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Updated: Jan 15, 2021

When making your next purchasing decision with regards to your IT hardware infrastructure, you may have a lot of questions. Determining what servers would be best suitable for your needs could also be challenging, and will depend on the specific IT projects for which you are planning. You will likely need something reliable, something affordable, and something that has a very short lead-time. The options at your disposal are by no means limited. When purchasing brand new servers, you just need to decide what brand (OEM) works best for you, as well as what configuration you will need. You also need to determine from which distributor to purchase. When purchasing a refurbished server or a used server however, there are many more factors that come in to play, such as the quality of the refurbished products, the reputability of the seller, the certifications of the seller, the pricing of the seller’s products, and more. In this article, we will be discussing the five main reasons why you may want to buy certified refurbished products, as opposed to brand new, to fill up your server rack.

1. You Are Able to Afford Much Higher Specs, and You Can Customize Your Own Configuration Have a limited IT budget but still need to purchase high performance servers? Not a problem. By going the refurbished route, you can afford much higher specifications. What’s more, is you can configure your server to your own needs and requirements. There are thousands of possible options to build one server, and why be limited by what the OEM or distributor has to offer? When you buy a refurbished server, all of these options are made available to you, at a fraction of the cost. You can also forget about the hassle of contacting an OEM-certified distributor to get a quote or check on availability, you can just go to a configure-to-order page and start building your own specs instantly.

2. Help Reduce Electronic Waste Electronic waste is a real problem. There are several new rules and regulations that require companies and consumers to responsibly recycle electronics, so they do not end up in landfill. The largest electronics refurbishing companies have certifications in place that require them to get audited annually to ensure that all electronic waste is being handled properly. By buying refurbished servers, you are helping reduce electronic waste. You are giving old servers a new life. You are helping mitigate the environmental impact of electronics by extending their useful life.

3. Significantly Reduce Lead-Times The beauty of purchasing refurbished servers is that your purchase is usually ready to ship within one business day, and often the same day you purchase it. Even when configuring your own specs, these built-to-order servers are usually available to ship within a day or two at the most. When buying new servers however, the lead times are most often painfully long, even when stock is readily available.

4. Spare Parts Are Readily Available, and Returns Are Hassle-Free

By buying refurbished servers, you are also making sure that replacement parts are readily available and can ship to you as fast as you are able to purchase them. They are also available at a fraction of the cost at which new spare parts are. If you are not satisfied with your purchase, you also usually have between 30 and 90 days, depending on the seller, to return the product. Returns are usually paid for by the seller (to ship), and very few of them even charge a restocking fee. Returns with new purchases can be much more complicated and costly, and take a much longer time to get approved.

5. Significantly Save on Shipping Costs Many sellers across various channels in the US list their refurbished products with free shipping. Yes, free. Shipping is often costly given how large and heavy servers are. When purchasing new, shipping and handling are costs that are quite considerable. These costs will also largely vary depending on the location of the third-party distributor you will be using. In the refurbished servers world however, shipping is either provided for free, or is quoted at cost (with no margin added by the reseller).

For a full comparison of the pros and cons of new vs. refurbished servers, please refer to table below:

New from OEMCertified Refurbished Advantages √ Comfort in being the first user √ Potentially loner useful life √ Ability to purchase service contracts √ Long warranties included√ Help reduce electronic waste √ Ability to afford much higher specs √ Work with limited IT budget √ Multitude of online and direct channels purchasing √ Spare parts are readily available √ Received configured server within days of purchasing √ Significantly save on shipping costs √ Configure to you specific needs √ Hassle-free returnsConsiderations× Does not consider environmental impact of electronic waste × Inability to afford high specs × Requires large IT budget × Can only purchase via pre-apprived service providers (by OEM) × Spare parts hard to source × Long lead times × High shipping costs × Low flexibility in custom configurations × Returns need to go through service providers and take time× Not the first user × Potentially shorter useful life × Cannot purchase service contract straight from OEM × Longer-term warranties not included in price (Standard is 90 days)

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