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How to Buy a Refurbished Computer for Business

Buying Guide: Refurbished Computer for Business


Some people group refurbished computers into the same category as used computers. Refurbished computers are actually reconditioned PCs that have been inspected, tested and repaired where necessary to insure that they meet the quality standards of the manufacturer. Therefore, refurbished computers are very different from used computers that you buy on eBay or Craig's List. A refurbished computer, purchased thought the original manufacturer or an authorized reseller can save your business a significant amount of money.

Where Do Refurbished Computers Come From?

Have you ever bought something that wasn't perfect or you just didn't like? Maybe it was scratched. Maybe it didn't perform as expected. But, the manufacturer has a satisfaction guarantee policy so you returned it. Therefore the manufacturer cannot sell these as new but they want to get them out of inventory and recover some of their money. They call these "refurbished" computers and can be found on the manufacturer's website at substantial savings over a brand new computer.

How Do They Refurbish a Computer?

The manufacturer will inspect and test every PC to make sure everything is working up to technical specifications. This may included testing motherboards and memory, but does not include repairing superficial defects like scratches or small dents. If the computer passes the tests, it is put into new packaging and boxes and labeled "refurbished".

What Are the Pros and Cons of Refurbished Computers?

On the "positive" side of buying a refurbished computer, is the fact that you can save money on each and every purchase. It's that simple.

On the "negative" side of buying a refurbished computer, is that you will get a computer that is not brand-new. For some people this may be a psychological barrier that they may not be able to overcome because subconsciously they are wondering what was wrong with the PC that somebody didn't want it. But, strictly speaking from a business point of view, that should not play into your decision since it comes with a full warranty.

Secondly, you will not be able to customize the refurbished computer that you are buying. They are sold configured exactly as they were at the original sale. In other words, you will have to take the hard drive that was originally installed in the PC, or the amount of memory that is already installed.

Finally, do not assume that a refurbished computer comes with all the extras that you would expect from a brand -new purchase. For example keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc. Additionally, software discounts for preloaded software may not be available. Read the description carefully and contact the vendor with any questions before you buy.

How do I Buy a Refurbished Computer?

You buy a refurbished computer just like you would any other computer. Just about every manufacturer and retailer of computers has a webpage where they sell refurbished computers. It may be hard to find so you'll have to look for it. Two examples are Dell and Apple computer. On the Dell site look for the Dell Outlet link on the left-hand side of the page. On the Apple Computer site, look for the link labeled Special Deals.

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