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September 26, 2023

Pros and Cons of Buying Used Cisco Products

Cisco is one of the most recognized and trusted brands in the world. Even so, it’s crucial that you are aware of both the pros and cons of buying used Cisco products. Upgrading a network can have significant financial impacts. Initially, there are costs for new equipment and software licenses, which can be substantial especially if you are looking at Cisco products. However, these investments can lead to long-term savings by improving efficiency, reducing downtime, and enhancing security. The financial benefits often outweigh the upfront expenses.

To help reduce the financial impact choosing pre-owned Cisco products could be a financially prudent decision, especially when you need to make the most of a limited IT budget. While this approach can be a practical solution for budget-conscious IT procurement, it is not without its potential pitfalls. Yes, buying used Cisco equipment can be a cost-effective way to acquire networking hardware, but it comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons of buying used Cisco products to consider:

Pros of Buying Used Cisco Equipment

  1. Cost Savings: Used Cisco equipment is typically significantly cheaper than brand new hardware with savings that can be as much as 90% off. This can help you save a substantial amount of money, especially if you are on a tight budget. So the finanacial savings can be significant and make you look like a hero….but read on.
  2. Availability: In a perfect world you have plenty of time to get all that equipment in, setup, tested and running just in time for that end of quarter number, right? Well older or discontinued Cisco equipment may not be readily available as new, but it can often be found in the used market. This can be especially useful if you need to replace or expand your existing network infrastructure with compatible hardware.
  3. Short-Term Solutions: What if your organization finds itself in a transitional phase where you’re ready for some new equipment but not prepared for a complete overhaul? Purchasing used Cisco products allows you to delay a full upgrade until you’ve fully utilized your current network.If you follow the recommended OEM upgrade cycle of every three years, you may prematurely replace Cisco products that still have a significant useful lifespan. This results in upgrading while your existing networking gear remains valuable, potentially diminishing your return on investment (ROI). Opting for used technology on your schedule offers long-term cost savings. You can replace failing equipment without committing to a comprehensive upgrade, thereby maximizing your initial IT investment. This approach is a prudent way to manage the complete life cycle of your Cisco products.
  4. Vendor Support: Cisco is known for providing support for its products, even after they have been discontinued. This means you may still be able to get support and software updates for used Cisco equipment. This is an area that has to be understood fully especially when you are talking about Cisco products. Cisco support and warranties are world class on products sold to the first owner. After that it gets a bit murky, learn about the potential issues of Cisco warranties in the used market: Cisco Warranties and Resale – 13 Things You Need to Know
What are the warranty issues when Buying or Selling Used Cisco IT Equipment?

Cons of Buying Used Cisco Equipment

  1. Uncertain History: When buying used equipment, you might not have a clear understanding of its history. It could have been subjected to heavy use, improper handling, or even damage that is not immediately apparent. Equipment that has been running in high temperature and humidity environments can have a shortened lifespan and reliability issues:
  2. Compatibility Issues: Older equipment may not be compatible with newer technology or software, which could limit your network’s capabilities or require additional investments to make it work seamlessly. This is especially true when it comes to the firmware that is on the equipment. Some may be EOL with no further support or security updates available.
  3. Security Concerns: Used equipment might not have the latest security features or patches, making it more vulnerable to security threats. Ensure you can update and secure the equipment properly.
  4. Limited Scalability: If your network needs grow, it might be challenging to find additional used equipment of the same type and model, potentially leading to compatibility issues or the need to switch to newer equipment.
  5. Support Challenges: While Cisco may offer some support for discontinued products, the level of support may be limited, and replacement parts may become scarce. Are there VARs or third party vendors that will support the product long after the OEM stops?
  6. Lack of Future Updates: As equipment ages, manufacturers like Cisco may stop releasing software updates or patches for them, potentially leaving your network vulnerable to emerging threats.
In summary, buying used Cisco equipment can be a cost-effective solution, especially for short-term or budget-conscious projects. However, it comes with risks related to warranty, history, compatibility, and security. Careful research of both the pros and cons of buying used Cisco products, along with consideration of your specific needs and circumstances are essential before making a decision.

About the Editorial Staff

The Editorial Staff at TeleTraders, led by IT asset expert Clay Beckham and his seasoned team, boasts over 10 years of industry experience in IT asset management, secure IT asset disposal, and technology solutions. Founded in 2013, TeleTraders quickly became a trusted source of IT expertise. The team at TeleTraders demonstrates its commitment to excellence, spending countless hours each day handling a wide spectrum of IT equipment, spanning from intricate networking gear to precision barcode scanners. Our team strives to transfer our hands on knowledge into resources for IT professionals in businesses of any size.

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