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Used PCs a Tough Sell

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, May 30, 2001

Falling computer prices make the used market a tough sell. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bloomberg Bootcamp. A company called Yesterday's Business Computers has carved out a niche helping corporations to recycle old PCs. And CEO Tom Beer says when it comes to PCs... .the word old is relative... .

"The use of the of PC in the corporation field usually is from 27 months to 3 years. What we do is, within that time period when corporations do get rid of these PCs... we get them back, we clean them, we test them, we refurb them and then what we do is we sell them to the consumer or to educational markets. They'll use them for another three, four, five years at times. What that does is, it keeps the PCs from going into landfills."

An issue that's getting a lot of attention these days. Often YBC will help corporations set up employee purchasing programs for the used PCs. It also sells from its Web site..YBC1.com. That's where the concept... from our viewpoint... runs into problems. Why would you buy a used Pentium II 266 for 460 dollars for example, when you can order a new, low end Compaq, Dell or HP with significantly more power and drive space ... for two to three hundred dollars more? Nevertheless, Beer claims his business is growing...

"I'd say we handle close to half a million to a million PCs a year... growing very fast."

Limited supplies of Macs, monitors and printers are available as well. The used equipment typically carries only a 30 day warranty. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin, Bloomberg Radio.