Buying Used Computers and IT Equipment at Auction
Computer auctions can be a great place to purchase IT equipment at with possibly large savings off retail prices. PC’s, laptops and IT equipment found at auction can come from business liquidations, ex-lease, ex-government, repossessions or private sellers. Most major capital cities in Australia feature regular weekly auctions of IT equipment.
Some auctions may even include new IT equipment that could be surplus to the wholesaler, company or discontinued/superseded models being cleared by a manufacturer.
PC and laptop auctions are also often held for scratch and dent stock that can’t be sold through retail outlets, such stock is often cleared via auction. All sorts of hardware can be picked up for usually well below retail including desktop pc’s, laptops, networking equipment, peripherals, cable and much more.
Used laptops, pda’s, handhelds and right through to networking equipment, office printers and a variety of I.T equipment can quite often be found at regular auctions as businesses, company’s and governments update their hardware. Alternatively items may be from a liquidation or business closure.
What to watch out for:
Used computers at auction generally have had their hard drives wiped and are tested to ensure that they at least turn on and any reported faults are recorded, although this can differ from auction house to auction house and as to whether it is a private seller or commercial auctioneer.
Traditional auctions will offer inspection times which are quite useful for inspecting LCD displays for any damage or dead pixels, check the boot up process for any indicated errors, checking laptop hinges and general condition.
Also be sure of what the item you are looking at comes with, for instance a laptop without the charger requires extra expense after purchase and a laptop with charger, carry bag etc. may be worth a little more. It is also worth remembering that batteries, although they are getting better, don’t last forever – the older the laptop the higher the risk, or less that should be bid.
Also to be taken into account is the software that comes with the computer or system, a computer without a operating system (OS) software doesn’t do much so remember the cost of software. Most ex-government or ex-lease computers now seem to come with the OS discs, like windows xp/vista, and the licence sticker.
It also pays to research what the items listed at auction are being sold for new and in the used computer marketplace so as to know your upper bid limit and not pay too much for an item.