Selling Servers by Proxy?

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The average lifespan of a server is approximately three to five years. It’s not an exact science, but given the rapid rise of cloud computing and digital transformation, the appetite for server power is ever increasing. This means old servers are hitting the market with greater frequency; but, what do you do with them? After all, there is still value in old servers, and where possible it is always a good idea to avoid pushing them into landfill.

There are in fact, numerous options you can use to sell servers, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks. It really comes down to your specific requirements, so let’s look at the pros and cons of each option.

Broker Bin
Broker Bin is a B2B platform exclusively for resellers, with some unique benefits and drawbacks. The network is fairly tedious to sign on for, and average consumers aren’t technically eligible for the platform.

The saving grace of Broker Bin is that, if you do qualify, its patrons altogether form a fairly comprehensive secondary marketplace for used IT. If you are going to sell your used servers yourself, this is the safest and best place to do it. However, selling off more than a few servers may be too time consuming, even if you do manage to qualify.

Craigslist is somewhat risky, as the sale is between two anonymous parties without escrow or helpful scam compensation policies. If you send equipment to the wrong person, recompense is unlikely.

Do not in any case sell equipment to someone who you are not able to physically meet. Trust is earned, not assumed when using this platform and scams are prolific for anything of relatively high value. The upside is you will get to keep all of your revenue. This is only for people who have a lot more time than money and think they can get a good enough price to justify the effort. Keep in mind most people looking for equipment are bargain hunters, so getting top dollar is not likely.

As eBay charges hefty seller fees, and unless you already have a reputation built up, with good ratings it can be hard to find buyers. It may also be more difficult to find buyers who can appreciate the value of your hardware on this platform, given it is primarily for consumers.

Therefore, eBay is generally only going to be a good option for someone who already has a solidly established reputation on the platform and does not have enough servers to sell, to warrant finding a lower cost option.

IT Asset Disposition Services (ITAD)
When you’re wondering how to sell servers, IT asset disposition (ITAD) services are generally not the first option people think of. This is unfortunate, as for many specific cases, ITAD provides the most convenient method to bring sizable returns for your used servers.

For companies needing to liquidate a larger number of servers, selling them off piece by piece on consumer platforms like eBay or even Broker Bin is not always viable. The logistics and time constraints make it a less effective option than taking slightly less money for someone else to do all the work. A reputable ITAD vendor can be on site rapidly, is certified for secure data destruction, and will pay you a fair price.

Reddit can be more reliable than craigslist in some ways, and less reliable in others. On the one hand, you can explore user’s profiles more easily and see if they have reputable post history. On the other hand, there are no safety mechanisms in place to avoid being scammed, and depending on the subreddit you’re on, the demographics may be poorly suited to giving you a full price offer. Overall this is slightly more advisable than Craigslist, but neither are recommended.

Donate for tax benefits
Of course, you could just donate your servers to a school or other eligible institution, which has tax write-off benefits. If the servers have depreciated significantly, the company balance sheet may very well benefit more from a donation than a resale. An ITAD company will often be willing to facilitate the donation process and handle logistics.

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