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Safely Purchasing Second-Hand Storage Gear

Our anonymous IT director acknowledges that buying used has its drawbacks, including longer wait times for replacement parts. With the "phone home" technology built into some new products, replacement parts are at the door sometimes before you know you need

them. With used gear, you'll wait a few days. Still, it's an inconvenience he'll put up with to get the cost savings--as long as the used gear comes from a reputable supplier.

"Once you find a reliable source," he says, "you stay with him."

Sales of used storage gear sales total about $50 billion annually, according to the Association of Service and Computer Dealers International, a 35-year-old nonprofit organization of 220 members. Institutionalizing secondary-market practices has boosted consumer confidence in the used channel, says associate chairman Joe Marion, who cites the sharp increase in the number of deals ASCDI members are reporting. In 1995, he says, equipment sales totaled $25 billion to $30 billion.

Not Created Equal

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