Office equipment does not increase in value over time…
These necessary purchases are a cost of doing business, and therefore they are expenses, not assets that will appreciate or grow in value over time.
While it is tempting to want everything in a new office to be shiny and new, does every piece of equipment need to be new, or can it be purchased for a fraction of its original price or even provided free (as part of a support contract) because it is used?
We agree, it is a little trickier than you first think, as the equipment needs to be functional. Guaranteed performance via a warranty should assure that the refurbished equipment will perform to its standard. And this is best, if it’s provided as part of a service contract, where the supplier commits to repair or replace it.
Before you consider purchasing refurbished office equipment, first consider what the minimal equipment purchase may need to be. Or, what is the monthly charge, if part of a service agreement.
Office equipment manufacturers and distributors may have equipment that is returned by customers due to a variety of reasons — not necessarily because the equipment was not functioning properly. These types of returns are a great source of equipment for a fraction of the original price.
An example of this could be the purchase of a laptop for a new employee. Sometimes when the brand new laptop is unpacked, it can be dented or scratched in transportation. When this cosmetically damaged laptop is delivered to the customer location, it is usually returned because the customer that originally purchased it was guaranteed a defect-free product.
Furthermore, a piece of equipment could be returned because of a minor problem, fixed by the manufacturer, but will not be resold as new. All of these situations and more provide an opportunity to acquire equipment at reduced prices.
Liquidation sales are another opportunity to acquire office equipment at big savings. A word of caution though, be careful when you shop under these conditions. There may be high-pressure sales, limited selection and a variety of other conditions that could make for a risky deal. Remember, if the equipment fails, repairs will not be possible because the company that was going out of business will no longer exist. Therefore, shop carefully, know the equipment you’re looking for, and what the current market price is.
There are also lots of great deals that can be found on eBay or other online auctions. Just as the name suggests, it is an auction. This means that you must submit a bid and wait out the other bidders before you can purchase the item of interest. And as with offline auctions, there is always the possibility of being outbid, unless you are willing to pay the asking price up front. Just as with “Going Out of Business” sales, the risk is high and the equipment may fail soon after purchase.
Finally, there are suppliers who will provide refurbished office equipment (used but still working well), such as photocopiers, printers, laptops and PC’s, either with a small warranty (3 – 6 months) for a much reduced fee. Or, as part of a service contract, where you don’t actually pay or own the goods, you just rent the service in a low monthly fee, which will include the equipment, any required consumables and a fix or replacement guarantee. A good example of this type of service, is MY Free Copier and Business Infinity by MY Total Office Solutions.