In this guide, we’ve covered everything you need to know before you purchase a refurbished laptop online, including the best places to find them.
If you’re in the market for a new laptop and you’re working with a restricted budget or even if you just want to maximize the performance you get for the amount you have to spend, you might want to consider checking out deals on refurbished laptops.
Certified refurbished products have appeal, in general, because they suggest that you can get the same product for less. I burned through a number of cheap blenders before settling on a refurbished Vitamix blender from Amazon. I didn’t want to pay over $500 for a blender, but I also knew that if I purchased another cheap blender I’d just be back in the same spot in a few months. So, I settled on a refurbished Vitamix blender at a significant discount over a brand new one. That blender has been working perfectly for over four years now.
But, just because you can get a good deal on a refurbished blender or any other refurbished product, doesn’t mean that all refurbished products are worth it—refurbished laptops included. Really, it all comes down to the price the refurbished laptop comes in at and who is selling it.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at whether or not refurbished laptops are worth it and, if they are, how and where to spot a good deal on one.
Are Refurbished Laptops Worth It?
A refurbished laptop can be worth it. But, as I said above, whether or not you should get a refurbished laptop will depend on a couple of different factors.
1. The Price of the Refurbished Laptop
If the refurbished laptop in question doesn’t come at a significant discount over the brand new model of the laptop, then it isn’t worth it. If the refurbished model, however, does come with a significant discount, then it might be worth it.
So, for instance, if a gaming laptop is $1,500 brand new and you can get it refurbished for $1,400, is that really worth it? Personally, I’d rather spend the extra $100 to get the brand new laptop as it will likely come with a longer warranty. (Of course, you could always pay for a third-party warranty from Square-Trade, too.) Now, if that same refurbished gaming laptop came in at ~$1,100, that’s a significant enough discount that could sway me to the refurbished option.
The other thing to consider is that, while a refurbished laptop might appear to be a good deal because it comes in at a significantly lower cost than the brand new laptop, it might not be a good deal when compared to competing options.
A lot of the refurbished laptops on Amazon come in at lower prices than the brand new version, but they still aren’t a good deal because a competing brand might have a laptop that has similar-or-better specs and features and comes in at the same cost.
As an example, let’s take the $1,100 refurbished laptop from the above and let’s say it comes with an Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, 16GB of RAM, and a GTX 1060 GPU. While that laptop comes in at $400 less than the brand new version of the laptop, there might be a different brand new laptop from a competing brand that also costs $1,100 that comes with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, 16GB of RAM, and a GTX 1060 GPU. Clearly, you’ll want the brand new laptop with the newer generation processor at the same price.
So, the bottom line is that, just because a refurbished laptop comes with a big price drop does not mean that it is a good deal. You have to consider the market as a whole and compare the refurbished laptop’s price and hardware to competing options.
2. Who’s Selling the Refurbished Laptop?
If you’ve found a ‘deal’ on a refurbished laptop on a site called www.toogoodtoobetruelaptopdeals.com, you’ll probably want to avoid it. A certified refurbished laptop signifies that a professional restored the laptop to a like-new condition. And, most certified refurbished laptops should come with some kind of warranty. But, if you buy your laptop from an unknown source, who is to say that A) the laptop is actually certified refrubished and, B) they will honor their warranty?
However, if the refurbished laptop is from Amazon, you’ll have much more protection. Not only do the refurbished laptops on Amazon come with warranties, but Amazon also has a very lenient 30-day return policy.
Ultimately, there is already a small amount of risk involved with buying a refurbished laptop. So, there’s no reason to add more risk to your purchase by going through an unknown website.
Where Can You Buy Refurbished Laptops?
Aside from Amazon, Newegg is another trustworthy online retailer that sells refurbished laptops. And, you can also find refurbished laptops on eBay as well. Of the three, in my opinion, Amazon will provide the most peace of mind. Their 30-day return policy is fairly lenient and they make returning items very simple. And, on top of the 30-day return period, most of the refurbished laptops on Amazon come with an additional warranty.
You might be able to find better deals on eBay, though. And, eBay has gotten better at protecting buyer’s from scams. You can also search on eBay with the “Manufactured Refurbished” filter to only show listings for refurbished laptops from the manufacturer.
Newegg is worth checking out as well, if you’re deal shopping. Although, they were recently bought out by an overseas company and since then, many customers have seen a decline in customer service.
If you are willing to choose a refurbished laptop over a brand new one, your best bet is to check all three of the online retailers listed above. I’d probably favor Amazon, but for the right deal I wouldn’t be against using eBay or Newegg.
Conclusion: Certified Refurbished Laptops Are Worth It… Under the Right Circumstances
While your best bet is to always go with a brand new laptop, if your budget prohibits you from getting the laptop you need, or if you want to get as much performance out of your budget as possible, a refurbished laptop might be worth considering.
However, just because a refurbished laptop comes in at a discount over the same laptop brand new, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a good deal overall. You need to compare the refurbished laptop to other options in the same price range. It could be that there is a brand new laptop from a competing brand that comes in at the same price and offers the same hardware/features.
But, if you find a refurbished laptop from a reputable online retailer at a steep discount and it comes with better hardware than any other option in that price range, then it would definitely be worth considering—assuming that the price difference was big enough to where you’d save quite a bit of money.