Before anything else, let us define the term ‘off lease.’ Off lease refers to equipment that has been leased to and used by a company, then returned to the leasing agent after the end of the lease period. You see, some businesses lease their equipment for about five years instead of buy them. When the equipment is returned, the leasing agent (or sometimes a third party) inspects the equipment, repairs any damages, cleans it and repackages it in order to resell it.

Let’s say a consumer leases a computer for a period of time (usually between one to five years). When the lease period is up, the computer is returned, tested and repaired, repackaged and resold as as an off-lease computer.

A lot of public entities, businesses, institutions, and consumers opt for off-leased products to save a lot of money. But there are some things that you need to know first before buying an off-lease product.

Off-lease equipment has several quality designations according to the machine’s condition. A Class A designation means the product is in very good condition. This is usually sold with some level of customer support and a limited warranty. Class B means the product is also in good condition but is using an old operating system (Windows 98, ME, 2000, NT). They are usually sold with very limited warranty and no customer support. Class C means the product is functional but has not been prepared for reselling. It may sometimes be worn out or damaged. This is sold as it is and without any warranty. Class D means the product is in poor or unknown condition. This is sold as it is and with no indications of functional condition.

Off lease computers can be months to years old and some of them still carry the manufacturer’s original warranty. Typically, class A products will be not more than 3 years of age. They will still be retaining the majority of their useful life. In the marketplace nowadays, the difference between a new computer and, say, a two-year-old system is generally of no consequence to normal office operations. So, unless you require high end computer technology such as for graphics manipulation, there is a big possibility that your applications will run satisfactorily on hardware manufactured during the past four to eight product cycles. New computers are introduced at a rate of six to eight months but more or less, your business should run perfectly on hardware made in the last two to five years.