Navigating the ITAD Landscape


It doesn’t matter what you call it: IT Asset Disposal/Disposition (ITAD), Electronics Recycling, Surplus Liquidation, End-of-Life Asset Management, or Value/Investment Recovery—it’s all the same thing. This might be offensive or disagreeable to people working in the industry trying to come up with new buzzwords to differentiate their businesses, but let’s get real! The bottom line is that organizations of all types and sizes need to get rid of used IT equipment when it’s upgraded, broken, or no longer serves a purpose.

This process typically requires the following:
Tracking the assets for tax purposes or to maintain an accurate database Ensuring that no data still resides on storage media that may be sold to another party Managing the logistics of de-installing, moving, storing, packaging, and shipping decommissioned assets Making sure e-waste is disposed of responsibly and in compliance with state and local regulations Getting some money back for equipment you just paid a fortune for a few years ago In my experience working with a wide variety of companies going through this process, there seems to be a common attitude among stakeholders: they don’t like dealing with this!! Most IT people get excited about playing with new technology, not getting rid of the old stuff. So let’s break it down so you can dispose of your old equipment with minimal effort.

There are essentially four types of companies you might end up working with in your quest to get rid of used computer equipment: Electronics Recyclers. “Go green!” These companies tend to have big warehouses in shady parts of town with an army of workers tearing down computer equipment in order to sell the scrap metal. You’ll be able to recognize them by their constant offers to pick up your equipment for free. Usually their website is covered with environmental paraphernalia to convince you that you’re doing good for the planet by gifting them with your old equipment.

Use this company if you are just looking for a quick and easy way to clear out some closet space. Don’t use this company if you actually want help assessing the value of the equipment or need advice on how to manage a large-scale disposal project. IT Asset Disposal (ITAD) Firms. “We used to be electronics recyclers and then graduated to the big leagues!” ITAD companies have evolved their pitch and process to sound more like an IT services firm than a waste processing facility. Many of these companies have fancy software and can pick up equipment anywhere in the country. They favor companies looking to sign long-term contracts.

Use this company if you want money back but don’t want to put much work into it or if you need an account manager to help you dispose of equipment from multiple sites. Don’t use this company if you are price sensitive. The premium service can carry a high price tag if your equipment doesn’t have any value. Also, be careful if the company has only one location and you sign a nationwide contract. You’re probably footing the bill to ship assets cross country to their facility.

Brokers/Resellers. “We actually know about the technology you’re getting rid of!” There are a ton of these guys, so it’s hard to tell who’s legit. They will pay the most for your assets, by far! The ITAD companies and recyclers are selling to these guys, so you can cut out the middle man by dealing with them directly. However, they are not service-focused companies, and they’ll only work with you if you have exactly what they specialize in.

Use this company if you really want to get every last penny for the equipment you’re getting rid of and don’t care how much time or effort it takes you. Don’t use this company if you want help with logistics, destroying data, or recycling the really old stuff that they don’t want. Avail Recovery Solutions. “Best of all worlds!” Avail Recovery Solutions bridges the gap between the three types of companies mentioned above. We keep a database of recyclers, ITAD partners, and brokers that can be tapped when they complement a particular type of project or product line.

This approach helps our clients safely dispose of equipment anywhere in the world, save loads of money, and get more back for the good stuff. Basically we go to bat for you and take the guesswork out of IT asset recovery.

Use this company if you want to achieve an optimal economic outcome on each asset recovery project while receiving a high level of service and care. Don’t use this company if…who I am kidding, use this company!

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