5 Things to Check When Buying a Refurbished Laptop

by George Philip
Published: Last Updated on 1 comment

If you’re looking for a new laptop, but you’re not keen on spending a lot of money, then you’re likely hoping to find a great deal. Sales and clearance do come along, but it’s more likely that you’ll end up with whatever’s left, rather than finding just what you want.

On the other hand, buying a refurbished laptop could be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

A number of perks come along with buying refurbished, such as:

  • Lower price point
  • More variety than sale/clearance 
  • Better warranty from some sources
  • May have added/updated features or specs
  • Benefits the environment and prevents the item from ending up in a landfill

Refurbished laptops aren’t just older models that have been rebuilt. They can also be open box products that have been returned to the company and simply can’t be sold as brand new. Or they may be laptops that were brand new and didn’t quite meet the quality standards of the company. This requires that they be rebuilt and rechecked to make sure that they are up to snuff before they are sold — but they still qualify as refurbished.

Buying a new or new-to-you laptop can be complicated at the best of times. There are a lot of different factors that go into deciding on a product. Along with the brand and model that you’re looking for, there are other checkpoints that should be handled before you hand over your money.

If you’re thinking about simply switching your existing laptop out for a new one — or a refurbished model — you may also be interested in knowing where to ‘sell my laptop’. You may be able to trade it in, but at the very least it will give you a little more money to put toward your new purchase.

Here are five things to check before you buy a refurbished laptop.

Reviews For The Product And Seller

Checking out the customer reviews for a product before you buy it is one of the best ways to get an accurate understanding of what you can expect. It’s also a good idea to look at descriptions from consumer reports or tech blogs, though sometimes they may be biased to a certain degree.

Some things to look for in reviews of the products include the main purpose of the laptop — such as whether it is more suited for work, gaming, or entertainment, for example — processing speed, memory space, and overall user experience.

But along with looking at reviews for the product itself, it’s also wise to examine reviews for the source of the refurbished laptops. For example, you may want to look at comparisons of Best Buy’s certified refurbished products measured against Amazon’s refurbished laptops, and any other potential source that you come across either locally or on the internet.

Some things to remember to check out in sourcing reviews are the accuracy of product descriptions, customer service experiences, and provision of warranty.

Warranty Or Certification For The Product

Speaking of warranties for refurbished products, that’s the second thing that should be checked before you buy the laptop.

One of the main concerns for consumers in buying a used or refurbished product is the worry about how well it will work. Will it function as well as a new computer? Will it last as long as a new computer would? Is it worth the money?

The key to answering those questions is the warranty or certification program that the used laptop seller offers. Sellers should do a multi-point check on each individual product before offering it for sale after it has been refurbished. Good sources will offer a limited warranty based on their confidence in their checkpoint system.

Companies like Best Buy and Amazon have a “certified refurbished” program to provide point-checked laptops to consumers. The certification should give the buyer confidence in how well the product will work, and give them recourse in case it doesn’t work as expected or as it should.

It’s definitely worth making sure what warranties are offered and what the certification program entails for each seller before you buy. We definitely advise avoiding simply buying a laptop because it looks good without knowing what’s been done to it and how well the function has been checked.

Battery Replacement

Battery life is a big deal for laptops. A long battery life is a major selling point for a new product, and a reduced battery life is often what prompts consumers to get rid of their old laptop and purchase a replacement.

Since that’s an important factor, it’s definitely something worth checking out before you buy a refurbished laptop. Check to see if the seller has switched out the battery for a new one. If not, ensure that they have a guarantee for the battery life of the existing battery.

Batteries can reduce quite drastically — the standard for a new laptop is somewhere between ten and twelve hours, but after a year or more of use, it can gradually drop to four to six in between charges — or even lower. So it’s definitely a valuable component to ensure that the refurbisher guarantees the efficacy of the battery. Avoid buying used or refurbished laptops from sources that don’t guarantee the life of the existing or replacement battery.

Price Comparison Between Sellers

A big perk of buying refurbished is the reduction in price as compared to a new laptop. But some sources may offer products for bigger discounts than others.

As you do your research, compare the price points between refurbished sellers. And remember that some sellers may advertise their products as a certain percentage off the original price — but research the original price yourself, because there’s always the possibility that they may have inflated the estimated value of a new product in order to make their deal seem sweeter.

Though refurbished products are better for the environment in general, since they reduce e-waste, it’s also worth checking price comparisons on refurbished vs. newer sale/clearance items, in case your preferred laptop is available elsewhere.

Check For Accessories

Frequently, brand new laptops come along with a bundle that includes accessories such as a protective sleeve, a wireless mouse, headset, and other items that can sweeten the deal and enhance the probability that the consumer will choose new.

It’s less common for refurbished sellers to provide accessories, but some sources do offer bundle deals. It’s definitely worth a check to make sure that you can kit out your new-to-you refurbished laptop right out of the gate.

There are plenty of sources and sellers out there, and if you’re looking for the perfect used laptop, it’s a good bet that you’ll find it with just a little research. Just make sure to check for these five items.

Greg Shane

Ghostwriter, designer, and videographer. I channel my creative vibes through these mediums, and if in the process my clients are happy then I have been successful in achieving their goals. 

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1 comment

Victor March 13, 2022 - 6:55 am

Nice article, it’s helpful to me. Thanks you Admin for this.


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