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How to Sell Servers

Dan Rice, Purchasing Director May 27, 2021

Selling servers can be a complex process. From finding a trustworthy buyer to finding the best prices, there are numerous things to consider before choosing where to send your used servers.

As an IT purchaser with over 7 years of experience at Techbuyer, I’ve written this blog to help first time sellers, businesses looking to make their IT budget go further, or individuals who may not know the full value of their used IT equipment. I’ve included my top security and budget tips throughout to help you navigate the best options for your specific IT needs.

1.    Figure out exactly what you want to sell

This may sound like an obvious point. However, being as specific as possible about what you would like to sell is crucial for a hassle-free process.

Firstly, consider the basics. Are you selling servers with components, servers without components, or server accessories like rail kits? The more precise you can be, the faster it will be to ascertain the correct value.

Next, there are four main defining factors to note before selling your servers, components, or infrastructure:

  • Brand. The most popular brands of servers are HPE, Dell and IBM. Other examples include Cisco, Lenovo and Fujitsu. The brands accepted differ from company to company, so this is the first important factor to consider.
  • Generation and model. Every brand of server has multiple generations, meaning that newer versions are released every few years. Within these generations are the different models, such as the Dell PowerEdge R740xd.
  • There are three main conditions of servers: new and sealed (still in the original packaging), new and opened box, or used.
  • Part number. The part number distinguishes your exact server from other generations and models.

Once you’ve got all your details sorted, it’s time to assess where exactly to send your servers.

2.    Choose a trustworthy ITAD specialist

Servers contain data. This data is every organisation’s responsibility to protect according to the latest GDPR regulations. This means that you must take every care to dispose of your used servers securely. If you don’t, you risk damaging your business reputation and facing hefty legal fines.

One way to buy and sell technology is through eBay. However, since you have no real way of finding out who you’re buying from or selling to, your data will never be safe.

A telling example of this is when the renowned security firm, Blancco and data recovery organisation, Ontrack bought 159 hard drives and flash drives from eBay. After testing the storage equipment with their data recovery tools, they discovered that 42% of the devices had at least some data remaining. 3 out of 20 drives also had personally identifiable data.

So, we know that selling IT equipment to strangers online isn’t a good idea. But how exactly do you find a secure alternative? Here are my top three things to look out for in an IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) company, who specialise in the transport, data erasure, refurbishment, recycling and documentation of used technology.

Data erasure

Data erasure, also known as data sanitisation, is the most secure way to remove data. In comparison to shredding IT hardware, from which you can still recover data, data sanitisation permanently deletes all data and makes it completely unrecoverable.

Choosing an IT company that data erases every single device is the best way to ensure your data will never enter the wrong hands. But don’t just take my word for it – data erasure is the industry standard for establishments that process sensitive data, including NASA and the US of Defense.

Accreditations

Accreditations are the easiest way to establish which organisations are consistently reaching the highest standards. In the ITAD industry, ADISA (Asset Disposal and Information Security Accreditation) is the highest level of accreditation available.

ADISA accredited companies are regularly audited to ensure they’re always providing the most secure service possible for today’s businesses, for instance by only having security vetted staff on site and providing 24/7 CCTV. ADISA is also backed by well-respected authorities including the National Cyber Security Centre and Cyber Essentials.

The ISO 27001 is another great accreditation to look out for. This signifies that a company will protect your data to the highest standards. Or for those looking to meet sustainability targets and limit the environmental impact of their IT hardware, look out for companies with the ISO 14001 accreditation, which demonstrates that IT equipment is treated as sustainably as possible.

Security

The most prestigious ITAD services will provide 24/7 security and a secure chain of custody. They will also provide full documentation so that you can have complete peace of mind that all your data has been erased.

3.    Choose the sustainable option

Once you have sold your servers and received your payment, the story doesn’t end there. Many ITAD specialists provide quality refurbishment and testing services, which gives IT equipment a second life and ensures organisations can access quality, cost-effective technology.

Extending the life cycle of IT equipment is the best way to reduce the environmental impact of technology. For instance, up to 1 metric tonne of C02 is generated by manufacturing just one server. When you consider that over 120 million new servers will be delivered between 2019 and 2023, the scale of this issue becomes clear.

Before selling your servers, check to see if the company will refurbish your equipment. If it does, this can go towards your sustainability or Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) targets.

 

4.    Don’t forget your other IT equipment

Why not send over a full list of your IT kit to check its value. As well as buying servers, many IT specialists also purchase used IT components such as server memory, CPUs and hard drives, as well as storage and networking equipment, laptops, and desktops. This is a great way to keep furthering your IT budget and ensure that more technology can be reused.

If you are stretched for time, some companies will offer an auditing service to collate what you have for sale. Make the most of these services to aid the ease of sale and save time.  

5.    Find the best prices

Many people that I’ve worked with over the years are surprised to learn that used IT equipment has value. To get market-leading prices for your servers, it’s best to work with an IT specialist that handles the entire process – from collection through to data erasure and payment – to cut out the middleman.

The best specialists will also provide quotes quickly (for free) and provide direct payments. They are also likely to refurbish and resell IT hardware as opposed to recycling, which is the best way to get as much value as possible out of used IT systems and parts, since the reuse value is higher than the recycling value.

 

6.    A hassle-free service you can trust

At Techbuyer, we have over 15 years of experience maximising IT budgets and managing the entire life cycle of our clients’ IT equipment. From collecting a single server to decommissioning entire data centres, our team provide a professional, hassle-free service so you can focus on the next task at hand.  

Our approach is simple. We provide a quote within 24 hours, then collect, data sanitise and refurbish your IT equipment. As a down to earth, friendly team, working with us is always hassle-free, and we hold leading ITAD accreditations including ADISA, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 27001.

Our global team provides market-leading prices for excess and used servers, storage and networking equipment, laptops, desktops and components.

To make the most of the advice throughout this article, why not get in touch? We provide specialised advice and support for your specific IT requirements. We can also manage your entire IT life cycle by upgrading, repairing, or replacing IT equipment.