As in any electronic niche, there are pros and cons involved with buying business telephone equipment online. The online marketplace is home to more dodgy sellers and ‘once-off’ refurbishers than you can imagine. But it is also the playground of legitimate businesses that want to give you and your business a great deal.
These companies make it easy for you to see how credible they are, so that you do not get confused between them and the ‘dodgy’ businesses that will take your money and run. Here are some pros and cons of buying telephonic equipment online.
- Buying online often means greater choice, between brands and between systems. If you want to find something that ideally suits your business, there is no greater arena than the Internet.
- Buying business telephone equipment online can be a lot cheaper, if you are also buying from a local source. Sellers purposefully run promotions on their sales websites to trump up more business—and you get the benefits! In addition, you can buy second hand equipment direct from the original manufacturer.
- When you buy equipment online you are able to take advantage of the many comparison websites online that lead to better purchasing decisions. Things like user reviews, social proof and customer feedback is also available for you.
- If you need something fast, the Internet has it. If all local shops have failed you, there is bound to be one online that can help you find a phone part or whatever you need. Then you just need to order it, get overnight delivery and presto!
- There are unscrupulous businesses and business people that are just out to make a quick buck off you. They set up fake or poorly run businesses and then sell you tragically bad equipment. These same people are never reachable after you realize that you have been caught out.
- If a store goes bankrupt, as many online stores do—it makes the warranty for your equipment null and void. This means that even if you did get a great refurbished product, if it does not last—there is nothing you can do about it.
- You cannot inspect the item before you buy it. There are stock standard pictures on these websites and some are downright false. What you pay for and what you get can be very far apart if you are not careful.
What Can You Expect?
It is hard to say what you should expect with refurbished equipment. It really depends on the company that you choose to use. If the company is real and customer-centric they will ensure that your refurbished phone system works like a charm.
- Expect a phone system that works as advertised. That means there should be no discernible difference between the new model and the second hand model, once it has been refurbished.
- Expect identical models, not models that are 10 years old and masquerade as the same thing. If the image is the same, that is what you should be getting. Check that the hardware and software is identical to the new original.
- When a used phone system is installed by your business phone provider, they will make sure that all of your staff are trained to use it, and that it is set up for use from the very first day.
- Most manufacturers or business telephone companies provide free or paid lifetime support for a phone system that you buy from them, regardless of whether it was new or second hand.
- Expect a one-year warranty on any and all refurbished business telephone systems, including software and hardware.
- Expect good refurbished systems to be from the large brands like Alcatel, Samsung and Panasonic – which guarantees their durability and quality.
- Expect qualified, certified technicians to come to your offices and install the refurbished telephone system, just like they would with a new one.
- Expect support regarding replacement parts or spare parts if you need any by the original supplier or manufacturer.
- Expect to be sold a refurbished system that meets your growth needs and does not contain any out-dated parts or hardware that you cannot get anymore.
In other words, you should expect the same quality service from your business telephone service provider, only they will be installing a more affordable, second hand system—instead of a brand new, out-of-the box system that will cost you a lot more.
For start-ups this could not be a more attractive way of ensuring that your business has the communications infrastructure it needs without overspending on the initial set up. It is exactly why more and more small companies are beginning with refurbished telephone systems.