Refurbished computers are one of the most efficient solutions for computer recycling, since there is little processing involved. Rather than going through the expensive hassle of separating out a machine into its constituent materials and treating each one separately so it can be used again, cutting out this whole process is a lot better for the environment and cheaper for everyone involved.
However, it’s not always ideal to opt for refurbished electronic products. Under certain circumstances, there are risks involved when you don’t know the full history of a product. We have previously gone through the types of electronics that are rarely suitable for buying second-hand, but in other cases, you can get a great bargain by knowing what to look out for. The perfect circumstances for buying refurbished will most likely include the following.
1) A good return policy
Having some time to change your mind, even without having to provide evidence for your reason, is especially important when buying used electronics. You can’t be sure of a computer’s history just from looking at its box or even the product itself, and if you’re getting a cheap deal on something that isn’t even claiming to be in “like new” condition, there could be any number of problems with it. 14 days or more is ideal for a returns policy, but even seven days is better than nothing. If a store doesn’t let you refund any refurbished item, it’s unlikely to be worth the risk.
2) Long warranty period
Refurbished items won’t have their original warranty intact, but they should start a new warranty period from the point they’re sold to you. 30 days is OK but not really long enough for hidden problems to surface in a computer. 90 days is better, and many shops will offer this. A handful of major retailers may provide up to a 12 month warranty on refurbished items, which can make for a great deal. Others may offer a warranty as a paid add-on, so you have to weigh up the costs of this.
3) A reliable brand
Ultimately, the difference between similar deals on offer may come down to the brand you trust the most. Big names are more accountable when things go wrong as they have nationwide or even international rules and policies to follow, plus a huge reputation to maintain. A smaller store might go out of business before you even realise they ripped you off, so you should account for this risk. Ideally, a trusted brand will mean you don’t have any problems to complain about in the first place.