We buy, sell and refurbish some of the world’s most important networking equipment.

How To Sell Used Network Equipment

One of the great things about pre-owned network hardware is that it retains a resale value, which makes it easy to sell used network equipment. But you may not know where to sell used routers or sell network switches — especially if you’ve never done it before.

What you need is a used network equipment vendor. But you want to be careful about who you choose to work with. You need a used network equipment reseller that not only understands the value of what you own, but that’s also willing to help you maximize the value of it with other incentives.

And once you start shopping around for a vendor, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. You may ask yourself, what kind of services should I be looking for? And what should I be prepared to do when I close on a deal?

We answer those questions — and more — on this page, but first, it’s important to understand what kind of companies most networking resellers work with and why they work with them. This will help you determine what type of used network equipment buyer you should be working with.

Who Sells Used Network Equipment? And Why Sell It?

A lot of the time, companies that sell used network equipment are hosting providers, service providers, cable operators and large-scale enterprises that have large networks.

These types of businesses rely heavily on the quality of their networking hardware and often require hundreds or thousands of high-end devices in order to operate.

For companies that sell networking equipment, maintaining inventory is an important part of the process. That’s why we focus on purchasing used data center equipment made by the most prominent names in the industry, including Cisco, Juniper and Arista, in bulk.

Small businesses and individuals can also sell used network equipment for cash. But, instead of working with a reseller that specializes in large, bulk purchases, like BrightStar Systems, it’s often more cost effective to use websites like Craigslist, eBay or Amazon to sell hardware.

As far as why you would want to sell used data center equipment, it typically boils down to one of a few specific reasons:

1. You require more powerful hardware with advanced specifications.
Most businesses grow over time. For companies in the IT industry, this often translates to better hardware that’s capable of handling a greater workload.  But if the old equipment is in good enough condition, it makes sense to sell it and put that money toward the upgraded equipment.

2. You have existing hardware that’s getting old and it’s time to replace it.
There are a variety of metrics used to measure the performance standards of networking hardware, but uptime is one of the most important ones. Companies that provide IT services — or even enterprises that have hundreds of employees that rely on having access to the company’s network in order to do their jobs — simply can’t afford for hardware to go down. In order to ensure it doesn’t, new equipment must be purchased every so often. And when it’s time to replace equipment that’s not performing well, the best thing to do is sell old routers and sell used switches that are longer up to par.

3. You have network equipment that’s sitting on shelves, gathering dust.
If you’re a company that owns a lot of hardware, you may have some that’s not being used — maybe it was moved and forgotten about the last time you upgraded hardware, or maybe you planned to sell it previously but never did. If that’s the case, you should sell used network equipment for cash instead of letting it sit around and lose its value.

4. You’re scaling down and require less equipment.
Whether you’ve had a couple of bad years and you’re looking to temporarily scale back your overhead spend — or you’re looking to get away from network-related services and focus on other parts of the business — you shouldn’t hold on to hardware you’re not using. By selling your pre-owned networking equipment, you could prolong the life of the business, or at least provide a bit of operational runway.

If you’re unsure of whether or not you’re able to sell used routers — or sell used switches — or if you just want to get an idea of how much your devices are worth, contact us and one of our knowledgeable sales representatives will answer any questions and help you with next steps.

Benefits of Selling Pre-owned Network Hardware

While the upfront financial incentive is a good enough reason to sell used data center equipment, it’s not the only one. There are several other benefits that will continue paying off long after you’ve packaged and shipped your pre-owned network hardware to a reseller.

A lot of customers we work with are selling network equipment because they need to replace it, and they often put the value of what they sell directly toward replacement equipment.

So, if you’re struggling to budget for more updated or better equipment, don’t forget about the value of the hardware you already own.

You can also save money in the long run when you sell used network equipment. If your existing equipment has been experiencing problems due to its age or due to the strain of its current workload, it likely requires some occasional maintenance, which is costing you money.

If you’re having to hire an outside contractor to perform the work, you’re paying for labor.

You also have to cover the cost of the parts — whether the contractor supplies them or not.

Underperforming machines may be costing you in other ways too; employees may not be able to complete tasks or customers may leave because they’re dissatisfied.

Depending on how many devices you’re having to perform regular maintenance on — and how often —  you may be surprised how much you’re spending to keep them up and running. At a certain point, it makes more sense to replace your pre-owned network hardware.

Another area where you can save money is energy usage; newer devices are more efficient, and running thousands of networking devices 24/7 is an easy way to rack up electricity costs.

For example, if your existing equipment was manufactured prior to 2010, it won’t support the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) Energy Efficient Ethernet standard — also known as IEEE 802.3az — which reduces power consumption during low activity periods.

And, if you’re planning on upgrading your hardware, you may not need as many devices, which means you can reduce the amount of space you’re using to house your existing equipment.

Depending on how many devices you end up selling, you could reduce the amount of space you’re using by hundreds — or even thousands — of square feet. Think about how much you could shave off your rent by reducing the amount of server space you require.

What You Should Look For in a Networking Vendor

An experienced, high-quality networking vendor will offer a lot more than great prices; they’ll make the entire selling experience efficient and hassle-free.

Work With a Reseller That Offers IT Asset Disposition Services

One of the most important things to ask network hardware resellers is whether or not they offer IT asset disposition services, also known as ITAD services. These services typically encompass anything related to protecting data when hardware undergoes a change of ownership.

But ITAD doesn’t only include data protection; it also includes data recovery and termination.

Not all used network equipment resellers offer ITAD services; there are companies that specialize in offering those services.

But you’ll have to do something with the data stored on your devices, so working with a networking vendor that already offers ITAD services will make things easier on you.

Used IT Equipment Buyers Should Help You With Shipping

You want to get the most value of the used networking equipment you sell, and that means you need to cut any costs related to selling it. The biggest cost is typically shipping.

BrightStar Systems covers the shipping costs of all used network equipment we buy. And, since we specialize in purchasing used data center equipment in bulk, we’ll help set up freight pickup.

We’re also capable of purchasing used networking equipment all over the world. Our California-based headquarters is the perfect hub for receiving global shipments in a timely manner, and the faster we receive your equipment, the quicker we can pay you for it.

Pre-owned Networking Hardware Buyers Should Test Your Equipment

When you sell used networking equipment, it’s not your responsibility to also test it. Each reseller has its own standards for buying used equipment, and just because it meets certain performance benchmarks on your end doesn’t mean it will also meet their standards.

At BrightStar Systems, we employ a 9-Point Quality Control and Testing process that ensures all the equipment we purchase is operating at peak performance levels.

Our testing process includes examining the outside of devices for signs of physical damage, removing dust or debris from the inside and testing all ports to make sure they work properly.

Our comprehensive testing procedure not only makes it easier for customers looking to sell used data center equipment; it also provides assurance for customers looking to buy hardware.

We want all our customers to feel confident buying used network equipment from us, and testing every piece of hardware we purchase is the best way to do that.

In addition, every piece of equipment we sell includes the BrightStar Systems 1-Year, In-house Warranty, which guarantees that we’ll repair, exchange, or refund the equipment under warranty within 10 working days after its receipt at our warehouse.

A Used Network Equipment Reseller Should Be Experienced

Just like any other industry, an experienced business will typically be more knowledgable and helpful than an inexperienced business. And if you are looking to replace equipment, you’ll want to work with someone that’s knowledgable — especially if you’re not.

Experience is especially valuable for networking hardware resellers; it’s a fast-paced industry where quality standards shift regularly and new products are constantly hitting the market.

And as a customer, you want to work with a reseller that already knows the industry inside and out; not a vendor that’s still learning the ropes.

But developing that knowledge takes a while. We have nearly 50 years of combined experience, so you can trust us to be knowledgeable about whatever it is you’re looking to sell.

At BrightStar Systems, we do more than simply send quotes to customers. So if you’re unsure which specific devices you’re looking to sell, we can help you locate and identify the model numbers on just about any router and switch manufactured by Juniper, Arista and Cisco.

Vendors Should Specialize in Selling Networking Equipment

In your search for a networking hardware reseller, you’ll likely run into plenty of companies that buy used phones, computers and tablets that also buy used network equipment.

However, since these companies sell such a wide variety of products, they likely won’t be as knowledgeable as a vendor that specializes in selling used networking equipment, like us. These vendors may also limit what they buy — smaller devices versus high-end hardware.

You can get an idea of how often a vendor works with hosting companies, service providers and large-scale enterprises by reaching out and asking who they work with. If they say individuals or small businesses and you’re looking to sell a lot of devices, they’re likely not a good fit.

Used Network Equipment Buyers Should Offer Multiple Payment Options

When you sell used network equipment, you also want to work with a vendor that makes it easy to come to an agreed-upon price and that can easily send the payment for what they buy.

Our buying process is simple:

  1. You send us in writing the equipment you’re looking to sell.
  2. We send back a quote for that equipment.
  3. You ship us the equipment.
  4. We verify the equipment’s in full operating condition.
  5. You get paid.

We’ll even pay you in advance via credit, and as long as all the equipment we receive passes our quality procedure, you’ll keep the full amount. But we can also send a check once we’ve verified all the equipment is in full operating condition if you’d prefer.

Information You Need When You Sell Used Data Center Equipment

You need to know which equipment you want to sell. And any specific information, such as the model numbers, you can provide about the hardware you want to sell, will be especially helpful.

It may also be helpful to take pictures of the model numbers for verification purposes. These will be helpful if you run into any discrepancies with your vendor about the equipment you’re selling.

Before you begin the process of selling used network equipment, you also need to have an idea of how much your equipment is worth. The best way to figure this out is to see what other vendors are selling the same equipment for, which you can easily do by browsing online.

To make sure you’re getting the best value for your used network equipment, you want to gather quotes from at least three networking vendors. That way, if someone is trying to underestimate the value of your equipment, you’ll know based on the quotes you receive from the others.

How to Prepare Pre-owned Network Hardware For Shipping

Whether or not the reseller you’re working with covers the shipping costs — like BrightStar Systems does — you’re still responsible for the packaging in most cases.

For packaging, the most important thing you need to do is make sure your equipment is insured. So before even picking up a router or a switch, check your company’s existing insurance policy to see if the used network equipment you’re selling is covered when it’s being shipped.

If it’s not, you’ll need to purchase mover’s insurance. This is not something you want to skimp on; your equipment should be completely covered in case anything happens to it. You have to protect your investment, and in this case, the best way to do it is to make sure it’s insured.

Another part of protecting your investment is using the right packaging methods and materials. There are a few things you can do to make sure you’re equipment is secure while in transit:

1. All devices shipping via FedEx/UPS Ground or Air should be packed in double-walled boxes. Each device should be wrapped in bubble wrap and should have at least a two-inch margin between the box and item(s) on all sides. Items should be completely immobilized inside the box once it is closed. Shifting/movement of packed items is the single greatest cause of in-transit damage. Fiber optic transceivers and rackmounts should be removed from devices and packed separately.

2. Use ½” bubble wrap for devices and ½” or ¼” bubble wrap for modules/components. ¼” bubble wrap is not recommended for switches/routers or other heavier items.

3. Pack in new boxes, not used boxes.

If you do end up handling the packaging yourself, make sure you give yourself enough time to get everything ready to go before the shipping carrier arrives.

It’s just as important to us as it is to you that your used networking equipment arrives safely, so if you have any specific questions related to shipping or packaging, please contact us.

And if you’re looking to replace the used network equipment you’re selling, be sure to check out our guide on buying pre-owned networking hardware. We sell used Cisco equipment, as well as pre-owned Juniper hardware and Arista devices in bulk for great prices.