Gameplan: Buying Network Hardware on eBay

eBay: the once-final frontier for drinking ostriches and Coca-Cola playing cards. In the eighteen years since the company began, the online auction giant has had quite the fall from digi-grace. With competitors like Amazon and Google cropping up left and right to take the wind out of its innovative sails, it would seem online consumers haven’t found much of a need for a dedicated auction-style marketplace when shopping for their various wares. Even after implementing a marketplace for fixed-price retailers to sell from, the company struggled to retain its integrity. Then, in 2008, something unexpected occurred: eBay’s CEO since 1998 stepped down to make way for John Donahoe, a man with little to no tech industry experience. It is this man who led the much-needed turnaround that has brought about the rejuvenation of eBay over the last 4 years or so.

After announcing a revamped fee structure which lowered prices for sellers to list but charged them more if their items actually sold, Donahoe shifted the focus away from auctions to hone-in on the Marketplace aspect of the website, effectively making eBay a full-service e-commerce merchant. eBay doesn’t compete with its retail partners directly, but offers them prime real estate to reach out to their consumers and implement special eBay tools, such as the ever-prominent PayPal payment service.

So, can eBay be considered a trusted source for purchasing network equipment? Now that the company has regained its integrity and won back a massive audience of well over 100 million active users, eBay is once again a safe place to go looking for what you need, at the price you need it.

Gameplan Technology, the digital marketplace pseudonym of planIT Hardware, offers plenty of used and refurbished network equipment on eBay to run your business at top speeds. Some companies you’ll find on eBay don’t carry these items in stock—instead, they’ll list them, find them, buy them from a reseller (perhaps even us!), drive the price up and sell it back to you. Gameplan Technology has the means to directly offer this equipment at a lower price; we broker decommissioned IT equipment and sell it to you, heavily discounted.  We’ll even buy back any equipment that you’re looking to sell.

So, eBay took a big, long bath and has come out looking fresher than that guy from Bel-Air. Stop by Gameplan Technology’s shop and check out all the fine wares, stranger!

GreenIT: Technology Recycling and Responsible IT Disposal

Everything’s gone green.

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technology recycling!

Even though the lyrics have nothing to do with being eco-conscious, that New Order song was the first thing I thought of before writing this post. And then I realized that, despite all the trends and fashions that have come along with going green, the self-righteousness and ignorance alike from both sides of the debate, there is still such a thing as responsibility. More on that later.

There’s an age-old saying that it’s easier to destroy than it is to create. An object’s disposability often belies the efforts and resources that were spent in making it; the same is true for IT disposal. When we’re on to the next flashy piece of technology, we will ditch the old model with little understanding of the consequences. The very same technology that surrounds us may be churned out and updated at an excessively rapid pace, but there is quite a bit that goes into the production of that dusty old computer. A UN study found that 48lbs of chemicals, 530lbs of fossil fuels and 1.5 tons of water are used to produce one desktop computer tower and CRT monitor. For real.

So, what can you do? Better yet–what can planIT Hardware do? Remember trust falls? Don’t worry…I’ve got ya.

planIT Hardware has started what we like to call The Green Initiative. We want to produce environmentally responsible network solutions, and we think you can help. According to a 2009 report by the US Environmental Protection Agency, of the 3 million tons of e-waste disposed of in the US, only 17% was recycled. Just the act alone of buying from us is a big step in the right direction toward technology recycling. When you purchase used network equipment, you’re helping to stymie the production of new products (and, of course, you will save money). On top of this, we have our Asset Recovery Program.

Our Asset Recovery Program pays you to be responsible by extending the lifecycle of network hardware. Before you go taking your IT hardware out with the trash, you may want to think twice. Contact us about our buyback program and let us give you a quote. If a business deal can’t be made, we’ve got environmentally conscious IT disposal alternatives we can provide you with.

Either way, it’s a win.

Beefing-Up Your Home Network

The home network. It used to just be a simple luxury. Beeps and tones and hisses would communicate our home’s personal computer to the good ol’ folks over at AOL or Prodigy and we would wait for 5 minutes to hear that creepy “You’ve Got Mail” guy’s voice or watch a gif of a dancing baby. Now, we work from home, challenge every claim by “giving it a Google,” and stream the latest episode of Gossip Girl  The Walking Dead. It’s extremely important to have a beefed-up homenetwork these days, and network hardware manufacturers like Cisco offer up a bevvy of options for both corporate Goliaths and the Davids sitting on the toilet with their iPad. “So what are some ways to get my wifi network as fit and swol’ as Dwayne ‘The Rock Johnson?” you might ask. Read on, you bandwidth junkie!

No one ever seems satisfied with their ISP (internet service provider), and I’m not here to discuss the merits and downsides to each one, but even the most inept of internet services will benefit from a grade-A router. Your router is like a really good wingman–they’ve got your back and will help you look really ridiculously good, even in spite of an inadequate ISP.

A good router (with a wireless access point) will unlock the potential of your ISP. Let’s say your particular plan offers speeds of up to 30mbps. Any connection over 20mbps is going to benefit from a router with wireless-n capabilities. Wireless-n offers more speed, more security, more range and more overall reliability to your internet connection. It has the ability to reach speeds of up to 150mbps, rivaling the tried-n-true wired ethernet connection. planIT Hardware has a boatload of different models and styles of routers and AP’s ([wireless] access points) on offer.

Let’s say you’re happy with the speeds your router is producing, but your house is awkwardly designed. You walk into the kitchen, and suddenly, your connection cuts out. You’ve just hit what is affectionately known as a dead zone, friend, and it can be combated with what is known as a wireless repeater (or range extender). These handy helpers can be small and stylish, depending on which models you go with. Cisco offers some pretty sleek ones that planIT Hardware can offer at 60-90% off list price. The wireless repeater will grab the signal that your router is producing on the other side of the house, throw it out and spread it like lawn seed, creating a second network out of it in the process. Remember Play-Doh? It’s like taking a ball of that and ripping another piece out to make a second ball. More fun for everyone!

One other item you could include in your internet arsenal is a high-gain antenna for your wireless AP or router (if it has a built-in access point). The standard antenna that comes with your router/AP is likely going to be omnidirectional, meaning it shoots the signal out in all directions in equal proportions, all around the router in an “expanding circle,” so to speak. I personally have been very frustrated when I could receive a better signal at the bottom of my driveway than in my own living room. With a high-gain antenna, you can focus the bulk of the signal in a particular direction you’d like it to go in (in my case, getting it away from the outside and in to the other side of the house). Replacing the standard antenna on your access point with a high-gain one can make all the difference.

All of these items can easily be found at incredibly low prices from planIT Hardware. Get a quote today!

End-Of-Life, or New Beginnings?

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Out with the old, in with the…less old

Any frugal businessman with a commanding twirly mustache or businesswoman with powerfully sharp but elegant eyebrows knows that buying refurbished is the way to go (as we saw in our previous post). One of the many benefits outlined therein was that of purchasing an item that technically has yet to be used. Yes, that’s right: you can buy “new” items at “used” prices.

Today we’re going to talk about the term “end-of-life” and what it means for the IT hardware industry and its consumers. Firstly, what is an end-of-life product? Sounds bad…

Think again!

“End-of-life” (EOL) denotes that an item will cease to be marketed, produced or sold by a vendor. There are many reasons why an item may be handed an EOL announcement; marketing demands may change, and there are constant innovations and advancements in the technological realm. When an item is given an EOL date, consumers can expect support and spare parts to be limited for that particular product, before it is eventually phased out altogether by the manufacturer. That sounds terrible, you may say–au contraire, mon frère, this is rather glorious news.

When an item is given an EOL date, prices for that unit plummet in the best way possible. And by choosing planIT Hardware as your network hardware reseller, you’re already getting your equipment at 60-90% of what the list price is. The downside of all this is that while unit prices decrease dramatically, the cost of manufacturing spare parts for said unit increases–so a power supply for an EOL Cisco Nexus switch could be more expensive than it once was. Now, for the good news (isn’t it always better to get the bad first?): if you find a spare part on planIT Hardware, it’s going to cost far less, and that price increase from the manufacturer is going to feel inconsequential at best.

The smartest thing about getting an EOL product from a reseller like planIT Hardware is that we will offer you a warranty and support. Even in the unfortunate event that your hardware is not performing optimally a few years from now, and it’s past your 1-year warranty (for end users) or 90-day warranty (for resellers) with planIT Hardware, there’s no need to kick yourself over not buying a new product! You could still buy another end of life item from us and still not have paid the price you would have for one unit at list price.

So it may be the end of the line for that Cisco 2950 as far as the manufacturer is concerned, but as far as we’re concerned, it’s a whole new, affordable beginning for your home or business network.

The Myth of Brand New: Why Used and End of Life IT Hardware is the Way to Go

Everyone wants that shiny new toy. When we’re kids, it’s the latest action figure or doll. When we grow up, not much changes; we want the latest offering from Apple or the flashiest Jeep on the lot. There is a prevailing myth that when we buy something brand-new, we are making the best bet and casting our lot with the soundest investment. And when it comes to IT hardware, this myth still clouds the judgement of even the savviest of businesswomen and men. Why should I settle for a toy another kid has played with? Why wouldn’t I want a car with no miles on it? These are the first thoughts that get in the way of a consumer making the wisest purchase.

We live in an interwebs-dominated culture. Whether we’re sharing the best cat memes (but seriously, have you seen the one where two of them play patty-cake??) or placing an order from the comfort of our desk, it’s important to have reliable network hardware that will fuel the very IT network our hobbies and livelihoods course through.The copious benefits of buying refurbished vs. new should become abundantly clear after reading this ever-so-handy highlight that, like a white knight, will vanquish the horrendous dragon that is The Myth of Brand-New from the kingdom of your mind (see what I did there?).

 Purchasing used network equipment will save your wallet from undue distress.

Who doesn’t like to save money? It’s like getting free money just for being super clever about how you purchase (aka frugality). Refurbished & used IT hardware resellers, planIT Hardware in particular, will offer you the same powerful equipment at 60-90% the cost of buying at list value, so you can beef up that IT network of yours.

 You don’t have to compromise on warranties and protection

This isn’t the back alley. Any reputable Cisco reseller, for example, will provide some sort of warranty with purchase. planIT Hardware offers a 90-day warranty to retailers and a 1-year warranty to end users (rest easy, friend).

 Experience appreciation instead of depreciation!

You know that guy that’s always selling last year’s iPhone to help pay for this year’s? Don’t be that guy! The majority of new technology depreciates in value (by 50%!) in about 18-24 months, just like a new car would. And then there’s you, sitting pretty with your used Cisco router. A wise investment, indeed.

 Who said anything about “used”?

Sure, some refurbished items may be lightly used, but most these items are restored to like-new condition by professionals–and then there’s the fact that some items were never even used, but simply returned. The only difference? The price tag.

“Says who?”

IT hardware items are tested for integrity by folks who know, so you can have confidence in the quality of what you’re purchasing.


These are just a few of the many reasons to buy refurbished. Older IT hardware will often use up less electricity than the newest models, helping you save on energy costs. It’s the “green” thing to do, if you’re eco-trendy. The list goes on…

Bottom line: buying used is just plain smart and buying from PlanIT is just plain…smarter.