Wheeling and Dealing

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I asked you (if you weren’t building your own computer museum) just what you did with your surplus computer equipment.

This is what you told me:

Sell? I wish. Swap? Trade? Nah, my roommates and I are a computer
charity — we give it all away. We spend extra money to set up complete
systems (this is not our intention — it’s just the way things work
out), and find somebody who needs one. Keeps the trash level down. Me,
I have a few loads of old networking equipment I need to box and send
off. To the Netherlands, New Zealand, and such. The Internet makes for
a small world… but shipping a 30-pound box halfway around it still
hurts, let me tell you.

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Well, since you asked, I guess I’ll let you in on my tricks of the trade. I
am a small computer consultant, I mainly do work for small practices and
businesses. I also do A LOT of work for friends. In the past three years, I
have been able to transistion from a P166 to multiple machines and my
current baby is a 533a @ 1008 w/the Blizzard water cooler. My backup
machine is a 300a @ 450 and it has 105gb of HD space (it runs my mp3 ftp
server). I also have 3 PII’s across my network not including 3 old P166’s.

I have been able swap out my personal hardware at an alarming rate.
Everytime I get a new customer, I let them know that I have some equipment
that I have been using for a few months and runs great and would be willing
to sell to them at a discounted price. Usually, they agree, and since they
really have no idea what prices are, I charge them about standard for the
going rate on the product. I think we all know that using pricewatch, we
can find much better deals than in retail stores, so everytime I make a sale
of an item, I am buying the next generation of that equipment for my
machines. I used this process to upgrade all my HDs, starting w/ a 1.2 gb
drive. Currently, the largest drive I own is maxtors 60gb ata100 drive.
(twas flash upgradeable to ata100)

The only piece of equipment that my machines are kind of lacking in at the
moment are top-end grafix cards. . . . Basically,
I just pass my old stuff out the door to my customers with their full
knowledge. They think that they are getting a good deal, and they are, I’ve
throughly tested their equipment for any defects! =]

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Saw the blurb about how we manage old hardware: one word (rather a couple I guess): AGN3d forums. I’ve used it more than a few times and except for one troublesome incident, has been great. The Buy and Sell board has over 5,000 members and if it’s computer related, you can usually find it or sell it.

I also occasionally save up enough items to build another complete box, which I either sell or keep for my little network here at home. Upgrades are handed down as needed.

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Editorial comment: How ethical do you think selling used goods for the equivalent price of (discounted) new is?

Email Ed


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