1 Do your homework. Know exactly what kind of gear you want. “There’s one version of the Cisco 5300 switch that supports simultaneous phone calls and one that doesn’t,” says R. Todd Wallace, CTO of Irving, Texas-based IPOperations, which uses and sells secondary market gear. “The way you know this is to know there’s a revision number on one and it uses a different chip set.”
2 Use auction sites. Even if you don’t want to bid, use the sites to get a sense of the going price.
3 Bargain. “The key to this whole market is moving gear fast,” says Af Assur, director of global remarketing for IBM’s Global Asset Recovery Services. Secondary sellers don’t want to get stuck. That gives you an advantage. Don’t accept the dealer’s first price. Use your old gear as a trade-in. Barter. The longer you go, the more the price will come down. Just don’t go too long or make offers that are unreasonable?there are other buyers.
4 Use your head. If it sounds to good to be true, it just might be. One buyer reports getting $4,000 storage devices for $400 apiece. They worked. Another ended up with flood-damaged servers. They didn’t work, and there was no recourse. Seek out the great deals, but also trust your instincts.