One of the biggest misconceptions about purchasing refurbished computer equipment is that it’s somehow less reliable than new equipment. While it’s reasonable to expect that brand new equipment will work perfectly right out of the box, there are times when it isn’t the best option.
The problemoften stems from the assumption that refurbished equipment is the same as used. However, while used equipment is usually sold “as-is,” which generally means complete with any problems or malfunctions, refurbished equipment is restored to like-new condition before it is sold. For that reason, it is almost always perfectly reliable — and in some ways, more reliable than new.
Issues Have Been Fixed
Ask any computer technician about the likelihood of an issue occurring with a component, and you’re likely to hear that it’s not if a problem will occur, but when. Whether due to user error, lack of maintenance, malware or just an issue inherent to the component itself, almost every piece of equipment has a problem at one point or another.
One of the advantages of buying refurbished equipment is that in most cases, any underlying issues are addressed before the piece is offered for resale. Because refurbished pieces are returned to factory settings, any problems that were introduced by the previous owner are basically “erased.” But beyond undoing operator errors, the refurbishment process also allows other identified errors to be corrected. It’s not unlike the recall process on an automobile: If other users have identified a problem that needs to be addressed, it’s likely to be taken care of during the refurbishment, saving you the time and money you’d have to spend down the road to correct the problem in a new item.
It’s Not “New and Improved”
One of the major reasons that IT pros turn to companies like xbyte Technologies to purchase refurbished equipment is that they need to replace existing equipment that is no longer available. Technology is constantly changing, and the server you bought just 18 months ago may have already been replaced with a newer model — and newer isn’t always better. When you are looking to replace what you have, or you want something familiar, or you just want a backup that will be compatible with the equipment that you already have, you want to stick with a proven entity.
Not to mention, new and updated products often have glitches or bugs that don’t appear until the item is in use. Older models that have been refurbished don’t usually have those glitches, or if they do, the fix is readily available. In short, refurbished products are proven entities. The new and improved models may be excellent in the long run, but when you don’t have room for error, a refurbished product is often the more reliable choice.
Counterfeit computer equipment is big business. Millions of dollars’ worth of fake components, chips and software are sold on the streets — and even inadvertently by reputable retailers — every year. Not only are counterfeit components more likely to be defective, they can also be conduits to cybercrime. Fake equipment, which is often made from the recycled parts of old or obsolete equipment, may contain hidden “backdoors” that make it easier for criminals to bypass network security and steal sensitive data.
While counterfeiting is more likely to be a problem when you purchase used equipment, it can still show up in new purchases as well; even the U.S. government has fallen victim to counterfeiters who sold supposedly new components to the military. When you purchase refurbished equipment from a reputable dealer, though, it has gone through a rigorous process to confirm its authenticity and that it has not been tampered with to compromise security.
When you purchase new computer equipment, in most cases it comes with a one year warranty to protect you against defects or failures. You may opt for an extended warranty, but in any case, when the warranty runs out, you’re on the hook for any repairs or replacement.
But when you purchase refurbished equipment, the warranty essentially “resets.” In other words, the retailer will generally include a new warranty on the refurbished piece, usually for the same duration as the original warranty.
Refurbished equipment isn’t always perfect — but nothing ever is. If you don’t purchase from a reputable retailer, or fail to do your due diligence to ensure that you’re getting authentic equipment in good condition, you may run into reliability issues. However, overall, refurbished equipment can be just as, if not more, reliable than new. When you factor in the cost savings that come from buying restored equipment, it only makes sense to go this route.