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What to consider when buying a used network switch

Should you consider buying a used network switch (or any other network equipment)? When you’re on the hunt for new equipment but constrained by a tight budget, what’s your best option?

Small and mid-size businesses, with limited IT budgets, are not inclined to pay top dollar for something that will rapidly depreciate.  Instead, they can buy high-performance used equipment at a fraction of its new or original price. But buying used equipment from third-party vendors might lead to unexpected results if one does not qualify the supplier first. To avoid the gamut of defective devices, void warranties wand no technical support from the used network switch supplier, prepare by asking the reseller some qualifying questions. One can find some very qualified responsible used network equipment resellers available to you for only a few minutes of research.  The second hand market is really a great option for small businesses upgrading their network infrastructure, stretching their budgets, or simply building a network lab. Below are a few research tips to keep in mind before you start writing the PO or pulling out the credit card.

What you need to know about your dealer

  1. Make sure your seller has a good reputation by talking to other customers or looking up online reviews. Check if they have a quality control, multistage repair and testing process to avoid ending up with non-functional products. For example, see if they have a good reputation on eBay.
  2. Dealers that are members of the UNEDA (United Networking Equipment Dealers Association) are extremely reliable. UNEDA is an organization that consists of the best second-hand network equipment dealers around the world. (NetworkTigers is a member of UNEDA.)
  3. Check to see if your equipment reseller stocks or manages the supply of their own inventory. This allows you to check the availability of the exact items you need quickly. If not available or not available in the quantity you need, ask if the supplier is able to tell you when it will be restocked. Great suppliers are also knowledgeable about the hardware they sell and good web sites should have all the information available you need to make a buy decision.
  4. Consider where the supplier is located.  Look up the address on a map.  Is the address a warehouse or an apartment?  If the supplier is located at a residential address, one has to wonder if there supplier is real or not. Also, a real supplier in Hong Kong or Germany could mean a very expensive shipping cost for you.
  5. Low prices on used equipment is not unexpected.  But if at all concerned, call to ask why. If the price of a piece of equipment is very low, it could be low for any number of reasons to include a large stock, a pricing error or simply a move by the vendor to try and sell some old inventory. Call and ask rather than disqualify. Not atypical that a great supplier has low prices.  The sign of counterfeit is generally with older new items at a very low price being sold in pristine clean brand new boxes.
  6. Some resellers will offer trade-in pricing. Exchanging your no longer needed equipment for much desired equipment will not only save you money, trading-in will remove the challenge the reselling your unwanted network switches.
  7. When you are in doubt, call the supplier.  The best dealers have someone answering the phone who are likely very knowledgeable about the equipment they sell.

What you need to know about your used network switch (or other equipment)

  1. Ask the reseller about the model’s overall condition, model number, what is included with each purchase and other technical information before you make the move. If you need a specific firmware, best to call ahead.  Most manufacturers do not distribute firmware and the used network reseller will be limited to what is already installed on the unit.
  2. Purchasing a product with a warranty for the reseller ensures that the network equipment you buy is in perfect working condition. Some reseller companies offer technical support, lifetime warranty and free maintenance. A return policy is a further safety measure. This allows you to return your used network switch if it’s dead on arrival.
  3. The price of the equipment varies from dealer to dealer. There’s no hard-fast rule when it comes to pricing used equipment. Call multiple outlets and look out for the best possible deal you can find.  Sometimes price is not the only determinant of a good supplier.  Do consider support, experience, years in business and general industry reputation before buying solely on price.
  4. You should also know the licensing status of any product you buy. Buying licensed equipment entitles you to firmware updates and security upgrades. However, in most cases, licensing of equipment cannot be transferred. Make sure you understand the limitations of the hardware you invest in.
  5. When it comes to the used equipment market, you need to know if you will receive the complete set with the accessories or just the individual unit. Knowing what comes with the equipment helps you understand if you are getting a good deal.
  6. Make sure the product is compatible with your entire infrastructure. You need a well-laid out network plan before you combine individual components from different sources and integrate it into a larger network. There is no point in buying a used network switch that is incompatible with your network.

Buy a used network switch in safety

All businesses need sophisticated network equipment to keep pace with the current world. With shrinking budgets and higher operational costs, second-hand equipment can transforms business infrastructure by offering the latest technology without the stress of increased costs. Backed with a lifetime warranty and technical support, second-hand equipment offers the perfect opportunity for businesses to scale and grow. It is cost effective and environmentally friendly as it encourages people to reuse products that may otherwise end up in landfills.



Feba Maryann
Feba Maryann
Feba Maryann is a freelance journalist who writes for websites and magazines in Asia and North America. She is currently pursuing her Integrated Masters on Computer Science Engineering with a specialization in Data Science from VIT, Vellore.


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What to consider when buying a used network switch