People often underestimate the complications involved in selling IT equipment. There are a lot of different things that can go wrong or cause complications, and there are lots of opportunities for confusion.
Here we’re going to look at some of the most common mistakes people make when selling IT equipment so that you can avoid them next time you sell yours. The first relates to who you sell your IT equipment to, the rest are about how you sell your IT equipment.
1. Mistake #1: Only Contacting One IT Buyer
This may come as a strange ‘mistake’ from an IT company, but if dollar value is the biggest concern this is an important aspect. Every company has variation in their resale channels for different types of equipment. This is especially important when you are only selling 1-2 types of equipment.
If you put the proper effort into documenting your equipment it should be easy to get quotes from multiple IT companies relatively quickly so that you can make your decision on who is best. If you have other priorities beyond price (secure data erasure, on site pickup, migration services)) then you might want to consider other characteristics of your ITAD company just as much or more than price.
If secure erasure is a top priority for your company, at Exit Technologies we created our own unique data erasure process that is more thorough than the standard R2 erasure process to ensure our clients’ peace of mind.
We also make sure to report income changes based on any misrepresented equipment, regardless of if we made more money or less. We want to keep your trust, not your extra money for your equipment.
2. Mistake #2: Not Providing Proper Documentation
Once you decide who to sell your IT equipment to it is important to make sure they know what you are selling them. Many people that are selling their IT equipment are most familiar with their own IT equipment and may not know exactly how much variety is out there.
The answer: A LOT.
There are lots of variations of different IT equipment. Even seemingly specific parts can have a number of significantly different versions that make a big difference in price. If you say that you have “10 Dell r730” Servers you have actually only narrowed it down to one of about 400 possibilities. That’s a start, but there’s still a long ways to go!
Two servers that have two small parts that are different can have wildly different prices, and in this case the Dell r730 can range from about $2,000 to $16,000!
So make sure you include all the important specs for the various equipment that you are selling. We have the important specs for each type of equipment listed on each of these pages, and these should hold true even if you are not using Exit as your IT company:
- Required specifications for selling used servers
- Required specifications for selling used storage
- Required specifications for selling used networking equipment
- Required specifications for selling used hard drives
- Required specifications for selling used SSDs
- Required specifications for selling used processors
- Required specifications for selling used memory
- Required specifications for selling used HBAs
- Required specifications for selling used computers
- Required specifications for selling used graphics cards
3. Mistake #3: Not using Pictures of your products or product numbers
A picture is worth a thousand words. If you want an accurate quote, pictures are very helpful. They help to show exactly what equipment you have and can give clues as to the condition it is in. Pictures of product numbers are also highly recommended both for your own protection and for clearer communication.
As an ITAD company that means we know exactly what product you have. Product numbers are not meant to be human friendly, so people occasionally mess them up when writing them down.
Messing up a product number can cause a lot of wasted time and money for everyone involved, and that is why we recommend including your product # as well as a picture of your product number to be safe.
If you think you wrote down the right product number but were one number/letter off and get a message back from the ITAD company saying that they are adjusting your money because of a faulty product number, if you don’t have a picture you have no proof if they are right or wrong.
Make the process easier for everyone and protect yourself.
They don’t need to be beautiful, as these aren’t for Instagram. Your smartphone will work fine.
4. Mistake #4: Separating Parts Better Sold Together
There are some not as obvious combinations of equipment that should generally be sold together to retain the most value, including:
- Hard drives and caddies
- Hard drives/SSDs and NAS/SANs
However, in some cases they can be sold for more value separately. This is one of those areas where it pays to know your equipment and trust your ITAD company, as they should be able to give you guidance on what will be the best course of action to make you the most money.
5. Mistake #5: Stripping Servers or other Equipment for Parts
You will almost always get the most money when you sell your used IT equipment in its most useful and complete state so that someone else can just plug and play.
Some people seem to think that if they strip their servers or other equipment down and sell the individual parts they will make more money. However, servers stripped of their components don’t really have any resale value on the secondary market.
So even if you end up making extra money on the processor and hard drives, you also have to account for potentially losing money by not being able to sell your server.
Most ITAD companies (including Exit) will pay for shipping of your servers, so there is no reason to strip them down to save on shipping costs.
6. Mistake #6 : Withholding Equipment Flaws (or lying about condition)
Have broken IT equipment you’re looking to make money off of? You’re not the only one, and there’s processes for that too. However, the process is different than the process of regular functioning equipment.
ITAD companies have to verify that everything is functioning properly before reselling anything, so they will find out it is broken. Then they will just have to do a lot more testing.
You will make the most money from your broken IT equipment if you tell your ITAD company beforehand that it is broken and:
- Tell them when the equipment broke
- How it broke
- What part(s) are broken (if you know)
- Any other potentially relevant details
Many a person/company has tried sending IT companies broken equipment and hoping they won’t notice, so every IT company has their tried and true process for dealing with it. We’d recommend not trying to see what the process is like. It’s best for everyone that way.
Just be honest. It’s best for everyone and means your used IT equipment has the least chance of becoming the most worthless type of used IT equipment: scrap metal.
If you misrepresent your equipment IT companies will come after you to get their money back.
If you develop a reputation for this you also won’t be able to sell any future equipment to them, and many times other companies in their sphere of influence. This can limit your options quickly, especially if you are selling equipment in bigger quantities.
7. Mistake #7: Improper Packaging that Leads to Damaged Equipment
Sometimes your IT equipment was working when you sent it, but then it is broken when we (or another ITAD company) receive it.
Unfortunately, this is all too common. People think they have packed their equipment securely, but don’t realize the abuse a lot of these packages take.
If you happen to have the original packaging for your equipment please use it! That packaging is already custom made for your machine, and is the best option when available.
Assume that your package will be dropped and thrown. Make sure there is no room for your components to move so that they are not damaged in transit. Do not stack components. When possible use CPU trays, RAM trays, etc. Insure your package.
Everybody is happier when the equipment arrives in the same condition it left in, as everyone can make more money off their assets.
Take the extra time to pack your equipment safely and securely so that it gets to where it is going. Even if we can tell that your equipment was damaged en route to us (which is not always the case), there is nothing we can do to restore the lost value outside of insuring the equipment in the first place.
Once it is broken it will have a different rate and also has the potential to become scrap metal if it is badly damaged.
This is an area where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For example, if you are packing servers make sure to use a custom foam insert of polyurethane, not polyethylene. Little things like this can make a big difference. A reputable ITAD company should be able to provide any necessary packaging materials for your IT, as well as specific instructions on how to use them.
Properly packing IT equipment for shipping is a common enough problem that we put together some videos to show people how to do it for various IT equipment:
Conclusions: Selling Your IT Equipment the Right Way
If you make sure to avoid these major (and common) mistakes when selling IT equipment you will be well on your way to a solid transaction that will help you bolster your bottom line.
ITAD done right can be a real game-changer for companies, turning what was an expense and a potential liability of old data and hardware into cash for your next IT purchases.
Contact Exit today if you are looking for a quote to sell IT Equipment or you need help with your next data center project. Remember, don’t contact just one IT company! (unless you just really want to sell to us!)
Have something to add? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!