Price shopping. We all do it. I can’t tell you how many times I was at a big box store like Target or Best Buy and left without buying anything because I found a better price by searching online on my smartphone.
This type of buying behavior has become common in the business world as well. While entertaining multiple quotes or bids has always been a good practice, online price shopping for IT equipment isn’t necessarily going to lead you down the best path.
You might be able to find your hardware online from a reseller or on eBay for a much lower price than your IT company quoted you, but there are some common pitfalls to watch out for. Some of these items could have “fallen off the back of a truck” or were used by another company before, which many vendors don’t allow unless it’s been refurbished through an authorized dealer.
Your hardware and software should also have active support on it from the vendor. If you were to buy your equipment from a questionable source, it could have been used before or be an international serial number, which likely voids any possibility of support for you. Most support is tied to the account of the original purchaser, so if you call in for support and they can’t identify you, they may not help you. On top of all that, most of the pricing you’ll see online does not include the support you need.
Physical Repairs/Replacements in Location of Origin
This can be a function of support. If you buy something that may be an international serial number and were able to get support, you still may have to ship it back to its original location for any repairs or replacements. Additionally, replacement parts might be shipped to the purchaser of record (which may not be you), or the level of support you think you have is unsustainable depending on your location.
Many vendors license the software out to the purchaser of the hardware. If you buy hardware that was previously owned, you may be using it illegally. If you buy hardware that’s end of life, you cannot renew the support on it at all and again, are out of compliance. This puts your organization at risk for legal action from the vendor.
This is all to say that your trusted IT company can spec out the right hardware, software and support for you. When we spec out the solutions for our clients, we consider the workloads and other use cases, disaster recovery and other growth needs. We also make sure that the best level of support that is required is included.