Technology can be a huge expense for a new or small business. You may want to cut some costs by buying refurbished computers, devices, and even office equipment. But the question arises, is it the best investment? After all, buying the wrong piece of equipment can end up a larger expense in the long run. That not-so-best buy can become a financial or efficiency drain with unforeseen repairs or compatibility issues. But buying used technology can also be a lifesaver for a budding business. Those small savings add up and can cover capital improvements, supporting a larger staff and expanding your business. When running a business every dollar counts. So to settle it,once and for all, here’s a rundown of various pieces of tech and if they’re worth buying new or refurbished.
Computers are a must for your business. You need them. Your employees need them. They can take up a large portion of your budget. Saving a few extra dollars on a laptop, desktop, or workstation may not seem like much at first. But it can add up. Purchasing refurbished computers can accumulate enough savings to get an additional workstation which means you can more readily expand your team.
Not only do refurbished or used laptops cut down on the initial cost. But you may also receive additional warranty support because they are refurbished. The money you save on refurbished devices can cover additional upgrades, equipment, or software. It may not be as exciting for a new hire but it can add up to major savings across the board. Also, spare workstations can allow you to more quickly onboard new employees.
Refurbished laptops will also allow you to be a bit less worried about the asset. It can be a tough pill to swallow to have a new hire take a two-thousand-dollar piece of equipment home with them or on a business trip. Used tech offers some leeway with liability. Refurbished computers are a great option for new or junior employees. You can also begin cycling through devices as your staff grows. When you need higher powered equipment you can upgrade devices and then pass along these older devices to your junior employees. While this may not be the most exciting option it’s a very practical one. You can have peace of mind you are not risking valuable office equipment with new hires. After all, even the most meticulous of employees may be haphazard with devices or clumsy and spill their coffee all over company property.
If you’re skittish about buying refurbished you may consider open box laptops. These are gently used. Oftentimes, someone may return a brand new device to a store. It may be they selected the wrong color or size. These can offer you a discount on some brand new technology without concerns of how used the device may be.
When purchasing a used or refurbished laptop just be sure to note the warranty information and purchase from a trusted supplier. While you can save some money, this is still an investment and should be treated with the same level of care. Research, read reviews, confirm compatibility, and double check the fine print. Sure, your employees and clients may be impressed by flashy brand new devices. But is that practical if you are still in a state of expansion.
With servers, it could actually serve as a sound strategy to buy refurbished. As your business grows you’ll need to acquire more servers. This can end up being a large cost. By buying a used or refurbished server you can save some money for an even larger capacity server with your next upgrade or expansion. This will ensure your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach with your growing IT needs. Also, refurbished servers may be more readily available because you do not have to wait for them to be built. Also, some used or refurbished server sellers offer additional tech support and extended warranties.
The only pitfalls of purchasing a used or refurbished server is that it will have a reduced lifespan. But you can factor that depreciation of your server if you claim the device as an asset on your business taxes. While new may always seem better, there’s something to be said for having a full awareness of a device and any potential bugs or issues. Older devices offer you some insight into how they’ll work. You’ll want to check with your IT team lead to confirm your server needs but buying a used server can help you scale your projections for incremental growth and ensure you don’t sink a ton into a server with a major capacity while neglecting the business needs you need to reach that level of inbound demand.
Not every used piece of tech is a win. According to CNet, there are three things you should never buy refurbished. They are drives, printers, and televisions. With used drives, there’s no real way to get them back to factory settings. Given the low potential for savings, it’s not necessarily worth risking the potential issues that could arise. These also tend to be worth investing in because if you are backing up your business you’ll want to ensure that you are making the investment.
The second item is printers. Once a printer has cycled through ink you run the risk of having toner issues you may not be able to solve without technical intervention. There also is no real way to refurbish it back to pristine condition. And with printers it’s good to do a bit of a deeper dive into what ink costs and how often you’ll need to change toner cartridges. That can rack up expenses in the long run and should be viewed as such. Buying a refurbished or used copier may be a different ballgame. It can save you money because it is a large investment and can help with your business. Copiers may have similar concerns to printers but are often such a large expense it may be worth considering a used version to save yourself some overhead.
The last thing is televisions. Refurbished televisions can be touch and go. They often do not have longer range warranties like computers. Also, screens do inevitably die. While a refurbished television can have a nice sticker price it could end up costing more if you have to buy a second device.
These are just a few reasons to forget the stigma of buying used or refurbished. It’s a commitment to saving some money and saving the planet from more discarded devices. It can help you be more strategic with your spending. Taking the time to do the research and invest in the right devices can often be a more worthwhile win than just signing a check for the wrong technology. When you’re growing your business every little bit helps. So shop smart not hard. Considering your used and refurbished options offers you some space in the budget to expand in other ways and a bit less sticker shock.