Three Things to Remember When Buying Used Software


If you’re looking for a way to save on some of your business costs, buying used software may be one of them. Whether you’re looking to buy Customer Relationship Management software or basic accounting software for your small business, you may be able to get a good deal on older versions of software that are used. Since this software is likely to come with everything you need to get it running, it’s not a bad option to check out.

However, buying used software successfully takes time and patience. Here are three things to think about when investigating your used software options:

1. Always Read the Fine Print

Whether you’re buying online or through a local store, be sure you understand exactly what’s in the software package you’re buying. Sometimes you find deals on eBay that seem like they’re for the real software when you’re really just buying a beta, trial CD, or upgrade version. None of these is going to be what you want, so make sure you spend plenty of time really checking out what’s in the package. If you’re in a store, you might even ask if you can open up the box to check that all the discs and manuals are available.

Also, make sure you’ll actually be able to run the software. Some software is set up as a license situation in which you need a unique code to get started using the software. If that code has already been used, you might be flat out of luck.

2. Manufacturer Support May be Limited

One thing to remember is that buying used isn’t a great idea when you’re likely to need manufacturer support. Because manufacturers will often only support a user who has the original license, you won’t be able to call the manufacturer for free help even if you have the software.

It’s probably a good idea to check out the manufacturer’s limits on support before you buy more complex software. In fact, if you think there’s a very good chance you’ll need extended support while using the software for your business, then you might just consider buying a new one. If you can snag an older version of the software before it disappears from store shelves, you might get a better deal but still be able to get manufacturer support.

3. Deals that Sound Too Good

Before you buy any used software, know what the market is like. How much does that same software cost new? How much does it usually cost used from different places? If you find a deal that just seems too good to be true, it probably is. If the software you’re checking out normally costs $100 used and you find a listing for $50, you might want to step back from that listing. Oftentimes, this is pirated software and you don’t want to get your business involved in that at all.

According to the Business Software Alliance, about 25% of business software programs for small businesses today are actually pirated. Using pirated software can generate bad publicity for your business and you’ll also miss out on important updates and support. Plus, pirated software can contain viruses and bugs that can bring your whole system down. Besides all that, of course, you could get fined up to $150,000 or more for having a pirated copy of business software in your business.

What You Can Do

While much of the software sold on online auction sites is counterfeit and therefore dangerous to your business, you can go through a reseller or hire an IT specialist to buy your used software for you. Buying used software in and of itself isn’t a problem, but you do need to be careful about how you buy used software.

Whether you’re starting your own design firm or launching a service-related small business, having the right software is crucial. And knowing how to buy it used can save you loads of money now and in the long term.

About Ashyia Hill:
Ashyia Hill helps entrepreneurs compare best business credit cards at CreditDonkey, visit her website here.

Ashyia Hill helps entrepreneurs compare best business credit cards at CreditDonkey, visit her website here.

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2 Responses to Three Things to Remember When Buying Used Software

  1. TGF says:

    your points are really very useful for software purchasing because now any visitor can know how should and in which condition should he purchase any software.

  2. JK Jumbo says:

    Hey I was looking around on Cl and there were some excellent mac application offers on headings such as FCP and Aperture. I was just thinking what your people viewpoint was on purchasing used application off a website like craigslist.

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