Law: What you should consider when buying and selling used hardware

The sale of used hardware components is subject to detailed legal questions. Precisely worded purchase contracts are important.

When it comes to buying or renting used equipment, the first thing most people think of is the warranty. Is there one at all? Or is it limited because you’re not buying a new product? It’s no different with used hardware. However, there are other legal aspects that need to be taken into account.

The buyer of an item becomes its owner: “The purchase contract obliges the seller of an item to hand over the item to the buyer and to provide ownership of the item” (BGB, ยง 433 paragraph 1 sentence 1). With computer hardware, as with other things, it doesn’t matter whether a sales contract is concluded directly with the manufacturer or an intermediary becomes active – unless something goes wrong.

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As the owner, the buyer is entitled to resell or rent out hardware after it has been used. He can dispose of them – in compliance with the waste legislation. He can return them to the retailer or manufacturer, which in turn can legally be a purchase, and so on. In other words, he can do almost anything he wants with it.