The process where employees purchase IT equipment previously used for company operations is often called an "employee buyback" or "employee purchase program". This can include computers, mobile devices, servers, networking equipment, peripherals, and other technology assets. Here are some facts about this practice:

  1. Cost-effective: Employee buyback programs can be cost-effective for employees, as they can often purchase high-quality, company-maintained equipment at lower prices than new devices.
  2. Depreciation and Useful Life: Most IT equipment depreciates over time, both in terms of its financial value and technological relevance. Employee buyback schemes provide a way for businesses to recoup some of their initial investment once the equipment is no longer needed.
  3. Data Security: One of the key concerns with selling IT equipment is data security. Before selling the equipment to an employee, the company needs to ensure all sensitive data is completely and securely erased to prevent any possible data breaches.
  4. Environmental Impact: Employee buyback programs can contribute to a company's sustainability initiatives. By extending the lifecycle of IT assets, businesses can reduce e-waste and the need for new resource extraction.
  5. Policy Considerations: Companies should develop clear policies around buyback programs to avoid legal issues or potential conflicts of interest. This includes setting fair pricing guidelines, determining which employees are eligible, and establishing how and when equipment can be purchased.
  6. Tax Implications: In some jurisdictions, if the buyback price is less than the market value, the difference may be considered a taxable benefit for the employee. Both companies and employees should be aware of and understand the potential tax implications.
  7. Maintenance and Support: In most cases, once an employee purchases the equipment, the company is no longer responsible for its maintenance or support. This should be clearly communicated to avoid misunderstandings.
  8. Software Licensing: Companies must also consider software licensing. Most commercial software licenses do not allow for transfer from a business to an individual, so all commercial software should be uninstalled prior to sale.
  9. Supply and Demand: The success of an employee buyback program can depend on supply and demand. If employees do not need or want the type of equipment being sold, or if the supply far exceeds demand, the program may not be effective.
  10. Logistical Challenges: Buyback programs can also present logistical challenges, such as how to handle transactions, transfers of ownership, and storage of equipment prior to sale.
  11. Residual Value Calculation: Businesses should have a systematic way of determining the residual value of their IT equipment. This often involves considering factors such as the equipment's age, condition, and original cost, as well as market prices for similar used equipment.