Editor’s Note: This article was last updated on March 28, 2019
How To Sell Servers To The Right Place
There are numerous options you can use to sell servers, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. To name a few, eBay, Reddit, Broker Bin, IT asset disposition companies, and craigslist are all options.
Why You Should Sell Your Servers Sooner Than You Think
Selling servers is a delicate balance of a number of factors. Whether it is the right decision or not comes down to a good old fashioned cost benefit analysis that incorporates the following:
Is there a server on the marketing that provides significantly better performance than what you have now?
- Consider if white box server options are a good fit
- Consider Dell vs HPE if you’d prefer to go that way
Is your server about to lose resale value or be outdated?
- Is your server about to be irrelevant (about five years old)?
- Will being able to get the most of selling your servers while they’re still relevant make it easier for you to afford upgrading?
- What are the long term performance benchmarks you will need to hit and how important is proper security and support?
If you have one of these servers take a look here for more important information, especially regarding security and performance:
- Windows server 2012 end of life: what it means for you
- Windows server 2008 end of life: what it means for you
While IT asset disposition (ITAD) companies generally have the most advantages for anyone selling more than a couple of servers, it pays to know the options for your specific situation.
We’ll go through the advantages and disadvantages of all the different options so you can evaluate which is best for your situation.
eBay charges hefty seller fees, and unless you already have a reputation built up with good ratings, it can be hard to find buyers on eBay. Additionally, eBay is a consumer platform. It may be more difficult to find buyers who can appreciate the value of your hardware on this platform. 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 enough servers to sell to warrant finding a lower cost option for sales.
Craigslist is somewhat risky, as the sale is between two anonymous parties without escrow or helpful scam compensation policies. If you send equipment to the wrong person, recompense is unlikely. Do not in any case sell equipment to someone who you are not able to physically meet (no mailing, regardless of the back story!) Also, only use cash and meet in public places per usual with Craigslist.
Trust is earned, not assumed when using this platform. Scams are prolific for anything of relatively high value. The upside is you will get to keep all of your revenue if you do manage to successfully sell your equipment, but expect to pay for the difference in time lost dealing with scams and bogus inquiries. This is only for people who have a lot more time than money and think they can get a good enough price to justify the effort. Keep in mind most people looking for equipment are bargain hunters, so getting top dollar is not likely.
Reddit can be more reliable than craigslist in some ways, and less reliable in others. On the one hand, you can explore user’s profiles more easily and see if they have reputable post history. On the other hand, there are no safety mechanisms in place to avoid being scammed, and depending on the subreddit you’re on, the demographics may be poorly suited to giving you a full price offer. Overall this is slightly more advisable than Craigslist, but neither are recommended.
We go into some other options for selling used computer equipment here.
IT Asset Disposition Services
When you’re wondering how to sell servers, IT asset disposition (ITAD) services are generally not the first option people think of. This is unfortunate, as for many specific cases, ITAD provides the most convenient method to bring sizable returns for your used servers. For companies needing to liquidate a larger lot of servers, selling them off piece by piece on consumer platforms like eBay or even Broker Bin is not always viable. The logistics and time constraints make it a less effective option than taking slightly less money for someone else to do all the work.
How to Sell Servers Safely
Knowing how to sell servers, and knowing how to sell servers safely are two different things. Most of the dangers can be avoided with common sense, but some aspects of secure data destruction are delicate. For example, using software to wipe hard drives is rarely fool-proof, as software can’t always access all portions of the drive. Ensure that whatever method you use provides at least a single-pass overwrite, rewriting each bit to a 0. If you must use proprietary software, encrypting the drives and throwing away the encryption key as it were can add an extra step to dispel data theft.
In some instances, like with high frequency trading servers, keeping configurations confidential can be difficult when dealing with large lots without investing significant labor to break down to the component level before liquidating. This brings us to our next point, ITAD.
How to Sell Servers in Bulk
Selling off a bulk lot of servers one by one would is too time consuming for most enterprises, so most of the time wholesale is more appealing. While Broker Bin can be used to sell wholesale lots, it’s still fairly time consuming. IT asset disposition services, or ITAD, can provide on site pick up from your location, as well as pay you for your equipment. A reputable ITAD vendor can be on site rapidly, is certified for secure data destruction, and will pay you a fair price.
Donate for tax benefits
Donating your servers to a school or other eligible institution can bring valuable tax writeoffs. If the servers have depreciated significantly, the company balance sheet may very well benefit more from a donation than a resale. An ITAD company will often be willing to facilitate the donation process and handle logistics for you, though if they’re not gaining anything you may have to compensate them for the service. A fairly common practice is selling the more valuable servers to the ITAD company and letting them donate the rest for you.
An ITAD Vendor You Can Trust
For larger lots that just aren’t viable for consumer resale, you need an ITAD vendor you can trust. ITAD companies will come to your location, take out the equipment, process everything, and write you a check for a majority of the wholesale value. A good ITAD company will be certified for data erasure and will have server recycling systems in place to handle your e-waste downstream responsibly.
How to sell servers worry free? Choose a company like Exit Technologies, with 26 years of experience in the IT industry and a massive remarketing network that can vouch for our services.
Have something to add? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!