Questions to Ask Before Buying Refurbished Servers

Bridget J. Sims

Refurbished servers are ideal for companies that must meet mid-range IT needs on a limited budget. If you have midrange IT needs, and you are shopping for refurbished servers, many different types of used servers may be exactly what your company needs. Before you make a purchase, asking the following questions will help you identify the best equipment and the right seller from which to purchase.

What are your network needs?

Because IT networks evolve, assessing network needs involves considering future needs along with present ones. If a company presently has mid-range IT needs, but the network is evolving quickly, it should potentially invest in a server that can handle high-range IT needs.

Does your current hardware qualify for asset disposition?

You may be able to defray the cost of a new server by disposing of your present hardware through an asset disposition program. Sellers of pre-owned hardware often “dispose” of their customers’ old hardware by buying it. For the seller, asset disposition creates an influx of re-sellable hardware. For the customer, the money from the disposed assets helps offset the cost of new hardware.

Does the seller perform the refurbishing?

Some sellers of refurbished servers sell the equipment on consignment, which usually means that another party performs the refurbishing. Because sellers of used hardware define refurbishment in different ways, it is best to buy refurbished servers from a seller that performs the refurbishing.

What type of warranty does the seller offer?

Many buyers of pre-owned hardware expect to receive a paltry warranty. In most cases, this expectation is accurate. A thirty to ninety day parts and labor warranty is the industry standard. However, some sellers offer longer warranties than this, with some even offering a lifetime warranty for refurbished hardware. Before you settle for a product that has a meager warranty, search for sellers that offer a lifetime warranty.

What types of customer service does the seller offer?

Customer service for IT hardware serves two purposes: it helps the customer select the right equipment, and it provides technical support after the equipment is purchased. Buying from a seller that offers pre-sale and post-sale customer service is the best way to ensure you get the right equipment, and have the support you need to operate the hardware.

What do the seller’s references indicate about its products?

Speaking with the references of a seller is a great way to discover how its products work. To get a good idea about the quality of the products, it is important to speak with several references, and look for similarities between their reviews. Did the products start experiencing problems after a few months? Was the seller hesitant to fix the problems or replace the equipment? These are questions to keep in mind as you speak with the seller’s references.


Buying refurbished servers is an excellent way for companies to save money on mid-range hardware. You might also find high-range hardware for a price that is lower than the newer mid-range server models. The tips above are helpful for finding quality, refurbished servers that come with the technical support and warranty that every company needs.

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