Refurbished Kit - ANME Blog

Refurbished Kit

Posted on: 13th Aug 2019 by: Paul Gillon

With schools increasingly strapped for cash, what are the pros and cons of using refurbished tech?

Traditionally the default was always to buy new tech for the following principal reasons:

  • Latest Spec
  • Known suppliers
  • Warranty

The main cons are:

  • Price
  • Specs ever-changing

These cons weren’t that important when there were large pots of money available for schools to spend on tech. Unfortunately, those days have long gone, budgets are being squeezed, and the working life of tech is being stretched. 

This isn’t the case in large organisations that lease their tech, leased equipment doesn’t ever really belong to the organisation leasing it, and at the end of the lease there are 2 options either the lease is continued at “peppercorn rent”, or it has to be sold to an independent third party, they can never own it.   So every few years these organisations replace their tech, invariably the initial cost of the tech has been covered by the lease payments, so the low residual value of the tech is a bonus.  This has caused an explosion in the refurbished tech market which will buy large quantities of tech off these organisations which is great for schools with tight budgets.

So what are the pros of buying refurb tech?

  • Price!  (More bang for your Buck)
  • Large quantities of identical spec machines
  • Warranty (dependent on supplier)

And the cons are:

  • Not the latest spec
  • Maybe not be in pristine condition
  • Unknown suppliers

Looking closer at these cons:

  • Does it matter that the tech that is being bought isn’t the newest spec? If it does then buy new otherwise you’ll still get a good spec at a reasonable price.
  • They may not be in pristine condition, but you may be hard-pressed to spot the blemishes.
  • Unknown suppliers are always a worry, but by using recommendations you soon find the ones with which you can build a partnership.

We met our refurb tech suppliers through the ANME Network Meetings and recommendations from other members of the ANME. Starting small, we ordered a laptop, supplied on sale or return, the teacher it was for was at first dead set against having a refurbished laptop until it arrived and he started to use it. It was a far higher spec than their department budget could have afforded in a new machine.  Since then we have purchased monitors, servers and PCs, and on the few occasions we have had any problems, they have either been fixed or replaced under the supplier’s warranty.

So in conclusion, don’t rule out refurbished tech just because it's refurbished it can help you deliver the solution that the school needs within the restricted budget available.

Paul Gillon
ANME Member
Network Manager at West Hill School

Written for Education Executive

Tags: Paul Gillon, EdExec,

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