Monday, 13 April 2015

Second Hand Savings?

With the strengthening dollar, there are murmurs that IT hardware is going to become increasingly expensive. Well, we all knew there would be some excuse! But what are we to do? We all need new gadgets, new machines, to keep our businesses ticking over, don’t we?

Well, yes and no. Of course there are sectors, and jobs, where having state of the art kit is absolutely crucial, but for most of us, those who spend their days deep in the bowels of another spreadsheet or word document, new, shiny and expensive is not necessarily the order of the day.

That is why the art form of selling second hand IT equipment is becoming more popular. If you want a laptop for your child to do their homework on, second hand is fine. They are gaming on their consul and doing everything else on a tablet or Smartphone, so functionality is more important than look, style or label. It is a bit like buying them a school blazer, as long as it does the job, there are no brownie points for buying new.

Businesses have to start doing the same. Capital expenditure is a necessary evil but buy the kit to suit your needs, not the patter of the salesman. Think about what an individual needs to do their job and if a second hand desktop for £50 fits the bill, why spend £500 on a new one? Companies like eReco refurbish equipment for the good of the planet, and you will be doing your bit too if you try to extend the life of any piece of kit.

So you can save money AND quite justifiably claim to be doing the green thing! Isn’t that worth considering in this day and age?

Yes you might only get a year or so out of your £50 machine, but you are still going to save £350 over the usual 3 year life span of most office desktops, even if you have to get 3 second hand machines in that time, which is unlikely. Isn’t that saving worth making?

The same is true of monitors, laptops and most other things. Ten of the same? Not a problem sir. A use and replace when it breaks down deal? No problem sir. The simple fact is a lot of small to medium sized businesses are buying new kit when they do not need to do so.

I am not saying you should compromise on performance here. But most businesses use different computers for different things. Lucinda in marketing uses Photoshop, edits videos for YouTube and all that sort of jazz, so she needs something pacy and up to date, but Henry in accounts just needs Excel to work and to email, so he doesn’t. It doesn’t mean Henry is less important but the saving will be meaningful.

Nowadays you can expect to buy equipment that is PAT tested, with at least a 14 day money back guarantee, but I would advise you to talk to someone like eReco. We are small and flexible. We can do deals to supply you with kit, to get a replacement out to you the next day if something breaks down and just about anything else you want to do. For instance, old monitors are basically a commodity, worth maybe £10 on run of the mill stuff, so providing you with 22 rather than 20 for the price is ok with us. It gives you a couple of spares, and when we collect the broken stuff we can always deliver a new one?

Let’s take that saving of £350 on one desktop over 3 years. Meaningful for a one man band, but if you can do that with 10 members of staff that is £3500! Add the monitors as well, the odd printer and what not, and you have saved yourself £5k over 3 years. That’s worth having – especially as it has not damaged your business one iota.

Not all green decisions cost you money!