If you work for a small business, a government agency, a school district or a not-for-profit organization, then you probably have a limited IT budget. The good news is that you can purchase refurbished servers and get great equipment without breaking the bank. Like any purchase, a refurbished server has its advantages and disadvantages. However, when you use a provider that offers a solid warranty and technical support, buying refurbished means getting up-to-date technology at an affordable price.
What Does “Refurbished” Mean?
When some people visualize refurbished equipment in their minds, they visualize the “scratch and dent” section of their local appliance store. In other words, as long as they don’t mind a few scuffs, dings or replaced parts, they can bring home a good refrigerator for a reduced price. Refurbished electronics from a reputable dealer are marketed with higher standards in mind. “Refurbished” technically means only two things: The item was owned by at least one other person in the past, and the item has been restored to “like new” condition.
Some refurbished items are purchased new by one user and then never even opened before they are returned. In these cases, although the item is labeled “refurbished,” you’re essentially getting a new item. Think of a refurbished server more the way you’d think of a good used car in terms of value. You can get a great certified pre-owned item that’s packed with features, has low “mileage,” looks great and lasts for years without having to pay the price for a new item.
The Benefits of Buying Refurbished
Refurbished servers provide more features for the money. Many refurbished servers have never actually been used; they come from store overstock, they’re part of cancelled orders, or they’re demo models that are put up for sale. Just keep in mind that buying a certified refurbished server from a good dealer is more reliable than buying a used model directly from a seller. Refurbished server dealers test their products before putting them up for sale, and they offer warranties, return options and technical support. When you purchase refurbished equipment, you repurpose a perfectly good product instead of letting it go to waste. In other words, your organization does its part to keep electronic equipment out of landfills.
What Are the Drawbacks of Buying Refurbished Servers?
Before buying a refurbished server, consider the possible disadvantages:
- Performance vs. price. The refurbished server that your dealer offers may not be the latest product on the market. Look at your organization’s needs in terms of storage and running applications before making a decision. Luckily, most applications don’t have to utilize the latest technology in order to perform well.
- What you see is what you get. Although some dealers give you the option to customize a refurbished server order, not all of them do. You may have to purchase from existing stock, so decide what your priorities are before buying. In other words, ask yourself which missing features you’re willing to accept, and which missing features are deal-breakers.
- Shorter warranties and return periods. When you purchase a used car from a dealership, you don’t always get the same warranty that you’d get for a new model, and refurbished servers are no different. However, good dealers will provide a strong warranty and a no-questions-asked return policy.
How to Get the Best Deal
Purchase your refurbished server from a certified dealer. If you want a Dell server, for example, then make sure that your dealer is a certified Dell reseller. Confirm that your refurbished server has been fully tested before being offered for sale. Confirm your warranty period, and know your return options. Also, ensure that your dealer offers good technical support and a wide array of server parts so that you minimize business downtime.
Buying refurbished can maximize your IT budget, and buying from a good dealer can minimize any associated risk. The key to getting the most from a refurbished server is to know what you need your server to do for your organization. Purchase the model that meets your needs instead of worrying about whether you’ve acquired the latest technology. Then, congratulate yourself on making a smart, cost-conscious choice while you enjoy great server performance.
Image by RobH from Wikimedia Commons
About the author: Jerome Gerrold has repaired and refurbished IT equipment for over 20 years. He recommends xByte Technologies for customers that want to buy refurbished servers because of the company’s prices, quality and high service standards.