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Caveat Emptor


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UnRaid users with spare gear are often a great way to pick up some needed components at a great price, but please do your homework before committing to a purchase:


1 - Beware the BR10i controller (or anything based on the LSI 1068 chipset). Although a great unit for 2T and smaller disks, it does not support anything larger. Buy it and your upgrade path is limited.


2 - Know the payment terms. Anyone that wants you to gift the purchase price in advance cares about protecting themself but not you. Unless you know and trust a person, protect yourself.


3 - Sellers should post or offer smart reports on any used drives. Reallocated and/or pending sectors are a bad sign. Anything that says "failing now" is also very bad. CRC / UDMA errors are signs of bad cabling, not a bad drive. If in doubt post the smart report. Advise is free!


4 - Compare the price to new. A new item may be available at or very near the used price, especially if you factor in shipping, and paypal fees. Newegg's new Shoprunner service gives free 2 day shipping and can bring used with shipping and new with free shipping very close.


5 - Confirm what accessories you are getting or not getting. If in doubt, ask. Don't assume that just because your offer says that this price assumes all accessories are included the seller is acknowledging he has them. And don't take sellers word that you don't need something. Even something as trivial as special screws are critically important if such sizes and lengths are impossible to find locally. SATA cables, motherboard I/O covers, mounting plates, LED cables, air blockers, filters - the manufacturer included them for a reason. Factor missing accessories into the price you are willing to pay.


6 - Good packaging. Think about the hassle of a broken component. The seller is going to blame the shipper. You have no credit card protection. Face it - you are likely going to get the short stick. Ensure seller is going to pack securely. Some components are especially susceptible to damage. Drives are one, and require more than bubblewrap. Controllers and motherboards need static free. Drive cages (e.g., 5in3s) are little more than hollow boxes. One drop on a corner and the thing is out of true. The tolerances are tight. For such items ask if the original box and packaging is going to be used for shipping. My Supermicro CSE-M35T's came in a box with high density foam and was sturdier than anything I have ever bought.


7. Research the seller. If he's reporting problems on this or another forum that look hardware related and suddenly selling his stuff ... enough said.


Report good experiences (and not so good) back to the thread. We have no other feedback mechanism and this will help future buyers and sellers. Just give factual accounts. Personal attacks or insults or back and forth bantering will result in posts being deleted and threads locked without warning.


"Hey, let's be careful out there."


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Definitely agree.    While none of us like to acknowledge that the value of our nice, shiny new hardware deteriorates like a new car when you drive it out of the showroom, the facts are that it does.    Yet it's not at all uncommon for a poster to ask for nearly new prices when advertising gear on the forum.


As bjp noted, INFORM yourself - check the new prices;  ask for SMART reports on any drives you're considering AND get the serial #'s and do a warranty check if they're advertised as "still in warranty".    Also, if you're buying older used drives, compare the cost/TB with a new, higher capacity drive -- which would also have a nice new warranty.


There ARE some very good values advertised, and some hard-to-find parts as well -- so DO take a look at what's offered, and don't try to "steal" it ... the sellers DO deserve a fair price.  Just be sure that you've compared the cost to what you'd pay for new equipment -- I've seen several cases where you could buy a new system with BETTER specifications than what was offered for the same price.


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