Consumer Electronics Talker Kim Komando recently published a list of common technology myths. Things like MAC’s never get viruses, the more megapixels the better, public Wi-Fi is safe and a myth near and dear to our hearts–Always buy new gear.
To quote Kim…
As long as you buy direct from the manufacturer or a trusted re-seller and there’s a good return policy and warranty in place, there isn’t much of a downside to buying refurbished.
Kim is referring to refurb as a first time buy and we agree. There are plenty of great deals on “refurbished” consumer tech that cost a fraction of what new will run. A great example is my first (and only) portable GPS system for my car. I bought it so long ago I can’t recall, refurbished, for about a third of the retail price of a new one. It still works great today. And I have no plan or need to replace it.
But you can’t always use consumer tech in rugged applications and you can’t always start out with refurb.
Sometimes you need to buy new. But much of the technology that catches your eye has not been designed to be repaired at all. It was built to be broken. If you can get past the allure of that “new tech smell,” refurb can be very attractive, but why can’t you try to have both?
As a leader in rugged mobile computing we sell new gear. We like to sell new gear. But our own Everest Line, as an example, wasn’t just designed and built to deliver power, performance, and mobility. You can break the entire system down in about four minutes. It can be modified or even repaired when your mobile workforce finds a way around all the “rugged” you thought you needed. And with an average life expectancy of 5.5 years, even in your rugged environment, when you begin to wonder if the time has come for a new one, we can offer to refurbish the old one for a fraction of the cost, extending the life with a fresh warranty to boot.
So we do not see refurbished tech as just a starting point. The potential to refresh your equipment down the road should be a factor when you buy new. If you need data collection or connectivity in a rugged work-space where heat, cold, dust, shock, vibration, or concrete wait to pound the life out of your computing tools it makes a lot more sense to invest in equipment that can withstand whatever your work-space throws at it; devices that deliver on your companies mobile computing needs but that are easy to repair and offer you additional cost saving options two, three or five years down the road.
Not everything is built to be broken and refurb does not have to be something you settle for. It can actually be a feature that keeps you running and saves you money down the road.