Sell Your Old IT Equipment to Fund Upgrades

As IT service providers prepare for Microsoft’s end of support for Windows XP next spring, some businesses are facing real pressure to upgrade. But with less than five months remaining, Windows XP usage remains at an alarming 33.66 percent, which means consumers must either upgrade or face security risks as Microsoft stops releasing patches for the O/S.

For a single consumer, the need to replace one out-of-date PC or laptop is bad enough. But a business with multiple devices running Windows XP faces a large expense that likely isn’t included in the budget. The issue has called attention to the importance of keeping devices reasonably updated. Windows XP is more than a decade old, after all. By replacing PCs and mobile devices at least every five years, businesses can protect against a mass update requirement.

Too big for your budget? The truth is, there are ways to offset the cost of new equipment. Instead of piling that old equipment in your trunk and taking it down to the recycling center, consider making a little money off of it. Here are a few outlets for making money off of PCs, smartphones, and other office equipment.

  • eBay Electronics–One of the best places to get top dollar for used electronics is eBay. The best news about eBay is that you’ll be able to see how much your item is earning before you bid.
  • MarkITx–This online marketplace keeps buyers and sellers invisible to each other, making it ideal for businesses. The site holds funds in escrow until the equipment is safely delivered.
  • Craigslist–Save yourself time in line at the post office and put your item up on your local Craigslist site. Buyers will sometimes even come by your business and pick the items up, especially if you’re asking a reasonable price.
  • Gazelle–Unless your desktops are Macs, Gazelle won’t apply to your business. But Gazelle is a great place to painlessly sell cell phones, tablets, iPods, Macbooks, and Macs. While you’ll likely earn more on eBay or Craigslist, it might be worth it to let Gazelle take care of everything. They tell you up front how much they’ll offer. They even send you a postage-paid box to ship it to them in.

The good news is, most of these sites allow you to price your item before you make the decision to sell. Enter your model number on eBay or Gazelle and see how much your device will fetch before making the decision to upgrade.



Ebay Makes Some Green

Ebay announced that it will expand the usage of Bloom Energy Cells at their Utah data center.  The increase to thirty fuel cells will allow the green tech to become the facilities primary power source with the standard electric grid as its backup.  Bloom Energy Fuel Cells use a solid oxide ceramic material as an electrolyte.  It requires an initial burst of energy to heat the system to 800 C and a reformed methanol fuel be placed on one side of the fuel cell.  This attracts oxygen ions (air) into the system where the ions are stripped of their electrons, thus creating electricity.  In theory, once the system gets started it can provide the energy needed to heat itself up and provide electricity to the facility.  The question is: does this make good business sense for Ebay?

My gut feeling is yes.  Having your own power plant next door does allow for greater efficiency that is often lost when electricity travels long distances.  The growing trend seems to be that more and more businesses want to have more control over their power consumption.  Switching to an alternative energy source has a plethora of benefits, not least of which is the benefit to the Earth that we all live on, but also endearing yourself to the public and locking down the variable of power costs.  When even Walmart is has started a program of having wind turbines in their parking lots, it has to be an effective move.

Well, most businesses can’t afford a wind turbine or a 800,000 dollar fuel cell, but of course there are plenty of smaller things a business can do to save power.  Talk to an IT consultant about increasing your techs efficiency.  One simple trick I’ve learned over the years is changing your background on your phone or computer to something black.  OLED, LED backlit LCD screens and older CRT monitors consumer less energy when the background is black.  An informal study found that an OLED phone saves about 20% more energy when it simply had its wallpaper changed to black.  That’s not much, but considering many people have multiple phones and computers, it adds up.