When shopping for new gear it can be easy to be persuaded by vendors to jump to the latest and greatest, but it’s not always in the budget.

However, used gear is available at a greatly discounted rate compared to new. And, by purchasing used equipment rather than doing a full upgrade when your existing network is running fine, you’re maximizing the return on investment in the equipment you have.

In addition to cost savings, there are other reasons why buying used may make sense for your business.

If you’re running a legacy system and aren’t ready to make a full upgrade, buying used gear can keep the system running and provide you with spare parts in the event a device goes down. Also, if your company has promised to take environmental impact into account, buying used gear can reduce your carbon footprint and extend the life of equipment that could otherwise end up in a landfill.

Before you take the plunge and invest your company’s money in used gear, there are few things you should know.

Where does used gear come from?

Used gear becomes available for a variety of reasons; companies made purchases in error, go out of business, do major upgrades, or used the gear for demos. Often used equipment may be only a few months old. If a product has been out for a few months, there is a good chance you can find it used.

Who sells used gear?

There are many ways to purchase used gear and some of them are safer than others. For example, ordering a used router or switch on eBay because the cost is right may save you money in the short term, but you just can’t be sure what you’re going to get.

Purchasing used equipment from an authorized reseller or other reputable business is more likely going to get you the right equipment and will often come with a warranty. Before selling used Cisco equipment, Summit’s Cisco certified technicians thoroughly inspect and test it to make sure it’s fully operational.

What kind of gear is available?

A variety of gear is generally available used, including equipment that may be only a few months old and barely or never used. The best way to find the used equipment you’re looking for is to find a reputable reseller. If they don’t have the specific piece of equipment you’re looking for, they may be able to find it and refurbish it for you. Summit carries a selection of new and refurbished Cisco products.

What should you look for when buying used gear?

When buying used equipment, you may expect it to come with scratches, dings, visibly replaced parts or other signs of use or wear, however this is exactly the kind of used gear you want to stay away from. Unless the seller has specifically called out visible scratches or dings, high quality used equipment should be in good physical shape.

Refurbished or used equipment should be cleaned, tested and reset to factory settings before being sold, and ideally will have the latest software and OS versions installed as well. As well as the physical appearance of the equipment, look for warranties, replacement policies or other guarantees from the reseller.

See Our Refurbishing Process [VIDEO]

What kind of software/OS should you look for?

In order to get the most value from used (or any equipment) it should come with the latest software or OS installed. Unless you’re looking for older software or OS for a specific reason, to run a legacy system for example, refurbished equipment should be up to date and reset to factory settings.

This will save you the hassle of updating the software or OS and performing a factory reset when you receive the equipment, which can delay your install and potentially extend downtime.

What kind of warranty can you expect with used gear?

Most new Cisco equipment only comes with a 90-day warranty, which is enough to see you through install and the first couple of months of use, but not much beyond that.

However, used or refurbished equipment from reputable resellers will typically come with a much better extended warranty. For example, Summit offers a Peak Select Lifetime Warranty on used or new equipment. A lifetime warranty offers peace of mind for years to come, well beyond the first 90 days of use.

Summit’s expertise in the Cisco line of products means you’ll get exactly the hardware you need and the accessories and upgrades to make it function perfectly in your environment. And all Summit’s refurbished Cisco equipment is fully inspected and tested by Cisco certified engineers before shipping and include all original accessories.

If you’re interested in learning more about purchasing refurbished Cisco equipment that comes with a lifetime warranty, our experienced staff will be happy to help you find what you’re looking for.

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