The Case for Buying Refurbished Computers

Woman with Laptop Outside

You’re living in a “pre-owned” home, and it’s likely that your car was owned before, too. So why does your computer have to be brand new? 


Refurbished computers are as good as or better than their brand-new brothers, and buying one (instead of buying new) could save you hundreds.


“Refurbished” just means “returned to the manufacturer for some reason and then resold.” Along the way, a computer might be repaired, upgraded, cleaned, or simply tested and repackaged—only 5%of all returned electronics are ever found to be defective.


Plus, when an item is refurbished, it gets a personal inspection by a technician. That’s better than the quality assessment for most brand-new computers, where one out of every 100 might be pulled off the line for testing.


All of the major manufacturers, including Apple, SonyDellLenovo, and IBM, sell refurbished models. Keep in mind:

  1. Always buy directly from the manufacturer or a reputable authorized dealer. You want to be sure that the refurbished device meets manufacturer specifications.
  2. Demand a valid warranty. Most refurbished devices come with a standard one-year warranty and optional extended warranties. Be wary of “deals” with very limited or non-existent warranties.

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Refinishing school. Have you ever purchased a refurbished computer? Why or why not?