Is Dell Refurbished Good? The Truth, Pros, and Cons

As I see new Dell PowerEdge servers costing anywhere from $3,000 to $12,000, companies are understandably looking for ways to reduce infrastructure expenditure.

IT professionals are being pressed to do more with less and seeking alternative options to deliver on necessary projects.

Purchasing refurbished or used Dell server equipment has become an increasingly popular option, offering potential cost savings of 40-90% compared to new.

But is buying refurbished Dell servers too good to be true? Are there risks associated with pre-owned hardware that make new equipment a better long-term investment?

You may have had your own disappointments buying used from certain corners of the internet, but don't worry, there are other options!

Let’s examine the key factors to determine if refurbished Dell delivers on performance, reliability, and value.

The Cost Savings of Refurbished Dell Can Be Substantial

For most organizations, the primary driver for considering refurbished Dell servers and other pre-owned IT gear is the significant cost reduction compared to buying new equipment.

With professional refurbishing from a reputable provider like Alta Technologies, businesses can expect to pay 50% or less compared to retail pricing on new Dell servers.

With new enterprise technology refresh cycles averaging 3-5 years, the savings from even a single refurbished Dell server purchase can be substantial. For larger deployments, savings of tens of thousands of dollars (or more) is possible.

Refurbished Does Not Mean “As-Is”

I mean, it shouldn't mean that - if you're dealing with a long-time, reputable vendor.

A common misconception is that refurbished equipment is being sold “as-is” with no protection or recourse if issues arise. In fact, purchasing refurbished Dell servers from Alta includes a warranty so that you have time to establish a maintenance plan. If hardware problems occur during the warranty period, replacement parts are provided at no charge.

Having a strong warranty and support structure in place differentiates buying professionally refurbished gear from “buyer beware” used equipment with no guarantees. Reliable refurbishers stand behind their workmanship and parts replacements.

Rigorous Inspection, Testing and Repairs


A.L.T.A. (Assured Longevity Through Assessment)

Responsible refurbishers like Alta Technologies have multi-step processes to thoroughly inspect, test, repair, and upgrade Dell servers to like-new condition before reselling equipment. Inventory sourcing is also meticulous, focusing on well-maintained corporate IT environments rather than unreliable sources.

Refurbished Dell servers must pass comprehensive functionality and stress testing. From processor speeds to RAM capacity to network card throughput, all aspects are verified against manufacturer specifications. Any parts not up to spec are replaced before sale.

Access to the Latest Equipment

Buying refurbished opens up access to more advanced Dell servers and configurations that may be outside the budget if purchasing new ones. While the latest generation PowerEdge servers are hit or miss as pre-owned stock (maybe a half gen back), refurbished models from 1-2 generations back can still represent major capability improvements.

Without refurbishing, the latest server technology would remain financially out of reach for many organizations. Refurbished Dell servers strike an ideal balance of current features and discounted pricing.

Technical Support is Still Available

Reputable refurbishers like Alta Technologies provide technical support and assistance before and after purchase to ensure optimal integration and continued performance of refurbished Dell servers. We even offer extended maintenance plans to support you at a higher service level or beyond the warranty period, if you're not already putting the equipment under your own maintenance.

Ongoing maintenance needs can also be cost-effectively met by purchasing used and refurbished Dell server parts, retaining the cost savings versus buying new replacement components.

Potential Drawbacks of Refurbished Dell

While purchasing refurbished Dell equipment from a proven provider delivers immense value, there are still a few potential drawbacks to consider:

Supply limitations- Refurbished inventory depends on corporate trade-ins and decommissioned equipment. Specific Dell server models may not always be available. But with Alta’s stocking capabilities fine-tuned over the span of more almost three decades, this con rarely applies. Alta stocks over 1.3 million systems and parts across all lines.

The Bottom Line

When purchased through a reputable source like Alta Technologies, refurbished Dell servers represent a smart investment that allows organizations to reduce IT infrastructure costs substantially without sacrificing performance, reliability or support. For the majority of use cases, pre-owned Dell enterprise hardware makes good technical and financial sense.

As leaders in IT hardware refurbishing for over 28 years, Alta Technologies removes the risks and uncertainty associated with purchasing used equipment. Our extensive inventory, rigorous testing procedures, warranty coverage, and expert assistance ensure that refurbished Dell servers meet the most demanding data center needs while embracing sustainability.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Dell refurbished mean?

Dell refurbished means pre-owned Dell servers and components that have been thoroughly tested, repaired, and upgraded to meet or exceed original OEM specifications by a certified IT refurbishing company like Alta Technologies.

Is it better to buy used or refurbished?

Buying professionally refurbished Dell servers is recommended over “as-is” used equipment. Refurbishing ensures quality, warranty, support and optimal performance that used gear does not provide.

Is refurbished better than original?

When you work with a quality provider, I believe that refurbished Dell servers can arrive with a lower DOA rate than even new servers.

These are systems that have generally been "field tested" so they've passed the DOA rate you experience in the first weeks post-install. Then we test the equipment again on the way in, and after it is pulled to ship to you. The gear is essentially "triple tested" in this manner.

Ready to explore your refurbished Dell server options? Contact the experts at Alta Technologies to find affordable enterprise solutions to power your business success.

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