As the credit squeeze and economic slowdown force companies into bankruptcy and cause others to merge or trim headcount, many IT departments want to jettison surplus equipment. Other businesses are looking for gently used machines on the cheap. "In the last couple weeks, we've seen a huge upsurge of people contacting us with items they want to liquidate--a threefold increase," says Patrick Sutton, CEO of SoftBuyers, a firm that purchases used hardware and software before reselling it to other companies or simply recycling it. "It's becoming a priority because of the downturn in the economy to supplement IT budgets or to simply generate revenue."
As alluring as it may be to save money on used equipment, would-be buyers need to make sure they're purchasing from reputable resellers. Companies getting rid of computers need to ensure the machinery is wiped clean of data.
By some estimates, the market for used computer networking equipment alone is worth as much as $3bn; that doesn't include the market for PCs or servers. This so-called secondary market encompasses everything from used desktops and laptops to the servers that run Web sites and corporate networks. Some businesses even opt for used versions of high-end gear, such as switches that connect computers, routers for linking multiple networks, and the hulking mainframe computers that support hundreds of users. "There will be a bunch of systems that will come out of downsizing or failed companies," says Robert Houghton, president of Redemtech, one of the many providers that help corporations move large volumes of used equipment and determine whether it can be resold.
Source: Business Week
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