Why 2nd Hand is no longer 2nd Best

The refurbished IT market has grown significantly over the past few years. However, many companies and individuals around the world have concerns with choosing refurbished over new equipment, particularly when it comes to technology. Concerns primarily revolve around three key factors of IT hardware: cost, performance and availability. Coincidently, these three concerns that prevent people from buying 2nd hand, are also the top three reasons why refurbished is chosen by many businesses globally.

Whilst these areas are perceived as weaknesses of the refurbished industry, we are here to change your mind and demonstrate the benefit of choosing 2nd hand technology! The cost, performance and availability are three of the key benefits that sit behind refurbished IT hardware which often offers a cheaper, more readily available IT solution without compromising on performance!

2nd Hand is more Affordable than New

A big belief in the IT industry, as well as many other varying sectors, is that more expensive means higher quality. We see this belief in clothes, cars, phones and more; however, what this view fails to acknowledge is value retention. High-quality goods are made to last, and so purchasing second hand, quality IT equipment ensures a reliable and high-performing option, despite the fact that they are, by definition, older than a brand new device.

As this idea goes against the perception that expense is equal to quality, with refurbished often being a more affordable option, many believe that through buying 2nd hand you are losing the quality of more expensive equipment.

IT equipment drops in price as soon as it leaves the production line. Older models tend to be cheaper because newer versions replace them. However, they do not actually decrease in performance as they get older. With quality technology goods retaining their performance for longer periods of time, the drop in cost does not mean a reduction in performance. This means that for the reduced cost you won’t experience in a loss in performance for your IT system.

Refurbished Performs as well as New

Some of the biggest concerns around buying refurbished revolve around performance. It is widely believed that refurbished IT equipment cannot match a new device in terms of performance due to age and the development of newer technologies.

In 2019 Techbuyer began a 2 year research study with the University of East London to demonstrate the slowdown of Moore’s law and test the performance of new equipment, with that of refurbished hardware.

Our extensive testing of devices proved that refurbished technology performs as well as new in every case and is even capable of outperforming new hardware with the correct component upgrades and configuration. Read our full IEEE peer-reviewed paper here.

This study highlights the quality capabilities of 2nd hand technology through extensive research and testing; refurbished IT hardware performs as well as, or even better than, new devices with the correct component upgrades. Therefore, the concerns around performance and paying less for lesser quality equipment, are nullifiedYou can read the full research paper here.

The 2nd Hand Market is Readily Available 

Another key belief that surrounds new IT equipment, is that it is more readily available compared to older technology because you need to wait for devices to enter stock. However, the past couple of years has turned this on its head. Chip shortages during the pandemic and beyond have severely affected the manufacturing capabilities of many companies. Car production lines have shut down because of this.

Refurbished products, on the other hand, rely on locally available stock, meaning that the 2nd hand market was relatively unaffected by the shortages that occurred globally.  Refurbished technology stock has no need for many of the chips and resources that are shipped all over the world; because of this, it has been readily available where new equipment could not be. Therefore, with 2nd hand technology, the delivery times can be quicker than waiting for new hardware to be created and re-enter stock.

The Sustainability Benefits of Refurbished IT Hardware

Refurbished IT equipment is not only cost-effective, readily available and capable of outperforming new, it is also the sustainable choice. E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream on the planet, with 53 million tons of technology ending up in landfill every year, a number that is expected to grow to 120 million tons by 2050 (according to the United Nations University). Within this is a vast quantity of valuable raw materials, as well as devices that could have served longer. By choosing refurbished you are lowering the demand on critical raw materials, as well as preventing valuable and high-quality equipment from ending up in landfill.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has calculated that the production of a single computer and monitor costs roughly 500 pounds of fossil fuel, 50 pounds of chemicals, and 1.5 tons of water. By buying refurbished, we are helping to reduce the impact of fossil fuels and other harmful substances on our environment, aiding in the creation of a greener IT sector.

Refurbished IT hardware is the optimum choice to help create a more sustainable and eco-friendlier IT industry as a whole. The cost, performance and availability should not be concerns but rather key reasons to choose refurbished and maximize your IT budget, as well as help to produce a circular economy for the IT sector.

SpiceWorld Virtual 2021

Looking to learn more about 2nd hand and the refurbished IT market? Our sustainability lead Astrid Wynne, and IT Director, Rich Kenny, addressed this issue at this year’s Spiceworld 2021 virtual event. Head to the SpiceWorld website to watch our presentation.