Used computer sale continues

IUS Horizon

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Nathan Love, psychology and sociology sophomore, gets on a computer in a computer lab. Each computer in gets replaced every three years.

Nathan Love, psychology and sociology sophomore, gets on a computer in a computer lab. Each computer in gets replaced every three years.

The IUS Information Technology department is now selling computers through the IUS Bookstore. The sale started on Oct. 20.

Tom Prinz, manager of IT, said they legally must sell all of the old computers that get replaced.

“It’s part of IU purchasing policy,” he said. “We cannot hold any computers back for ourselves. All the old computers have to be sold.”

In the past, the IT department sold all of their computers during a huge, one-day sale.

Nick Rey, IT director of communication and support, said the old sale caused a lot of hassles.

“There were a lot of people in line on the day of the sale,” he said. “It took a lot of time and effort to get everything set up and ready.”

Rey also said a one-day sale cost more money for the IT department.  He said they had to pay the staff members who decided to help ring up sales.

“We used to take all of the help desk staff, Media Services, six or eight hourly staff, the Bursar’s Office and even a few officers from the police department,” he said. “Organizing it was a mess.”

Prinz said this is part of the handling fee, which also includes preparing the computers for sale. The IUS Bookstore is taking care of the overhead and it is also handling the machines.

Last year, it cost $10 per computer to cover the cost of the sale. The total cost for selling 370 machines would have been $3,700.

Barnes and Noble, the company in charge of the IUS Bookstore, is now covering the cost.

However, they’re receiving 13 percent of the total profit.

Jade Roth, Barnes and Noble representative, declined to comment.

Prinz said the one-day sale previously cost in excess of 12 percent per unit.

“Total estimated labor costs or lost productivity for the police, accounting, Media Services, Student Technology and network departments actually exceed their [Barnes and Noble] amount,” he said.

So, Barnes and Noble is taking over the sale, but Prinz said it isn’t a bad thing.

“It is cheaper and a hell of a lot easier,” he said.

Rey said IT approached them because they’re already set up as a retailer. This means they already have the equipment to read credit cards.

Rey also said the savings are passed on to the students.

“This route cost less for IT, so it costs less for students,” he said.

He said last year, one computer cost $225. This year, a standard Dell computer only costs $180.

Rey said he hopes people see some of the advertisements that are up.

“Since this is a change for them, we felt responsible for advertising,” he said. “Our goal is to have a small batch of computers available through the whole year.”

Prinz said the majority of people who bought computers last year weren’t students. He said they sold 270 computers by word-of-mouth and e-mail.

There are two computer models available. They are basically the same machines with the same processors, but the cases are different. There is no price difference.

Along with the computer itself, a purchase includes a monitor, keyboard, mouse and cables.

The IT department continuously replaces each computer every three years. This is done in a continuous cycle, meaning replacements take place throughout the whole year.

There are about 850 computers on campus available for students. About 800 of them are PCs while 46 are Macs. There are even more computers that are exclusive to faculty and staff.

So when one is replaced, the old computer is taken to the IUS Bookstore for sale.

The IUS Bookstore also has software available for each computer.

Prinz said this costs $27 for a student who shows his or her U-card and class schedule.

“This software retails for over $400,” he said. “It’s an under-used benefit.”

It’s available online at www.iuware.iu.edu.

By JOSEPH DEVER
Staff Writer
jwdever@ius.edu