Garry Seaber, 53, of Highlands Ranch, who started a computer-refurbishing company in his garage, IT Liquidators, and now has a 6,000 square-foot warehouse in Littleton, along with Highlands Ranch and California offices, just recently launched a new division to help nonprofits save money.
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Seaber - who developed his computer and business skills during years working with IBM and other companies in California - sells computer equipment to nonprofits at discounts ranging from 30 to 50 percent.
"We're still making some money, but not like normal," he said about Tech4NonProfits' profit margin. But, he said, he thinks it's something really worthwhile for the community.
Seaber, who has an economics degree from UCLA, established his own company after he made the move in 2004 to Colorado, a family vacation spot, because he wanted to move out of Southern California — to gain a desired lifestyle change for his family.
He said IT Liquidators' main business is buying large amounts of outdated computer equipment from corporations, upgrading it and installing new operating systems. Seaber said he then sells the equipment to companies with limited equipment budgets who have found they get substantially more for their money if they buy refurbished equipment instead of new.
The new Tech4NonProfits division gives nonprofits that same lower price plus the additional discount.
Seaber, whose company also gives 10 percent of profits to charity from computers sold on Ebay - currently the beneficiary is a program that places chaplains in jails -decided to do this for nonprofits after discovering they often aren't very "tech savvy."
He said he found they often didn't have a "reliable and trusted source for high-quality, reasonably-priced technology" and were buying new equipment from manufacturers and not getting fair prices.
"Those people have more of a servants' heart," he said.
Their focus is to serve a particular need in the community, meet those needs, raise donations, deal with coordination of other resources and so on, Seaber said.
"(But) they still need technology to support their mission," he added.
So, Seaber's Tech4NonProfits division is selling to them refurbished equipment with operating systems such as Microsoft Office and Windows 7, as well as giving them free shipping; free returns; and a 120-day money-back guarantee, instead of the 30-day guarantee typical for used equipment.
The other thing he's doing now is helping other corporations do more for nonprofits. He said he likes to encourage companies donate outdated equipment to nonprofits.
Seaber said when he buys used equipment from corporations he offers to refurbish up to 10 percent of it if the corporation will pay the cost of refurbishing - and then he gives the updated equipment back to the corporation, which then donates it to the nonprofit.
He said the nonprofit now loves that corporation because it has received donated equipment that it can actually use - and which will be useable for three to five years.
And the corporation loves it because the donated equipment, in its newly refurbished state, has doubled or tripled its tax-deduction value.
"Meeting Garry and being able to get all of the computer equipment for our office has allowed us to work much more effectively," said Kip Pyle recently, office and technology manager for nonprofit A Strong Tower Ministry, which helps people recently released from prison.
"We serve more than 1,100 men and women each year and 90 percent of them have used our computer lab to connect to resources they need for re-entry into society after prison life. Garry and his company are truly a blessing to an organization like ours."
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