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Home > Computer Articles > Used Vs Refurbished

Buying Used Computers vs Buying Refurbished

The acquisition of pre-owned computer equipment has become increasingly popular in the past several years. Consumers are more receptive to the idea of buying pre-owned components, often referred to as used and refurbished. Of the two types, refurbished computers (Refurbished Laptop Computers in particular) are quickly becoming recognized as the highest quality option.

While many products are great bargains after they've been "pre-owned" (think used cars, for instance), a computer isn't necessarily something to get off of Craig's List or ebay. Laptops topped MSN Money's recent list of the ten things you shouldn't buy used because of how frequently a laptop is likely to be neglected or mistreated before you get your hands on it. The financial gurus over at MSN Money also advocate obtaining an extended warranty including tech support for any laptop you purchase new—an option you probably won't have with a used computer. So, what's the difference then?

The Main Differences Between Used & Refurbished

First, let's tackle the difference between a used laptop and a refurbished laptop. Used equipment has been widely defined, ranging from demonstration units warranted by the manufacturer to as-is units with the chance of unknown quality and capabilities. Used laptops are just like used cars. Someone purchased new and sooner or later chose to trade up but the laptop was still working well and fully operational. The first owner sold the laptop on EBay or to another source and went on their way. Your friendly used laptop dealer went over the machine and priced according to features, brand and age and is now offering it to you at a significantly lower price then when it was first sold. Generally, you can find used laptops for as little as $200.00. Bear in mind that you will have a smaller hard drive, less memory and earlier technology with a selection like this, but if you are just planning to toy on the internet and use common applications, it may very well be all you require.

A refurbished laptop can come from an assortment of places. In some instances, when someone acquires a brand new laptop it has a defect, they send it back to the manufacturer who repairs the flaw (or leaves the flaw) and then they will sell the laptop as “open box” or “refurbished” at a discount. Possibly someone had a laptop on warranty and the hard drive failed. They send it in and the manufacturer sends them a new one; the old machine goes to the refurbishment center, gets a fresh hard drive, is straightened up and sold as a refurbished machine. In many cases, a refurbished laptop is a used laptop with replacement parts which can make it more reliable and usually means that newer technology is installed.

The Advantages Of Buying Refurbished

Buying refurbished computer equipment has some considerable benefits beyond just price savings. In addition, refurbished equipment is more readily available for tight deadlines. This isn't necessarily the case with used equipment. Many times, refurbished equipment is available for prompt and overnight shipment. Whether you are buying, renting, or leasing, you usually can count on lower prices and faster delivery by choosing refurbished equipment.

When the refurbishment process is executed in compliance with the highest standards, careful attention is given to the interior and exterior of the equipment. During this process, the equipment is subjected to strict testing to guarantee it meets all original manufacturing specifications. A complete check is generally conducted for full operation of the equipment, typically including preventative maintenance and calibration.

Tips For Buying Used Computers

Purchasing from EBay, smaller used laptop websites and other purveyors can be successful; you just need to know what to look for. Many people have heard horror stories, and they can happen. EBay fraud does occur and sometimes if you opt for buying off a web site like Craig's List you'll pay very little money and get very little for it. If you go with a smaller site, make sure they have been in business awhile and that they're up front about their warranty and their practices. Will they take the laptop back if there's something severely wrong? Are “All Sales Final”? What sort of operating system are you getting? Do they have responsive customer service? Do they have secure ordering? Make sure you feel at ease with the site before you buy a machine from them and in most cases you'll be perfectly content with your purchase.

A final word to the wise: Always be mindful of the quality ramifications when acquiring used equipment. In the end, you're responsible for verifying the quality of the product received. Refurbished equipment represents a higher quality product that saves approximately 30% or more in comparison to new equipment. You can find a great deal and have a great laptop if you consider buying Refurbished Laptop Computers. You don't have to buy “new” -- simply buy smart and buy educated and you can't go wrong!

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