With prices of computer hardware steadily declining and technology needs rapidly increasing, companies are more likely to need to sell computers and replace servers, workstations, and other devices at a faster rate. This is especially true for businesses that manage large data centers or cloud hosting platforms, as they need to keep their services running on the best-performing hardware available. In the event that you’re working with servers, not workstations or consumer grade equipment, check out our guide specific to selling servers.
Replacing an entire data center’s worth of computers and equipment is a significant investment, but part of what makes it cost-effective is the owner’s ability to sell or re-purpose the computers they no longer need. The challenge is deciding how to liquidate those resources and recoup the best benefits.
A business must consider its own strengths and priorities when determining what solution is appropriate. Below are four strategies that large companies can take when they have computers and other technology to sell in large quantities.
1. Sell Computers through Local Buyers
If your company or data center is located in a region where technology companies are abundant, such as northern California or parts of the East Coast, an logical solution for selling computer resources is to look for interested local buyers. These buyers can sometimes even be in the same industry, although some companies may not want to broker deals to their competitors.
At an executive level, company leaders can reach out to supply chain and purchasing vendors in the area and offer a summary of what they are offering for sale. Interested buyers will likely be looking for bulk discounts based on the quantity they are willing to purchase.
One of the key advantages of searching for local buyers of IT equipment is that the equipment will be bought in whole, so the seller does not need to spend time or money to strip the devices into parts or transport them over long distances. The major downside of this strategy is the challenge to identify multiple buyers in a small area and negotiate among them.
2. Sell Computers through Online Auctions
If a company believes there is high demand for the types and quantities of IT resources they are selling, then an online auction can be an effective and profitable approach. These auctions, popularized by the site eBay, allow bidders from all across the world to take part in the purchasing process.
Before launching the auction process, a company must first come to a valuation target for the equipment they are looking to sell. This can be calculated by using the original retail value and comparing it to the age of the devices, although it may be easier to hire an outside firm to provide a full appraisal of the sale package.
Once the value has been projected, the company can choose to start a single auction to sell computers and equipment, or break it up into categories based on hardware type– such as monitors, servers, network routers, and more. In general, auctions should start below their targeted value in order to encourage bidders to participate.
With an auction, the potential for revenue gain is appealing. Having a group of multiple bidders vying after the IT equipment can result in the final price being well above the targeted value. However, if demand within the market is lower than expected, then the sale may actually result in a financial loss.
3. IT Recycling
Depending on the condition of a company’s IT hardware, consulting with a recycling firm may be a wise strategy to employ. This is especially true if the company plans to strip parts from computers and servers while only selling certain ones.
In general, computer recycling will not be a very profitable exercise. Most recycling organizations will offer low payments if any at all. However, it is considered to be the most environmentally friendly approach, as it prevents electronics from being dumped into landfills.
A company can also perform its own recycling program within the organization. For example, if the company is replacing a set of servers in its data center, then the hard drives or memory from the old hardware could be re-purposed elsewhere in the organization. This will reduce waste and offer cost savings in the long run.
4. Utilize Trusted Technology Liquidators
Technology companies have to move fast in order to keep up with competitors, and a large part of that effort is maintaining strong infrastructure with high-performing hardware. As a company replaces computers, servers, and networking equipment, executive leaders may find that they do not have the time or knowledge to make an effective sale. Fortunately, there are computer liquidators that offer easy, fast solutions.
Exit Technologies is an example of one of these firms, as we specialize in the sale and re-purposing of a wide range of IT resources. We partner with large companies and data centers that may have a significant number of used computers to sell, especially Windows-based desktops and laptops (and laptop parts)— but we also have experience making deals on bulk quantities of iMacs and other Apple products.
A Technology Liquidator will help companies understand the current value of their IT resources. Any outside entity can submit a quote request that includes a full inventory of the devices they are looking to sell– and then receive a compiled quote that is typically close to 80 percent of wholesale pricing for new hardware.
If certain devices or computers are no longer fully functional, that does not mean they carry no value at all. Exit Technologies can provide value estimates for individual components such as CPUs, hard drives, and RAM. This way, a company can still sell the valuable parts while recycling the rest.
Another big advantage of partnering with a liquidator like Exit Technologies is the expertise in transportation. In fact, some will send representatives out to individual companies to help with packing and shipping via freight methods– which is a major time-saver.
A Quick Summary
All IT resources should be seen as a corporate asset, even when they are planned to be replaced with something bigger, faster, and newer. Selling used computers can offer a valuable revenue source, as long as the company chooses the most effective method for completing the transaction.
Local buyers and auctions can drive competitive pricing, but they also require a great deal of effort to initiate and manage. Using a recycling program can be faster and easier, though it rarely provides much financial value. Therefore trusting a specialized technology liquidator is often the preferred solution, as they have the expertise to offer good value while handling the full sale process from end to end.
Above all else, it’s critical for a company to handle equipment sales smartly. If used computers or servers are being sold to an outside buyer, any hard drive connected to the systems must be securely wiped of all data. This is especially important for cloud hosts and companies who manage data centers, as their equipment may have different sets of private information on them.
Just like with cars and houses, companies should shop for new IT resources with resale value in mind. Certain brands and types of products are known for their longevity, and these will likely drive higher prices in the future. Considering that factor will benefit companies as they expand their data centers and other IT infrastructure.
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