The Refurbished Market- The basics for an end user.

Posted on February 28 2012


The used computer market essentially starts with new computers

In other words, as the new PC market grows then the used PC market will grow as well.

The main concerns about the used PC market are the falling prices of new IT equipment. How long the used computer market can last, given the diminishing prices of new equipment?

Many people are champions of the refurbished market, from IT departments at large corporations to the end user trying to save money.They’re low-cost, they work well for many purposes, and refurbishing lends a hand to going green and re-use rather than throwing away. Three- to-five-year-old computers are fast, powerful, and adaptable enough to meet the needs of organizations and individuals who need them.

There is a large environmental benefit as well to extending the life of used, three-to-five year-old computers than it is to end-of-life recycle them at that age.

Most people are unaware that when you discard a five-pound laptop, you are also throwing away 20,000 pounds of raw material it took to make it. It's definitely a better option to recycle the laptop and if it still works, you'll feel good knowing that instead of throwing away your laptop, it can be refurbished and sold to a person who is in need, trying to save money, or looking for a specific model. This keeps your Laptop out of a landfill (we have a ZERO landfill policy) and in the hands of someone who can still use it. If it no longer works, we can break it down and process the internals to our high recycling standards.

Obviously, not every computer can be salvaged, and your organization shouldn’t accept just any refurbished computer for the sake of environmental responsibility. Yet, for many purposes, refurbished equipment presents nonprofits, libraries, lower-income families and the average joe trying to save money with a more affordable alternative to new equipment; one that will do nearly everything that new computers do.

How robust is the used computer market and is it trending down or up? There is increasing demand worldwide for used computers. IT and Telecom. The secondary PC market is growing rapidly: 55 million PCs worldwide in 2004; and 86 million 2007.

Of Nearly 200 million PCs that were retired by corporations and institutions in 2007, fewer than half found their way into the secondary PC market. PCRetro can help make this number higher by offering our wide range of services to it's customers.

Only one in five PCs suitable for reuse finds its way from end of life to a refurbished PC market, even as demand for secondary PCs outweighs the available supply. The demand for used PCs will remain substantial, even though regional demand patterns will probably shift again as emerging markets mature and new emerging markets join the demand for secondary PCs.

Most of what we receive as our equipment comes from the business class lines for most manufacturers. Business class machines are built better, with better components and were more expensive at time of original purchase. For the end user this means MASSIVE savings for a well built, solid unit that is originally built to last longer than what is in the consumer market. For Example, We have our IBM T60 laptop for $199, 5 years ago, when purchased new, this same laptop originally had a $2200 pricetag! On average, a consumer shopping in the refurbished market can save anywhere from 5-25% off the cost of new by buying a comparable refurbished machine.

One of the best measures of market growth in PC refurbishment to low-income Americans and people in the rest of the world is the growth in software sales in the Microsoft Registered Refurbisher Program and the Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers Program (MAR). These programs provide low-cost Windows XP licensing to 2,500 PC refurbishers in 80 countries, who in turn supply computers to low-income individuals, schools, and charities. PCRetro / Computer Warehouse is Proud to be one of those 2,500 registered refurbishers.

Ordering in the program has been steadily increasing from the program’s inception in 2000. From 2007 to 2008, the Community MAR program had a 57 percent volume increase worldwide. In the recession year of 2009, order volume increased 16 percent. Order volumes have increased 25 percent in 2011. 

Yet, as the price of new computers continues to fall, will they at some point be just as or more affordable than used equipment?

While it is true that the price of new computers has decreased over the years, refurbished equipment still remains a more affordable and more obtainable option for many. Package deals and sales help offset the cost of buying parts separately such as most new PC's do not include a monitor. We have many package options, starting as little as $129 that INCLUDE a flatscreen LCD screen. New $300-$400 PC's do not include this and it must be purchased separately. At a cost starting at around $120 for a basic LCD screen. Your "cheap" new PC becomes quite an investment. 

The IT market will undoubtedly change with new developments like cloud computing and the current trend of consumerization of IT in which personal consumer devices like smart phones and tablet devices like iPads are being integrated in to the work place.

It means, however, that large numbers of PCs and also consumer devices of different types will be going in to used market. 3-5 year old PC's, Laptops, IT, Smartphones, Tablets and Monitors will continue to flood the Refurbished / used Market and will continue as a strong competitor against new equipment. 

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