Would you like 10,000 identical used PCs?

Reboot PC Logistics looks for partners to help it sell second hand kit into emerging markets.

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By  Neil Denslow Published  September 28, 2005

What happens to leased PCs and other pieces of IT equipment when the lease expires? In the case of one of the world’s largest investment banks, Maquire Bank in Australia, the items are collected by a subsidiary, Reboot PC Logistics, and then sold into emerging markets. Reboot has a nearly unique business model, but one that has proven to be highly profitable for both the bank and its partners. “We handle and test around 120,000 IT assets a year that have come off three year leases and then sell them globally,” explains Paul Da Silva, Reboot’s business development manager. “We handle everything you can think of — PCs, laptops, servers, PBXs, photocopiers, the works,” he continues. The assets handled and sold on by Reboot are obviously at least three years old. However, they have two main advantages that make them appealing, particularly in emerging markets. First of all, the equipment is considerably cheaper than new products, particularly because the bank has already been paid for the items by the original owner. This value, however, does not come at the expense of reseller profit, as Reboot’s channel partners do well out of the deal as well. “People who deal in new hardware are always complaining about their margins getting skinnier and skinnier,” says Da Silva. “For our partners though, the margins are getting fatter and fatter.” The second advantage Reboot offers is huge volume of goods, especially PCs and laptops, all of which have relatively recent technology. Importantly though, this volume also comes with standardisation, as all of the computers have the same specifications. This means that the company is able to fulfil the needs of large organisations, such as universities. “Recently, for instance, we collected 10,000 laptops from teachers all over Australia,” notes Da Silva. Reboot already ships at least three 40 foot containers of equipment a month into Dubai, although most of this is re-exported, particularly to Africa or the Indian Subcontinent. However, the company is looking for more partners both in the Middle East and beyond, as it seeks to expand its business even further.

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