Compaq UK auctions end of line, refurbs

Going cheap

Compaq UK is setting out its stall as the purveyor of secondhand and unwanted new PCs. Its own PCs, mind you - the company is flogging the kit through a new auction site, powered by Fairmarket.

Compaq reckons the weekly auctions will attract mostly small businesses and consumers, but as it is offering only up to 30 lots each week, it is making damn sure to choke off demand from bigger customers.

The first auction started yesterday and bidding closes on Sunday. But be careful not to pay too much, especially if you are bidding for refurbs. Order a copy of Micro Mart, the main UK mag for advertising secondhand and end-of-line stock, to get a flavour of market values.

As David Matthews, Compaq UK home and office business manager, points out the auction offer "an effective way to maximize our return on end-of-life and refurbished products". In other words, Compaq gets more money than through offline means, partly because punters pay higher prices than they do offline. ®