Many people have started purchasing refurbished laptops in the last couple of years. They may not be fresh out of the box, but they are usually excellent value if you don't mind a slightly lower battery or performance.
Buying a refurbished laptop could mean that you save hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
There are some trade-offs here, though, and in this article, we will investigate them. By the end of it, you should be able to come to an informed decision on whether you want a refurbished laptop or a new one.
When people hear the term refurbished laptop, they automatically assume that the refurbished laptop is second hand.
This isn't the case. A refurbished laptop is simply an item that has been returned to the sellers for some reason after unboxing. The sellers then restore the laptop to factory settings and clean it up to look good as new.
All of the data on the laptop is wiped professionally, and inspections are in place to ensure that it works exactly as promised.
A used laptop comes with none of these promises. You don't know where it has been or how it has been treated.
Where Do Refurbished Laptops Come From?
There are a number of different sources for refurbished laptops. Sometimes businesses trade in their old laptop, for example.
There are also a lot of failures or defects that lead to a return. These are then fixed to trading standards before being sold as refurbished.
A lot of refurbished laptops also come from shops where they have been used as display models. These refurbished laptops are essentially a brand new laptop that has never been used apart from running a demo program.
Guide to Buying a Refurbished Vs New Laptop
If you are considering purchasing a refurbished laptop, ensure that you follow these tips to ensure that you don't get ripped off.
Tip 1: Never Forget The Warranty
The most important tip on the list is to always ensure you get at least a 1-year warranty from the seller. Some laptop sellers don't offer this service, which can lead to customers being burned when the laptops break.
Always look into the warranty and ensure that the terms and conditions are reasonable.
These days, the standard is to offer a 1-year warranty, so be cautious of any sellers that do not provide this.
You should also check that the returns policy is generous, allowing you to test the machine and return it if it doesn't live up to expectations.
This is one of the reasons we prefer Amazon when we want to buy refurbished laptops. They offer great return policies on their refurbished warehouse section.
Tip 2: Test Your Laptop Right Away
When you receive your laptop, ensure that you inspect it straight away. You should be looking at a laptop that is immaculately clean and has no scratches or damage. The keyboard should not look worn and should feel new to type on.
The cosmetic standards of sellers do vary, however, so try to check the specifics of your sellers. They may allow for some small cosmetic damage.
The sooner you test your laptop, the better, especially if you need to arrange a return.
Tip 3: The Difference Between Private and Certified Sellers
When buying a laptop from places like eBay, there are no checks made on the quality. This means that you are purchasing a product based solely on the seller's promises.
Our advice would be to stick to proper refurbish companies like those found on the Amazon Refurbished site. These at least have to follow a number of regulations and rules in order to be approved and have to answer to Amazon when things go wrong.
Are Refurbished Laptops Good?
Buying refurbished laptops can be a bit of a gamble, but it can pay off massively. Sometimes you can purchase a laptop in practically new condition for a fraction of the price it would have cost you new.
Once you have unboxed it and used it for a few days, it will feel exactly the same as if you had bought it brand new!
What About Their Lifespan?
One thing you may have to consider when you buy refurbished laptops is that they may not last as long as a brand new laptop out of the box. This is due to the battery draining from previous use. This could range in severity, but most refurbished laptops will probably last 6 months - 1 year less than a brand new offering.
Buying refurbished is the trade-off between price and longevity - The perfect choice for when you need a new laptop but don't have the funds or are happy to sacrifice that new computer smell in order to save a handful of cash.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Is it safe to buy refurbished laptops?
Buying a refurbished laptop does come with some risks. However, it is many times safer than purchasing a 2nd hand laptop. With a refurbished laptop, as long as you do strict research into the returns policies and conditions the sellers use, you should get a great deal.
Are dell refurbished laptops reliable?
Dell is a brand that we speak highly of here at TechGearoid. Their solid approach to building high-quality laptops means that their laptops are incredibly well made. This means that they withstand the test of time relatively well, making them the perfect refurbishment laptops.
Can i return a refurbished laptop to best buy?
This will depend upon the item, head to their terms and conditions page to find out if your specific product is returnable.
Is it worth updating an old laptop?
Usually, you will be better off swapping in your old laptop and using the funds towards a new or refurbished laptop. If you are really attached to your laptop, you might be able to speak to a refurbishment company and ask them to do a private job for you.
So, Should I Buy A Refurbished Laptop?
Hopefully, this article has given you some useful tips and the information you need to make an informed decision. Remember to make sure that any refurbished laptops that you buy come with a warranty.
It is also important that you research the company you are buying from. If they have a shady returns policy, you will be better giving them a wide berth. When in doubt, head to Amazon. They offer the best returns policy and hold their sellers to a strict set of guidelines.
Holly Curell is a US-based freelance writer & editor extraordinaire. With over a decade of writing technical manuals, blog articles, & even company communications, Holly has a passion for providing value to readers on everything she knows about tech-related topics. When she’s not writing, Holly enjoys reading, hiking, wine, & wandering the aisles of Trader Joe’s. Holly is currently based out of North Carolina, where she lives with her husband Ken & their three children.