Used and abused, but certified

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IBM Global Financing Australia has launched a certified used equipment service which will sell refurbished off-lease equipment online and through its distributor and dealer channels.

IBM Global Financing Australia has launched a certified used equipment service which will sell refurbished off-lease equipment online and through its distributor and dealer channels.

While the vendor already sells off-lease products through around 90 direct and indirect channel partners, the refurbishment of this equipment was “not as comprehensive” or certified by the vendor, said Andrew Rutter, general manager of IBM Global Financing Australia.

The financing division of Big Blue is claimed to be one of the largest IT financers in Australia and New Zealand with around $1 billion in assets under lease. Around $500 million, or half of these assets, are non-IBM products.

“Every year, over 200,000 [product] serial numbers expire at the end of lease, of which 150,000 are PC or PC-related products,” said Rutter.

He said the certified program further “extends IBM's capacity to refurbish used PC equipment to create a new tier”. He said there is a demand for used equipment to be equal in its reliability to a new technology platform.

The 'certified' service is targeted at consumers and companies that can't afford to buy new equipment, Rutter said. These buyers would be students, parents and home users.

Refurbished ThinkPad notebooks will be the first product category made available at www.ibm.com.au, followed by desktops and other equipment, the company said.

Before an off-lease machine receives 'certified' status it undergoes a 30-point testing process. For a ThinkPad, for example, IBM would check everything from lid seal clips to scratches on the screen, the company claimed.

It would also replace the battery and mouse indicator points, while the hard drive would be completely wiped. The majority of PCs certified are those returned to IBM after two to three year leases. Equipment not meeting the requirements for certification would be sold through the company's remarketing partners, IBM said.

The used products are sold with a seven-day money back guarantee and 90 day warranty with an optional service pack warranty extension, IBM said.

The company is currently in the process of selecting a band of distribution and reseller partners to on-sell the service, Rutter said. “We'll be operating through a distribution-type model. We're still in the process and it will be finalised in the next month,” he said.

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