Springfield, MO

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Used computers can get job done for lower cost

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by Ann Bucy

SBJ Contributing Writer

When it comes to buying a computer system, buying brand new is not the only option. But what is the payoff in buying used equipment?

Mark Hunsaker, store manager at Computer Renaissance, 1145 E. Republic Road, said the reason some businesses are going with used systems is "they realize the importance of value."

He added, "People need to ask themselves what they're using it for and not just get the biggest and best. Often, a used system can work just as well for their needs.

"We sell a variety of products: from the 486 to the Pentium," Hunsaker said. "I believe that used computers are still pretty much capable of anything you throw at them."

A basic computer monitor and printer can sell for as little as $400 to $500. "If you're wanting to do basic word processing on it, along with e-mail and some Internet, a used computer is perfect. The old ones aren't worn out, they're just not as fast as the new ones."

So where does Hunsaker's store get its computers, printers and other accessories?

"The majority come from a lease buy-back program we have with big banks and credit companies," Hunsaker said. "The companies use them for two years and then need new ones. Secondly, we get them from people who come and trade them in."

How do you know you're getting a product that works? "Everything is tested before we'll accept it."

The store also offers only equipment that can be upgraded, and the store provides technical support so that any repairs that are needed can be done there without shipping the computer somewhere else.

Dynamic Solutions, 3710 W. Chestnut Expressway, is another locally owned company that sells, buys and trades used computer systems. The store gets its computers from a variety of sources.

"We do everything in-house including repairs," said Michael Dunbar, the company's owner.

He said he also prides himself on the fact that his employees are very thorough in checking out the equipment that comes through the door.

Dynamic Solutions buys the equipment it will later sell from corporations and from individuals.

"We get new systems from big companies like Compaq and Gateway because they're not working. Then we fix them and turn around and sell them," Dunbar said.

The employees of Dynamic Solutions have set up some of the systems they've sold in law firms and in schools.

"We've even had people come in here from other countries to buy computers that were going to be used in the schools back in their homeland," Dunbar said.

Even though large businesses have been known to come to them, the company is also there for the person who just likes to tinker and wants some bare-bones equipment, Dunbar said.

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