Friday, 27 February 2015

The Value of Everything and the Price of Nothing

Re-marketing is always the best option with electrical equipment. Environmentally I mean. 

All the damage is done during manufacture, so squeezing a bit longer out of things is good for everyone. Eventually it can be broken down and all the bits can be used again, but lifecycle extension is the way to go. So when you dispose of an old computer or laptop, you should be happy to see it cleaned up, tested and sold on to someone else.

However, it is entirely reasonable that you should benefit from any resale, if at all possible. No one is really arguing about that, least of all me. Just as long as you recognise that it is equally reasonable that you pay for all the other bits that have to be done to protect you. Regular readers will understand that I am talking about data erasure, logistics, boring old paperwork. It is all costs.

As I have said before, you have to be reasonable. If your old kit is conspicuously on its last legs and is over three years old, it is not going to earn you anything. It is waste. It is going to cost you to dispose of but you will do so safe in the knowledge that we have protected your data and done our bit for sustainability.

But today I want to look at good kit, or good kit at face value. Because you have to remember that we do not see it until we get it in the back of our van. Good laptops can get very good prices on the market, if you know where to look. I valued a job last week and the expected resale price was between £200 and £500, dependent on condition and actual specification. Because we rarely get an accurate asset list from our clients. We tend to get told there will be X number of laptops, and they might all be XXXXX and the specification might be XXXX. And then they want an estimate of value.

It is our habit to then give 3 prices; good, average and scrap. And the client then has to try and work what they will get out for themselves. But you can see how someone might get excited, because at £500 a pop we might have been handing back £50,000 after our revenue share. That is something to get quite excited about.

Until you find out they aren’t XXX after all, they are YYY. And half of them are broken beyond repair in any case. They certainly aren’t in mint condition. But that does not matter, because we will still do the best we can, but you can forget about the big number.

My take on this is to play it down. Very few people get big paydays from recycling their equipment and most of them know full well that they are getting rid of good gear. They normally have a reason to refresh early and they know the price of fish as it were. With everyone else, if the estimate suggests value we highlight it but emphasise that it is all down to reality.

But my advice would be give us a chance to see the value. When disposing of your assets, don’t just give us the highlights; give us the detailed specs if you can. It will get you a better deal, a fairer price and you will know exactly where you stand right from the get go.