I’m a big fan of using second information technology products where possible. One of my PCs at home is second hand as you probably saw from the picture of my companion PC – a very old 1.5GHz AMD but sporting a new monitor! It feels like a NEW PC…

Some used equipment is great value: esp. used PCs (if you check things out!), used cisco equipment (routers, and stuff…), and similar IT equipment. Why? Because you can get slightly used, refurbished, or top notch last generation equipment at a great price!

HOWEVER, caution is warranted: some second hand equipment is basically just junk, won’t last long, can’t be repaired, or is only worth recycling. Why? For example, I bought a second hand pc a few years ago, and within a few months, I had to replace the entire motherboard, hard disk and everything. It was an unnecessary extra expense. PDAs, mobile phones, small cameras (basically things that can get dropped, thrown about, or stood on!) aren’t worth it – you never know what happened to them.

Other times, I have been luckier. I bought three additional second hand LCD monitors (nothing newer than about 4 years!), though they were old, their quality was such that I’ve been able to use them for about another year, all told. I didn’t pay much for them, but I have saved money on the ‘lecky bill, which helped recoup the cost of upgrading much more quickly.

Additionally, I kept the monitors out of the landfill for this extra time… reduced greenhouse gases, and … the big advantage: if you are adding second hand equipment when you had none before, then you are increasing your productivity, saving money, and getting a leg up on the IT side of things.

So, when you buy secondhand IT equipment, tread carefully. You may reap the rewards of shrewd decisions.