Whether you’re making a bulk purchase, or only looking to replace one or two machines, you can’t ignore the savings that come from buying refurbished. It may be for your company, or you may be reselling the machines—the trick to finding success in the secondary market is knowing your product and building solid relationships with trusted vendors.
If you’re new to this, we thought we could provide a handy guide to help you make an informed purchase that provides you with the greatest margins, or gets your employees the technology they need while staying on budget.
1. Condition Level
Experienced buyers will tell you this goes without saying, but many newbie IT shoppers making single purchases of just one or two machines may not pay close enough attention to the recertification level of their purchase. At IT Xchange, we have seven levels of reconditioned laptops to choose from, and our sales reps carefully explain this to new customers. ThinkPads may be brand new and factory-sealed, some may have previously been used as demo equipment, and others may have been previously used and refurbished, but not have an installed operating system.
These are all incredibly important details as each condition typically suits the needs of particular types of buyers. While an end-user may expect to have an operating system installed and no cosmetic imperfections, a VAR may want to buy a fleet of refurbished ThinkPads with no operating system installed and a couple of small dings, as they will perform their own upgrades before reselling to their customers and they will be able to purchase at an outstanding rate.
Varying levels of refurbished equipment also come with different types of warranties, whether from the OEM or from your vendor. Another critical detail for IT buyers to be aware.
To read more about ITX’s levels of refurbished ThinkPads, visit this post.
2. Vendor Support
If you regularly buy IT equipment for your organization, you probably have a list of names that you go to as-needed. That’s because you’ve established a relationship with a rep at that company where you know you’ll get a fair price as well as quality product.
However, sometimes you may need to add new vendors to your list if the type of product you need isn’t available from your regular sources. Or perhaps it’s not available at the price point you want.
When seeking out a new vendor, you’ll want to ensure they have a solid reputation in the industry and can provide a high level of service before, during and after your purchase. The last thing you need is to make a large purchase of hardware and then be left with no support if you have a warranty issue down the road. A trustworthy vendor will want to establish a relationship with you for more than one purchase, and will be sure to take care of your needs long after the initial deal is made.
3. Vendor Experience
When you buy refurbished ThinkPads for your company, you’ll want to buy from someone who has been around for a while, and who has established a close working relationship with Lenovo. While IT Xchange has been serving the secondary market for over 20 years, it has held the Options Continuations Program (OCP) for Lenovo since 2005, allowing both business partners and end-users to benefit from extending the lifecycles of their hardware. Even after your product has been discontinued and is no longer supported by Lenovo, IT Xchange can provide extended options, upgrades and accessories.
You can check out the program on the Lenovo website.
There are many factors to consider when buying refurbished ThinkPads, but the best way to ensure you’re getting fair prices is through education and networking. Work with a trusted vendor, and be sure to understand the condition of the product you are buying and how that affects cost and performance.
IT Xchange provides VARs and end-users with refurbished ThinkPad solutions through its online store and the Options Continuation Program (OCP). Contact us to learn more.