Editor’s Note: This article was last updated on March 26, 2019
So you’ve got some servers laying around and you want to know the best place to sell them? You’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll discuss the most reasonable places to sell your used servers and what the pros and cons are for each option. But first, let’s go over some key principles for server resale in general.
If you are planning to shred or discard your drives separately from the server resale process, you can disregard this section.
If your organization doesn’t have specific data erasure policies to adhere to such as NIST, a single pass drive overwrite is generally considered sufficient by most authorities on data security. You can find our guidelines on data security practices here.
Communicating hardware information and inventory
It’s very difficult to list and/or sell your servers online if you do not possess all of the information on your hardware. Most data centers and enterprises have outdated inventory management logs, and so you will likely find it in your best interest to do a comprehensive discovery session before beginning the server sale process. For consumer purposes, getting the model numbers / part numbers / total quantities of hard drives, processors, gpus, RAM (including DDR3 and DDR4 memory), raid cards, etc, and photographing the servers themselves will provide sufficient to advertise your hardware online. If the server itself has little demand, it may be easier to strip the chassis of its components and sell them individually, but we do not recommend this strategy unless you have exhausted other options or are intimately familiar with the secondary IT market. Read Our Blog About HPE vs Dell Servers
Best Places to Sell Used Servers: Our List
eBay is a titan in the recommerce arena, but it’s definitely more consumer-centric and does have drawbacks for enterprise hardware like servers. For this reason it’s typically not the best place to sell used servers for most individuals.
The first and most obvious feature of eBay is the seller fees. Another drawback is that you need relatively good seller ratings already established if you want to have the best chance at moving your equipment. As with any consumer platform, it’s nigh impossible to find buyers for wholesale quantity, and even then ones that are willing to settle on a reasonable wholesale price. eBay is generally only going to be a good option for someone who already has a solidly established reputation on the platform and does not have a bulk quantity of servers.
Craigslist is not a secure platform, and is distinctly consumer based. There is no recourse in the event of a dispute, and there are no fraud prevention mechanisms like escrow or scam compensation policies. If you do insist on using this platform, always arrange a public meet in person at a safe location. Craigslist is rife with scams for high value items like servers. That being said, there are no fees on this platform, so for the hardware seller with plenty of time who doesn’t mind sifting through plenty of bogus inquiries and filtering out scams, Craigslist is a somewhat viable option.
Reddit is extensively visited by system administrators and system engineers in the market for enterprise hardware. Specifically, Reddit.com/r/hardwareswap , reddit.com/r/sysadmin, and reddit.com/r/homelab are three meccas for young hardware professionals that could help you at the very least valuate your hardware and point you in the right direction if not purchase your equipment outright. You’ll want to ensure you vet a potential buyer’s profile and follow the guidelines for Hardwareswap’s trading market.
IT Asset Disposition Services
If you have a bulk quantity, but want to minimize the time investment while still recouping very reasonable amounts from your used servers, utilizing an IT asset disposition vendor is absolutely the most convenient strategy.
IT asset disposition vendors specialize in bulk value recovery of IT assets, and will typically pay you anywhere from a few days to a month after closing the deal, depending on the size of your hardware lot. Some services will also be able to provide on-site logistics services and assist with teardown, palletization, shipping, data erasure, and even environment discovery/ hardware refresh strategy. They are in business to make profit, so you aren’t receiving the full value of the equipment, but the best ITAD vendors will be able to recover more value than you would expect anyways, so the end result is a mutually beneficial relationship. For most purposes, IT asset disposition vendors are the best place to sell used servers in bulk.
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