Gigaom says Cisco second hand market will grow – huh – well of course it will. Here are my tips for doing it.
If you haven’t been buying Cisco second hand from authorised and reputable suppliers then you are stupid. Really, electronics doesn’t wear out, it just loses meaning (performance, features, imcompatible with some other new piece of kit.
Here are my tips for recycling success:
- look carefully for suppliers of second hand units that can be put under Cisco maintenance. (Yes Virginia, it can be done).
- if you are using reseller maintenance (sigh), check that they will put the second hand gear under maintenance. If not, get the reseller to sell you second hand equipment, many do, they just don’t like it because it is hard work for them and less profitable (and not to mention that Cisco takes a negative view of resellers doing this). Be patient but firm with the reseller, and be ready to change if necessary.
- Expect to have supply problems. You can only buy what is available, sometimes stock runs out before your purchase order can get there. PLAN FOR THIS. Think about your options.
- don’t expect to buy latest gear, you will get a Supervisor III for your 6500 but less likely to find Sup720. Set your expectations low, do the research to understand what features are missing from older kit and software – after all, its a recession you haven’t got anything else to do.
- get ready to be surprised about how little you are not getting. I am often surprised about how well it all works out.
- test, test, test – but you were doing that anyway …..weren’t you? Add some time for soak testing.
- be smart and buy some spares. You are already saving a shed-load of money, don’t be stupidly tightfisted and buy spare parts. Then you can rotate parts in case of intermittent problems. You can always return what doesn’t work.
- be really smart, and pick the moment to buy new. It is one thing to buy five year old 3640 routers for the branch office in the Orkney Islands, but buying SupII / C6500 for your new strategic data centre relocation might not be such great value.
Try to form a relationship with your second hand supplier, if you work with them, they will help you right back. You can only buy what someone has sent to them, so your second hand people can sometimes re-queue equipment to good customers.
I have followed these concepts for a while now, when the opportunity is the right one. Sometimes having the right module is more important than having a new module.