Second-Hand Security Equipment: 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy It

Second-Hand Security Equipment: 3 Reasons You Shouldn’t Buy It


With the security industry evolving at a fast pace and regularly introducing new products, it is not uncommon to see used security panels or used security cameras for sale in pawn shops, or even online for a fraction of what professional security companies are selling them for.

Although a second-hand price might seem appealing at first, when you buy such devices you are truly taking a gamble; with not only your finances but also with the safety and integrity of your home security solution.

Here are our top 3 reasons why you should avoid buying second-hand security equipment.

#1 – System/Device Lock Outs

When professionally installed, security panels and cameras are registered to a specific customer (and sometimes company); meaning if they are not deactivated properly by the previous provider, the cameras and panel aren’t usable. Depending on the devices, doors and window contacts may also use a proprietary frequency, limiting their use to a specific company.

Even if the panel is compatible, the device will not enroll. Proprietary lockouts are becoming more common in the security industry as many providers look to limit customer options or enforce a long contract or lease agreement.

#2 – Reliability/ Confidence

When you think of security, you want to know your home is safe. You need to be confident in the solution you have as you are depending on the system to work when you need it most. When you buy second hand you may not know how old the device is, how it has been taken care of, if the batteries are dead, or even if it works properly.

Security sensors and devices have tamper switches that let security companies know if a device is being touched. These switches can be very delicate and a majority of the time you wouldn’t know if there was an issue unless it was enrolled to a panel.

#3 – Support

If you run into issues with your secondhand solution, how will you find the support to get your system operational again? What does a trouble light indicate? How are the batteries changed and are they specialty batteries?

Adding new devices, re-setting times, or entering programming for a variety of reasons can change how your system acts or reports. System changes normally call for an installer code and/or professional insight. Without proper support or service, you may be left to call a professional company that will be limited on the amount of support they can provide and may result in further investments into your home security solution once again.

When it comes to security, we recommend that you always buy new equipment from a trusted security partner who understands the protection needed for your home and will also be able to provide you support and service should any questions arise.

Check reviews and ratings on sites such as BBB, Renovation Find, Google, Facebook or more. If reviews are bad, or lots of customers are off loading hardware from a specific company, this could be a red flag.

Ensure you ask questions when buying a system and confirm your equipment will be new. Make sure to take advantage of your buyer’s right to cancel if you aren’t getting what you’re paying for.