buyer's Guide to ensure you're making the right considerations when selecting the right Cisco solution for your infrastructure.