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Old is gold and is cheap too!

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DQW Bureau
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There is a new breed of computer hardware providers jumping onto the old PC reselling band-wagon. Intel might have stop-ped shipping its Pentium I and II processors but this has not dampened the spirits of rese-llers who are still very much into reselling Pentium I and II-based PCs in the market.

These machines are being procured from different areas–while some of the vendors cash in on the old machines being sold by banks and other government organi-zations, some old PC resellers are bank-ing in on a number of IT com-panies which are going in for upgrades and in the process providing them

with cheap PCs of lower configuration.

“This is turning out to be a good business, there are a lot of companies and even if we consider the Gurgaon area–there are more than 150 IT co-mpanies and these companies are the source of providing such low cost PC systems. Once we have these systems, they can be sold to a wide variety of segments from schools to house-hold and from a small DTP operator to students all prefer cheap systems to suit their pockets,” informed Pra-mod Anand, MD of Gurgaon-based Harmilap Computer Care, a retailer which specia-lizes in refurbished computer gear.

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Old PCs from foreign lands is also a big source to get these old configuration PCs and sell them to their prospective bu-yers. “There are a lot of coun-tries within the Asian region as well as the US from where we get these old systems and sell them in India at cheaper rates,” informed another Delhi-based reseller.

If you happen to check aro-und Nehru Place, then you will easily find a used PC with Pen-tium I for as low as Rs 5,800. “We are giving Pentium II for Rs 7,000 and Pentium I for as low as Rs 5,800. There is a lot of demand for these systems and we get orders primarily from schools and other educa-tional institutions as well,” pointed out Pramod Puri, MD, Anand

Netcell.

There’s no trouble finding IBM, Compaq, HP and other branded desktop computers on store shelves these days.

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Unfor-tunately for resellers of new equipment, not all of these PCs are fresh from the box.

There’s a flourishing busi-ness in selling refurbished computers, servers, monitors and printers. CPU power vastly exceeds the needs of most mai-nstream software like Micro-soft Office, and the market is flooded by hardware from ban-krupt companies linked to the dotcom meltdown. So thrift-conscious consumers and busi-nesses are willing to settle for used PCs.

That also means it’s an increasing challenge to those trying to sell the latest in tech-nology. “We’ve been able to pick up some top-notch equip-ment at some bargain base-ment prices because of the number of Delhi-based high-tech companies that have gone out of business,” revealed Anand. Amongst his prizes–PI 100 MHz and 166 Mhz, 16 MB RAM, 1.44 MB FDD and 14 inch color monitor, all bundled for Rs 7,000. And PII 300 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 2.1 GB HDD with a digital 14 inch color monitor is being disposed of at Rs 11,500.

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“There are a growing num-ber of people who only want to surf the Internet and write letters. For these buyers the price of bleeding edge PCs is too sharp. We’ve had some resellers who’ve converted their full operations to do practically only used equip-ment, for the simple reason it’s easier to make money in this–higher margins,” added

Anand.

And this phenomenon is not restricted to the Delhi NCR only. “After the economic slowdown, the profits got squeezed as a result of changing market con-ditions, including the fact that the price of new computers have continued to decline. Also, the economy hasn’t been the greatest for people to continu-ally change their hardware,” informed KVR Menon, Presi-dent, TCCDA, the association of Hyderabad channels. “I think you’re going to see used equip-ment becoming a bigger part of the overall market, simply because (new) computers are not losing as much value as they used to.”

Added Nehru Place-based 2nd’s Computers, a company dealing into second hand sell-ing of systems, “There are a number of major organizations out there–banks, government etc, who have moved their des-ktop technology from a three year to a four year life cycle. That product is going to have to come out eventually. Some-body is going to have to take that product and put it into the secondary marketplace. And that’s what is happening.”

Zia Askari

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