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What to Consider Before Purchasing Refurbished Servers

There are quite a few advantages to buying a refurbished server instead of a new one, but it isn’t recommended to purchase the first used server that comes your way. There are several factors to keep in mind, such as choosing a reputable seller, or getting a good warranty. Even if you got the exact model you wanted, you could still end up regretting the purchase because you didn’t know what to look for beforehand. 

Find a trustworthy seller

If you’re searching for used servers for sale, it’s important to go through a seller with a solid reputation. This will not only improve your chances of getting a better product, but it should also get you a better warranty and/or return policy. Since the servers aren’t new, they won’t necessarily come with either one; that’s up to the company you’re buying them from. If you’ve found a seller who prioritizes customer satisfaction, though, you should be able to find refurbished servers that come with both warranties and return policies.

How can you make sure you’re choosing the right seller? 

  • Do a little research – Call whichever sellers you’re considering and ask about their pricing, warranties, and return policies. It also wouldn’t hurt to ask how long they’ve been operating; a business that’s been around for a while has to be doing something right. 
  • Get some referrals – If you know anyone who’s already bought a refurbished server, see what they have to say about the company they bought it from. You might end up finding the perfect seller this way; at the very least, you could get a few tips from someone who’s already been through the process.
  • Look at online reviews – You can learn a lot about a business through their Google reviews, especially if you’re looking for the downsides. If a potential seller has a habit of treating their customers badly or denying warranty claims, this could be where you find out about it. 

Check the hardware and software

Since you’re buying servers that have been previously used, it’s important to confirm that everything is in working order. First of all, you’ll want to check for signs of damage; that should be pretty obvious. If possible, you should also check for outdated hardware. Having a server with outdated hardware may not be an issue at first, but if you ever needed to perform maintenance on it, you could have a hard time finding the right technician or replacement parts. 

Plug in all the cables, double-check that the power is on, and listen for any noises that are odd or simply too loud (such as rattling from the fans). Don’t let anyone rush you into a purchase; take your time to test the hardware before committing to anything.

Second, test the software. If you buy a server with incompatible software, you’re right back where you started – minus whatever you just spent on servers that you can’t use. The software on a refurbished server should be compatible with your system, and fully up-to-date.

Another aspect of testing the software is ensuring that it can pass stress tests. You can start with basic tests such as Traceroute or Ping; then you can continue by running more demanding tests like memory benchmarks and CPU stress tests. Once again, take your time here. You need to be able to depend on your servers, so you’re totally justified in thoroughly testing for weaknesses before you buy them. 

Get a good warranty and return policy

The warranty or return policy you end up with will depend on what options there are in your area, so it’s important to know what the standard is. Do they include technical support? What types of damage or malfunctions are covered by the warranty? Will they give you a full refund if you return the server within a certain time frame, or only a partial refund? How long do you have before the return window is closed? If you’re considering several different sellers with similar products, these could be deciding factors. 

Pros and cons of buying refurbished servers

No matter what brand of server you’re after, you can likely find it refurbished. Even if the server isn’t being manufactured anymore, you could still get your hands on a refurbished model. Some people want a particular type of server, or need an older model to ensure compatibility with their system. In these cases, refurbished servers would be their only option.

For many people, the main advantage is that refurbished servers are far less pricey than new ones. Even high-end servers can be affordable for small businesses or individuals when they’re bought as refurbished models. Newer models might come with more bells and whistles, but not everyone needs those features; refurbished servers can provide the same level of performance for a much lower cost. 

If you’re concerned about the environmental impact, refurbished servers have a much smaller carbon footprint than new ones. This is because, rather than buying something that requires a lot of resources and energy to produce, you’re using something that already exists. 

Of course, there are also some disadvantages to buying refurbished servers. The most obvious one would be that the servers probably won’t last as long as new ones; part of their lifespan has already passed. That being said, the typical refurbished server still has plenty of use left in it. 

There’s also the fact that you won’t get the same warranty when buying a refurbished server. You may still get some kind of warranty, but it likely won’t include technical or customer support. It’ll probably also have a more limited scope than the original warranty. 

An older server also won’t include all the same options and features compared to newer models. This may not be an issue for you; it’s just something to keep in mind.

The takeaway

Purchasing a refurbished server is a great way to save money, but you have to know what to look for. With the right know-how, you can find a refurbished server that’s a perfect fit for your requirements.