While it’s usually best, when possible, to buy brand new desktops and laptops for your business needs, the reality is that smaller businesses, startups, and nonprofit organizations sometimes struggle to fit top-flight hardware into their budgets. Thankfully, there are ways to save money on business-class computers.
One of the most common solutions is purchasing lightly used or refurbished computer hardware. This is a viable option when businesses buy from reputable vendors and make sure that the computers they are buying will really meet their long-term needs. It's always best, then, to involve a technology expert in the decision-making process.
Curious about where you can go to get considerable discounts on laptops and desktops for your business? Here are 5 ways to save money on business-class computers:
1. Dell Outlet
The Dell Outlet is a great option for businesses and organizations on a budget. Their stock is not always predictable, but you can find great business-class desktops and laptops for considerable discounts there. Many of these computers will be marked as “refurbished,” which in some cases may simply mean that they were returned without being used and can’t be sold as “new.” Again, we recommend having the guidance of an IT pro when picking hardware from the Dell Outlet, but we’ve found clients some great deals there.
2. Apple Certified Refurbished Products
While the perception may be that Macs are far more expensive than PCs, when it comes to business-class hardware, we’ve found that the actual price difference is less than you might think. Plus, many have found that Macs last longer and require less maintenance than Windows machines, meaning that businesses save money over the long run with Macs.
Still, if brand new Macs don’t fit into your budget, Apple’s Certified Refurbished products are a great way to get Mac hardware at a significant discount. Similar to the Dell Outlet, there’s no way to predict exactly what options they will have in stock. But if you have the time and know what you’re looking for, you can get a good deal.
3. TechSoup (Nonprofits Only)
TechSoup is a great resource for deeply discounted pricing on software and computer hardware for nonprofits. While some vendors have limits on what kinds of nonprofits they will give discounts via TechSoup, all nonprofits should consider this resource for their tech needs.
4. Previously Leased Computers
Many vendors have leasing options for computer hardware, and, much like car rental companies, they sell their previously leased inventory at good prices. These computers may have some wear and tear, but they’re still a good option for getting a great price on hardware that meets your needs.
5. Vendor-Agnostic Technology Partners
All businesses—regardless of their budgets—can benefit from this tip. Many IT service providers, who may do a great job in other areas, also rely heavily on profit margins from computer sales, which they get by aligning heavily with particular vendors.
Vendor-agnostic technology partners, on the other hand, prioritize the service they provide their clients over hardware sales. These providers are more likely to help their clients think through what hardware they actually need, as they don’t have a vested interest in selling one vendor’s products over another, or in selling hardware at all.
In fact, they may even suggest making low-cost upgrades to existing hardware (such adding memory or replacing a storage drive) to prolong the life of existing hardware when appropriate.
In other words, these partners are more likely to think like an internal IT staff for your business, looking to save cost and meet your budget.
Looking for guidance from a vendor-agnostic partner on how to make new desktops or laptops fit into your budget? Give us a call!