Buying a refurbished laptop can be a great way to save money, but that’s only if you know what you’re getting. Refurbished laptops are sometimes sold as new, because in many cases the only thing that’s been done is a software update, and the warranty is still valid.
However, when you don’t know exactly what you’re getting, it can put you at risk for buying a product with hidden problems.
For instance, a refurbished laptop may have been returned for any number of reasons: broken screen, motherboard malfunction, or even theft recovery.
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If you buy one of these machines, it’s possible that the reason it was returned will become your problem as well—the computer could be missing parts or not boot up at all. In some cases, the computer may have been returned because someone spilled coffee on it and never got around to fixing it.
- Refurbished doesn’t mean used.
- It’s not junk.
- You can find the best refurbs at Apple and Dell.
- The warranty is probably shorter.
- You can score a deep discount.
- If you’re going to buy a refurbished laptop, it’s helpful to know the pros and cons of refurbished laptops.
As you might expect, there are some caveats and risks involved with getting a refurbished laptop. The biggest concern is whether you’re actually getting a functional computer at a good price, or something that was defective before it was ever sold to the first owner.
The easiest way to protect yourself is to buy from a reputable retailer that offers a warranty on the product. You can also look for refurbished laptops that have been guaranteed by the manufacturer—Apple, Dell and other big-name brands will typically honor warranties on refurbished laptops. Just be aware that it’s not always possible to get insurance on your laptop when buying used.
A few other things to keep in mind:
- Refurbished laptops may have cosmetic blemishes or slightly different features than new models, so do your research to make sure you’re getting what you want.
- If you buy one, you’ll need to set up the laptop yourself and configure it, adding your own personal information and activating the operating system. Some companies charge an extra fee for this service; others offer it free of charge.
- With no warranty in place, if anything happens once you’ve set everything up, you may have to repair or replace your laptop yourself (and pay for any repairs).
A reputable retailer should disclose any potential damage to you before the sale. If they don’t, or if there are noticeable problems that they didn’t disclose initially, then they may be selling used laptops as new products—you should consider this when deciding whether or not to make the purchase.
Quick tips for buying a refurbished laptop
- TIP 1: Only buy from reputable online retailers and manufacturers.
- TIP 2: Look for a guarantee or warranty.
- TIP 3: Find out what is included in the package.
- TIP 4: Check the specifications and make sure they match what you want.
- TIP 5: Always check the feedback of a seller before you buy.
- Buying a refurbished laptop is great way to save money and still get something reliable.
1 Look for a warranty and carefully examine it
If you’re in the market for a new laptop, there are a few things you should know about refurbished laptops.
First, look for a warranty. If the seller doesn’t offer one, there’s a good chance the laptop won’t be of the same high quality as if it did have one. A warranty is your best way to ensure that your laptop won’t have any issues and will last for years to come.
Second, examine your refurbished laptop before you make your purchase. Some refurbished laptops may not be worth your money, especially if they don’t come with a warranty. Check every corner of the laptop from the keyboard to the screen to the battery. Also, make sure it looks brand new and functions perfectly. If any part looks worn or damaged, try to talk down the price or walk away all together. You want a laptop that will last, so don’t settle for something that doesn’t look like it will last just as long.
2. Note the difference between refurbished and certified.
Certified vs. Refurbished: What’s The Difference?
Certified laptops are brand-new computers that have been inspected to be in excellent condition and given a warranty by their manufacturer or retailer. They’re often sold at retail locations like Best Buy or Amazon, with high price tags attached. Refurbished laptops are used computers that have been inspected for damage and then repaired before being resold with a warranty. They’re usually available online at websites like eBay or refurbisher websites like NextWorth or PowerMax, with much lower price tags than new models. How Do I Know Which One I’m Getting?
The main difference between refurbished and certified is that refurbished laptops are able to be returned to their manufacturer or seller if you discover any damage after purchase. This means that they can be sold at lower prices than new models but that they might not be as high quality in terms of the original build quality.
3. Only buy from reputable online retailers and manufacturers
Sometimes a refurbished machine can be purchased directly from the manufacturer, which cuts out the middleman, potentially saving you a lot of money. However, there’s no way to verify whether or not they really did the necessary repairs and upgrades unless you’re buying it directly from someone who is an authorized service provider for that brand (that’s why we always recommend using an official manufacturer website).
Another thing to be aware of is that many manufacturers will sell their older models at steep discounts, so you may feel like you’re getting a great deal on a laptop that’s only one or two years old. But because they’re selling it so cheaply, most don’t offer any kind of warranty beyond what the retailer offers. This means that if something breaks during the first year , you’ll have to pay for repairs or even a replacement yourself.
4. Check the specifications and make sure they match what you want
Check the product description to make sure it is actually refurbished, as opposed to just being pre-owned or gently used. At first glance, these terms may seem interchangeable, but they’re actually very different things—refurbished refers to products that have been repaired by a professional and cleaned thoroughly before being sold again, while pre-owned means that the item has simply been previously owned by someone else, but could still have defects.
5. Find out what is included in the package
Another thing to keep in mind is what is included with the item when you receive it. If after purchasing something refurbished, you find out that it didn’t come with important accessories (like a charger or power cord) or if it isn’t in working condition when you get it, see if the seller will give you what you need or refund your money. What’s more, keep in mind that this advice doesn’t just apply to laptops—it applies to all refurbished products, including everything from game consoles to phones.