Emerging Industry Overview: Used Computer Equipment Reselling

Industry Snapshot

Often overlooked in the computer hardware business, the used equipment trade is fragmented but vibrant. In a world begging for electronic connectivity, the future for the industry appears bright on the surface. However, conflicting interests between for-profit and nonprofit entities have kept prices for refurbished hardware at modest levels. Moreover, breaches in security, which have left some end users of recycled computer products vulnerable to hackers, viruses, and identity compromises, or left them in possession of sensitive data from other previous owners, warrant more extensive regulation and control of the market. Moreover, concern for environmental waste from discarded information technology (IT) hardware (" e-waste ") increasingly tugs at the sleeves of governmental agencies for more pressing attention and action.

Notwithstanding, the industry continues with forward momentum, compensating for low profit margins with high volume and rapid turnover of components. Private and public initiatives to contain e-waste and recycle computers have cropped up in even the smallest of communities and countries, and an increasing number of countries have united to control and regulate the importation and exportation of used or refurbished computer hardware and software.

Organization and Structure