Broadline distributor Ingram Micro Canada is getting into the refurbished PC business. The company has created a new service that will supply numerous brand name computers and peripherals to resellers through an outlet called Ingram Micro Outlet that will work inside its Mississauga, Ont. facility.

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by Paul Busch, the new service will handle refurbishing including reverse logistics, product restoration, auditing, testing, RMA and limited warranty packages.

The refurbished PC market has not been kind to new entrants. Last year Encore Asset Management and Logic Box, two prominent used PC vendors, both closed up shop citing limited market acceptance. The only strong player currently remaining in the market is CDI.

Murray Wright, general manager of Ingram Micro Canada, called the refurbished PC market “”fragmented”” with too many small organizations that did not have the opportunity to scale up.

According to Wright, the difference between those smaller firms and the Ingram Micro Outlet is that the distributor is trusted in the market place.

“”We were getting feedback form our customer base that they were purchasing product from small independents and it inspired us to look at that market. After we did some investigation we think we can go to market with some talent behind the program,”” Wright said.

Wright added that Ingram Micro Outlet is a complementary service to vendors and resellers and not the foundation of Ingram Micro’s strategy going forward.

However, he did say that this new program would help both vendors and resellers in there environmental programs.

In the U.S., some states have passed legislation forcing companies to dispose of computer equipment in a safe and environmentally friendly way.

“”If you do a large transaction of 300 desktops, what happens? They throw the old computers in the dumpster.”” On the other hand, one bank he knows doesn’t get rid of its old PCs because it doesn’t want to contribute to the environmental problem.

Ingram’s program “”is a friendly disposal option, and by the way if any of them can be refurbished they can go back into the market place,”” Wright said.

He added that these computers are as good as new and come with better margins than new equipment. Those margins will depend on the product and how many units being sold in the deal.

Sourcing products for the outlet will come from customer returns, product trade-ins and off-lease products.

Initially the outlet will target resellers in the small to mid-size market place. But, Wright said that he was surprised to learn that several large corporations buy refurbished PCs.

“”I thought it would be more end users and I was surprised how many multi-national companies were buying these products, but our market will be the vendors who cater to the SMB market,”” he said.

Ingram’s major competitor, Tech Data Canada, came up with its own solution last year by forming a partnership with SecondarySource.com Inc., a Markham, Ont.-based reseller of used, off-lease and manufacturer over-run gear, to buy used hardware form Tech Data customers for credit on new purchases. Resellers on their customers are responsible for shipping hardware to SecondarySource.com.

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