Buying discount computer hardware
Most major computer stores offer discount computer hardware, parts and memory in their sales but if you're on a tight budget then used computers might be the answer. Used computer equipment can be bought for a fraction of the cost of new computers; even store sale prices don't compare. Unfortunately it does take a little more effort and caution to find the right computer.
A lot of people are dubious about buying used computer equipment but it's not as risky as it first appears. As long as you know where to look and what you're looking for, you should be able to find some decent wholesale or discount computer hardware that will serve you just as well as a new computer. The reason for this is because the value of computers decreases quite dramatically once it's been sold, no matter what sort of condition it's in.
Where to look for discount computer hardware, memory and parts
Searching online will throw up a lot of possibilities and it can be a quick, easy and cheap way to find and purchase the computer you need. The problem is you may not get the opportunity to test the equipment before you buy it and, in the case of online auctions, you may not get any technical support out of the deal.
There are countless computer stores that take in old computers, refurbish them and then resell them. Some of the computers they sell may be older equipment that could require updating. However, many of the older models are sufficient for ordinary business applications. Having the latest technology is not always necessary but it does depend on your specific needs. Check local phone books for computer recycling centers, dealers and second-hand stores.
If you're after more modern discount computer hardware then buying used computers wholesale (directly from the manufacturer) is the best option. Big names like Dell and Compaq sell refurbished equipment at a huge discount but with the same warranty as new products. This is because most of the computers classed as used are computers that have been sent back within 30 days of delivery or were ordered but never delivered. This gives you the opportunity to buy reliable equipment from a reputable vendor but at significantly lower prices.
Proceed with caution
Always test used equipment before you buy it. You should be able to take other components along, such as a keyboard or monitor, to facilitate the test.
Make sure you know exactly what you're getting for your money. It's common practice for some second-hand dealers to remove certain components, such as RAM and drives, from computers and these can be expensive to replace. This is especially true of components that can only be purchased from the manufacturer of the computer i.e. cables and connectors.
When buying used computer equipment it's a good idea to contact the manufacturer to find out what sort of support and service is available for your chosen model.