It’s Housecleaning Time: What to Do With Old Hardware

Posted by Amanda at Varay on Dec 20, 2017 1:29:09 PM

The best ways to say goodbye

Pile of old computer hardware | Disposing of old computersAt Varay, we’ll be the first to tell you that staying on top of modern technology is a vital smart business practice.

Still, we understand it’s far more bitter than sweet to upgrade those old computers, printers, and other essential business pieces.

The whole process stings: that stuff wasn’t cheap in the first place, and now it’s essentially worthless.

But as part of keeping your business edge in today’s tech-dependent world, there comes a time for all old hardware to retire.

(Click here to learn about what happens when businesses don’t retire old computers.)

You don’t always have to throw away those once-precious office relics

As I cleared the dusty old monitors and processors out our own over-supplied supply closet, I couldn’t help but feel a little guilty just tossing them in the dumpster.

Not only that, but the gravity of disposing of them in a secure manner also weighed on me.

As the dust of the new year settles around us, you may be in house-cleaning mode as well, so here are some tips for disposing responsibly of your old hardware, and securing any data that remains hidden on it.

Make some money on eBay or Craigslist

You paid a pretty penny for this old hardware back in its heyday, so why not recoup some cash as you upgrade?

Pile of shipping boxes on computer | Disposing of old computersPeople are still happy to purchase old hardware secondhand for basic use and for parts.

It’s really pretty simple to set up an eBay seller’s account. Here and here are a couple helpful how-tos about getting started on eBay.

You can make it an opportunity to invest in some budding entrepreneurs.

Consider finding a responsible teen or two and giving them the tools to set everything up and manage sales and shipping for you! I enlisted my niece and nephew to handle the job in exchange for some business experience and a commission on each sale.

Craigslist is a free option (eBay has a seller’s fee), but it doesn’t have some of the seller protections and convenience of eBay. Here are some Craigslist tips.

Donate old hardware to a charitable organization

If selling your old hardware isn’t the right option for you, there’s also the option to donate your equipment to a charitable thrift organization, like Goodwill Industries or the Salvation Army.

One really nice advantage to donating your old hardware is that many organizations will come to your office and pick it up for you.

No shipping hassle, no folding down car seats, and no dumpster-side cardio sessions.

Goodwill Industries also has an awesome (and extremely important) free service that we’ll hit on more in a minute: they’ll wipe all the old data off your machines for you, removing any of the security concerns that come with donating.

Whatever you choose, make sure your data is secured

Data thief stealing off of old hardware | Disposing of old computersKeep your eye out for our next post with the down-and-dirty on keeping any data stored on your old hardware safe, but here’s what you need to know now:

  • Anything with a driver can have data on it (including computers, external hard drives, printers, and old phones).
  • Thieves know to look in dumps, in thrift stores, and online for used equipment for potentially useful data.
  • You MUST take care of any stored data before disposing of old hardware.
  • Your options include wiping data commercially or in-house, or encrypting it so it can’t be accessed.

As we mentioned above, Goodwill Industries makes this part painless by not only picking up your old hardware, but also wiping all the data off it before putting it out to sell.

Ready to replace that old hardware? We can save you money.

Contact us today to set up a free visit to determine your IT score and gain a better understanding of your business’s needs, and be sure to ask us about our partnership discounts!

Whether you’re part of a for-profit or non-profit entity, we can help you identify the best hardware for your organization — at the best price.

Topics: business, Hardware, maintenance, security