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Is Buying a Refurbished Computer Worth the Risk?

Is Buying a Refurbished Computer Worth the Risk?

All technologies need an upgrade at some point. New features and specifications might become available, or our old devices just aren’t working the way they used to. Either way, it’s time for a new computer. But do you buy a brand-new machine or a refurbished laptop instead?

Let’s go over the pros and cons of the refurbished market vs. buying new to help you make a more informed decision for your computing needs.

What It Means to Buy New

The default option most of us consider is buying a new machine directly from the manufacturer. The primary advantages here are:

  • Buyer protection. Major brands offer warranties, customer support, and return policies for new products.
  • Up-to-date technology. You obviously get the latest CPUs and modern specifications in a machine you buy new.
  • Excellent condition. You don’t have to worry about cracked screens, damaged hard drives, or faulty batteries, which may show up in the used market.

The clear disadvantage is price. Retailers know that these benefits make buying new the default choice for many customers and will charge a much higher cost than what you’d pay in the used or refurbished markets.

Another problem is sustainability; building a new product consumes materials and energy. And buying new means you aren’t reusing older hardware.

The Risks of the Unlicensed Used Market

Smart buyers may be tempted to browse the used market for electronics, but do keep in mind the significant risks involved.

  • Inconsistent quality control. Any used car buyer will tell you that sellers aren’t always obligated to be transparent about potential problems with a product. Anything from occasional crashes to a weaker, aged battery could be a problem. Since most used sellers are regular people, you don’t have much information to dig out the trustworthy sellers.
  • Missing components. It’s unfortunately common to see used machines on eBay with missing charging cables, batteries, and other essential accessories. Even if sellers are transparent about the omissions, you’re still stuck hunting down those extra components.
  • Reduced lifetime. Used machines are sold the way they are and typically do not undergo inspections or repairs before you get them. Chances are that a used laptop won’t last as long, compromising the value of your purchase.
  • Lack of service. Forget about warranties and servicing from the manufacturer, especially if the machine is old enough. You can’t guarantee a used seller will allow you to return a product, either.

Sure, you get a chance to reuse a machine instead of letting it fall into an e-waste landfill, but the used market isn’t the only solution if sustainability is on your mind. Before you hit the buy button on a used eBay sale, consider the final option for buying a computer.

How Buying Refurb Laptops Combines the Advantages of Both

A refurbished computer is one where the manufacturer or a third-party company inspects a returned device and cleans and repairs it before selling it to a buyer. A refurbisher like offers services you’d expect from buying new, like a warranty, customer service, and a return policy.

Refurbishing combines the advantages of both the new and used markets:

  • Cost savings. Refurbisher's offer significantly lower prices for the same specifications and features compared to buying new. Refurbishing is especially popular for brands with otherwise high price tags.
  • Quality control. Refurbisher's certify each machine they process before reselling. Buyers won’t have to worry about damaged or degraded components. For instance, batteries are often the first components to fail on laptops, so refurbisher's will almost always replace a faulty one.
  • Sustainability. Reusing old machines helps the environment, preventing old hardware from becoming waste.
  • Reliable services. Many refurbisher's offer buyer protection in the form of warranties for their customers. Not all of them do, however, so take the time to check.

The general idea is that, while used sellers are merely trying to sell a product, refurbishing companies are interested in selling you a positive customer experience and have incentive to provide long-term value to their customers. You won’t find missing charging cables or faulty machines from a reputable vendor like

The next time you’re searching for Dell or HP refurbished laptops, find a refurbishing service with these selling points.

What Should I Know When Browsing the Refurbished Market?

Keep in mind that your experience will greatly depend on the expertise of the refurbishing company. You can discern a reputable vendor if it offers:

  • An excellent track record. Check with other customers of the vendor and see what they have to say. A large number of positive reviews is a good sign.
  • Special services like free shipping and a warranty.
  • Experienced technicians who perform the cleaning, repairs, and upgrades before selling the products.
  • Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR) partnership. This certification from Microsoft verifies that a vendor meets the company’s high standards for refurbishing computers.

MAR also gives the vendor access to genuine Microsoft licenses for Windows operating systems and Office software suites at a reduced price, which in turn benefits the consumer. Non-genuine software is illegally distributed, will not receive official support from Microsoft, and often contains malware and other security issues. So buying from an MAR reduces the risk of your purchase significantly.

Another consideration is the condition of the product. Most refurbisher's offer letter grades for each product, with A being excellent condition and B being lesser but still good. These ratings help customers make more informed decisions, as the lower cost of a B-grade machine might still be worth the money if it gets the job done regardless.

And don’t forget that computers aren’t the only products you can refurbish. Large monitors optimized for heavy duty productivity can get expensive too, and a properly refurbished model gives you like-new performance for a competitive price.

Shop Refurbished Laptops for Sale with Confidence and Save Money!

If you need a new computer on a budget and are looking for a certified refurbishing service, your search ends here at

Our extensive catalog covers any type of device you might be searching for, from Dell refurbished laptops to Lenovo desktops to HP all-in-ones and everything in between. Our orders come with free shipping across Canada and a full year of warranty coverage. Plus, with our return policy you're able to return an item for a refund for any reason, provided you return the product within 30 days from the date of purchase.

Give yourself peace of mind by buying from a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher with over a thousand positive customer reviews today. Don’t forget to check out our bulk sales and our Refurb Points rewards program to get even more value out of the refurbished market.
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