Eurocom starts its own trade-in program

If you should happen to have an old notebook, server or desktop PC doing nothing more than taking up space, Eurocom Corp. says it will take it, and let donators save 20 per cent toward a new notebook.

The Corporate Trade In program, launched in August will run indefinitely. Both business and consumers alike can trade in their minimum Pentium 486-class machine for the latest Intel Pentium 4-based portable technology. The Nepean, Ont.-based white box maker will refurbish the traded merchandise and then donate the old equipment received under the program to various charitable organizations such as Computers for Schools and other not-for-profit organizations. The company is accepting both Eurocom and non-Eurocom products.

The rationale for the company is twofold – to boost exposure while attempting to increase its sales in a market that has remained relatively flat to down for the year. Proof that sales remain slow came from Intel Corp., which recently cuts the prices on its Pentium 4 desktop processor and mobile 4-M processor. The 2.4GHz Pentium 4 now costs US$193 in 1,000 unit quantities, a decrease of US$400 while the 2.26GHz and 2.2GHz chips were marked to US$193 from US$241.

Eurocom president Mark Bialic said the program is an opportunity for customers to save “because they are getting new technology at a discounted price.” While he acknowledged that increasing sales is a motivation, he said it differs from similar programs from other hardware vendors.

“The Eurocom program is different because, in a sense, we donate all the equipment to non-profit organizations,” he said. Those who take part can choose from all Eurocom notebooks from a 14-inch display model up to its top of the line 17-inch display.

A slew of companies including Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Gateway and IBM all have some form or variation of a trade-in program for old equipment, but as one industry analyst noted, Eurocom has several key points that makes this offering unique.

“What separates Eurocom is the fact that they are Canadian. One of the key factors for growth in the notebook market is desktop replacement. This program really plays upon a trend in the market – it really targets the desktop users who would like to move towards a notebook but who feel that cost is a hindrance,” said Michelle Warren, PC industry analyst at Evans Research Corp. in Toronto.

She said making the program ongoing offers buyers a unique opportunity of not having to rush to buy. On the downside, “It’s only 20 per cent and you could always try to get a little more somewhere else,” she said.