You're working hard to get your business up and running. You have a limited budget for technology, but the need is still there for a solid infrastructure to keep the business operating. Here are several ways to save on your initial technology so you'll have money to invest in other key areas of your small business.
Computer recycling companies
These businesses take old computers, clean them up and verify that they still operate. These computers usually come with a one-year warranty so you'll have some protection from a break down during the first year of your startup. These recycling centers also have an as-is area where you can find deals on components should you have someone in your business who likes to build systems from scratch. These come with no warranty but are much cheaper than the verified units.
You'll also find a variety of other components for sale at these facilities to support your business including:
- computer monitors
- external hard drives
- pre owned routers
- keyboards and mice
- miscellaneous computer cables
You can find computer equipment in pawn shops, but they will often not be verified as free from issues or have a warranty. Look for a shop that offers at least a 90-day warranty to be more comfortable about getting a working computer. These shops may also have monitors and printers for sale.
These may have computers for the lowest price available, but you'll get the unit as-is. Again, these can be a good deal if you have a technical person on staff that can manage any issues that come up.
When a manufacturer gets a returned computer or monitor, they will repair it (if needed), clean it up and put it on sale on their refurbished equipment website. These are heavily discounted so they can get rid of the old inventory. They will come with at least a one-year warranty. You may have the option of purchasing upgrades, such as a larger storage disk. Manufacturers also turn over floor models, demo units and discontinued computers this way.
Business equipment auctions
Look in your local papers for notices of businesses that are closing and auctioning off their office equipment. Some larger cities have companies that specialize in selling off assets from businesses that are moving or closing. This equipment will be as-is, but you may get a great deal on some larger pieces, such as a server rack and laser printers.