The Pros and Cons of Buying a Refurbished Laptop

By Justin Hun  •  May 14, 2014

Today, owning a new electronic device can cost hundreds—even thousands—of dollars. With new advancements such as voice dialing and even fingerprint protection, the businesses that develop these ideas are constantly battling one another to create the next big thing. Design updates are arriving far more quickly in recent years, and companies such as Apple are able to push out a brand new iPhone every summer. With these facts in mind, consumers are looking to refurbished devices to cut costs.

The word “refurbished,” in technical terms, means the product was previously purchased or owned and returned to the manufacturer or vendor for various reasons including: usage for field test or sales display, personal reasons, damaged box, previously leased, or donated. In order for an item to be considered refurbished, it must be properly verified and tested by the manufacturer to work properly. But there are a few things to look out for when buying a refurbished laptop or any other item:

 

How Much to Spend

Pro:

Buying a refurbished device could save you hundreds of dollars on the latest item, but in some cases you might only save just a few tens of dollars. In my opinion, if the price is considerably that much in difference—I would just pay for the brand new item. Brand new items (if you can afford to pay full price) are normally backed up with at least a year warranty by the manufacturer. You will have to do some researching around on the products being sold; you have to look at the product model to really determine how much you will save.

 

 

Con:

If you want the latest and greatest model, you’ll most likely have to pay a bit more. New items tend to have the lowest return rate because the mechanics as well as the software should be improved from the previous model. In this case, they’re harder to find. With a stroke of luck, though, you might run across a new model under refurbishment, but businesses understand the market and will usually sell it at a slight discount to keep a profit.

I recommend doing research on the product and company. Apple devices tend to last a bit longer because they are built sturdily and offer updates to keep Mac devices up to date. Lenovo also has a long lifespan. Just make sure what you’re spending on is going to last a long time. Also, be cautious if you do decide to buy from a third party website, including eBay and Craigslist. They can’t guarantee that your device will work or provide a warranty.

 

Choose Where You Buy Wisely

Pro:

There are many websites you can visit to find a used laptop or electronic device. I have bought from trusted websites that also offer great deals and offer including Tiger Direct, Newegg and Apple. These websites offer a satisfaction guarantee as well as a minimum year warranty covering the devices that have already been proven to work. You can even purchase an extended warranty if you feel you might need it.

Con:

In most cases refurbished items sold at a store or online are only backed up by whomever you bought them from, so if it does break down or malfunction, you don’t get the full coverage that you would with going to the manufacturer. Apple and Samsung have some of the best customer support services around to make it easy for you to get your product fixed or replaced.

 

 

My Recommendation

I like the idea of buying a refurbished laptop. They’re guaranteed to work and or have been fixed. Depending on the release date, it could have been used excessively and simply had the battery replaced or had the parts cleaned—meaning it’ll work virtually like new. Refurbished is just a type of form you can get your device; “used” or “open box” are also a cheaper way to get an expensive product. Used just means that it was put to daily use by the owner and open box means the box was opened for a matter of reasons but not used to the extent of being deemed used. I recommend the following stores:

Companies I would suggest that offer great customer service and deals:

Lenovo and Newegg offer trade-ins where you can trade in your old laptop or any old device and turn it into credit toward your new laptop. That’s a big incentive to get rid of that old device you don’t need anymore. 



Justin Hun Justin Hun Justin Hun has an obsession with food and books—especially books about food. His favorite past times include watching the Food Network and researching for ways to save money and be cheap.


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