Rest Assured: Product Testing for Refurbished Network Equipment

The thrift shop has always been a treasure trove for the frugal and pragmatic shopper– Macklemore will tell you himself. But when you purchase that denim vest or Russian fur hat, can you rest assured that it’s been checked for fleas, disinfected and cleansed from the smell of cat? Are you sure those seams won’t burst apart the next time you put on your crushed velvet blazer that you got for $5.99? That wallet says “Coach” but who’s to say the previous owner didn’t pick it up on Canal St in New York from a guy named Don wearing the same denim vest that you just purchased ? Now, I’m not knocking purchasing secondhand at all–in fact, I love it. But I’m careful; integrity is a virtue.

Here at planIT Hardware, we test each product that we receive to ensure it is of the utmost quality. When a supply of new or new-in-box items arrives, we’ll open a box to test a sample for quality assurance purposes. Allow me to further extol the virtues of buying used/refurbished/end-of-life by setting your mind at ease with this explanation of our testing process here at the warehouse.

When an item first arrives at our warehouse, it often comes with a test sheet or sticker, certifying it has been tested and evaluated. Nevertheless, we will test regardless. The first thing we look for are physical defects/damages. We will place a circuit board, for example, under a microscope, ensuring that things such as capacitors and resistors are intact. Once it passes visual inspection, we will insert it into one of several chassis in our lab to make sure it functions properly. If it’s damaged and we cannot repair it, we will send it to a specialist who can.

Our process is fairly extensive from here. Let’s say a switch passes visual inspection. We will then connect it to a console and see if it is pre-configured. If it is, then we will set it back to factory defaults and wipe out any data that’s on it. This is a big part of our service, as setting an item back to factory defaults is a big convenience for end-users.

After this, we’ll run diagnostics on it and continue cleaning it up. Part of the process from here includes firing up ports and passing data across them to make sure they function. We will do whatever we can to test an item; if we don’t have the proper chassis to test an item on we will borrow a chassis, outsource testing to specialists, or purchase the proper chassis to add to our lab.

Once an item’s been tested. We will print out test sheets, attach them to the piece of the equipment and set them out to be stored. If the item is bad, we’ll repair it. If there are exterior cosmetic defects, we’ll repaint or refinish items to restore them. We’ll even clean out dust from the inside of a piece of equipment to ensure it’s in better condition than when we received it.

And you can be assured that our items are original and from the manufacturer. This is probably the biggest concern in the used market. If research is necessary on our end, we will make sure we know every last detail about how an item does and should function. If we find out an item that we’ve received is a counterfeit, we don’t mess around: we will destroy it no matter what. We will never send a counterfeit item back into the market, not even to the person or people who passed it to us–we’ll destroy it and send evidence back to the supplier that it was a fake.

So, unlike that Russian fur hat that’s suddenly making you itchy, you don’t have to wonder if our items are clean and authentic. When it comes to product testing, planIT Hardware has integrity.

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