As we have explained before, just because one person is finished with a laptop or computer, this doesn’t make it the end of its useful life by any means. They can usually be returned to the manufacturer for various reasons in return for a proportion of their money back (depending on the condition of the item). This means the manufacturer is able to “refurbish” them, which only means they do whatever is necessary to get the computer back to a saleable condition.
This may require very little effort, but the price reduction when it goes back on the market can be great. Buying refurbished laptops instead of new can save consumers a ton of money, as you can often get a PC that’s indistinguishable from a brand new model for just a fraction of the cost. Of course you are taking a bit of a gamble because part of the reason for the low prices is to disguise the difference between different refurbishing jobs. Some of the reasons a PC might be classed as refurbished include:
You can’t be sure what has happened to a laptop in the past if its box has been opened, but in the vast majority of cases, it means someone has simply opened the packaging before deciding to return it. Most of these would be exactly the same as a new unit inside.
Damaged during shipping
If a product’s packaging is damaged during shipping, it will most likely be sent back and the manufacturer can no longer sell it as new, even if the laptop or PC inside is actually unharmed.
Units that have previously been out on display in stores, even if shoppers couldn’t actually use them, are sometimes classed as just refurbished and may not be explicitly labelled as ex-demo models.
Defective or repaired
A computer may have had one or more faulty elements replaced to get it back into full working order. With this you are relying on the repairs being done to a high standard, and assuming the fault was correctly identified. These should be the cheapest type of refurbished laptops as they come with the highest risk.
Some of the original accessories or extra elements may be missing, which can dramatically reduce the cost of an otherwise perfect product. If the missing items are of no consequence to you, you can get yourself a bargain.
Not knowing the history of a relatively expensive purchase can be understandably off-putting for some people. A refurbished unit may be labelled as any of the above conditions, or it may remain a mystery what happened to it in the past. Either way, the best advice is to opt for trusted manufacturers when you make your purchase, or local companies with a strong reputation. Specialists like these will usually have an official refurbishment program with manufacturers like Dell and HP, and hold every unit to the same high standards before selling them on – just look for a factory certification of some kind. This means they are working as well as they would brand new.
This should give you peace of mind as you have someone trustworthy to go back to if you do have any issues (and on that note, you should make sure you have an agreed warranty and returns policy just in case). This allows you to enjoy the benefit of all the money you saved by not going for a brand new model! Of course it’s also better for the environment and overall a much more efficient way of replacing your old computer.