Best Laptop Deals: Are Used Laptops & Refurbished Laptops a Good Deal?

Best Laptop Deals: Are Used Laptops & Refurbished Laptops a Good Deal?

Posted 09.14.2009 in Articles by Angela

When shopping new computers, discounts and special rates only go so far. To save the most money, however, refurbished laptops are the way to go. If you're looking for a good price and your seller is reputable, refurbished laptops work pretty much like new and are available for a much lower price—a great deal for people looking for a certain model of laptop but who can't afford to buy a brand-new one at retail prices. If you want to save money on your laptop, consider buying one refurbished; shop smart and end up with a great deal on your next device.

Refurbished laptops are laptops that are used and have been returned to the manufacturer because the buyer was not satisfied with something, or there were repairs that needed to be made, etc. Buying a refurbished laptop is similar to buying a used car, but many people do not like the idea of buying someone's old laptop. However, many people do not know that most refurbished laptops have only been in circulation for a month or less before being returned to the manufacturer. Refurbished laptops will probably work just as well as brand-new laptops.

Of course, refurbished laptops aren't new, and may have cosmetic defects like scratches or may not come with a warranty in case there is something that goes wrong with it. Factory re-certified laptops, however, do have a return policy and a short warranty, such as a 1-year warranty. It depends on where you buy your laptop; if it is from a reputable source, such as the manufacturer of the laptop, then it will most likely be a safe bet to get a refurbished laptop. The laptop will have the same performance and have had any defects repaired during the inspection.

Even though the refurbished laptop will be a little less shiny, most refurbished laptops have only been out in the world for a few weeks before being returned to the manufacturer and sold again. The one big difference is the price tag: sellers must label such laptops as having been bought and returned, and so offer the laptops at a much discounted price.

Of course, this all depends on the source of your refurbished laptops. Buying from Craigslist is risky because there are no seller ratings or any way to know if the deal is a scam. On the other hand, Ebay does have seller ratings and transaction records, and buying a refurbished laptop from someone with many transactions and a high rating will probably be safe. Ebay does have individual professionals working as sellers on their site, and it is these individuals that will probably have the high ratings and large number of transactions. Larger stores that do not see as individual sellers include,, newegg,com, and They offer refurbished laptops and are considered well-regarded and reputable sources.

Manufacturers also sell their own refurbished laptops. The Apple online store sells refurbished laptops for discounts up to and over 30%. They even provide a 1-year warranty on the laptops. Dell and Lenovo both also offer different varieties of refurbished laptops at their sites; Dell offers certified refurbished, previously ordered new, and scratch and dent; Lenovo offers redistributed, refurbished, and scratch and dent laptops. The first category is for laptops that have been shipped out but were never used; the second category is for laptops that were opened and have been used, with some possible blemishes; the last category is for laptops that have considerably more cosmetic damage and have been refurbished and repaired for the same operability. Prices at the Dell and Lenovo outlets vary depending on what category the used laptop falls under. Both companies' refurbished laptops come with warranties.

When buying from reputable sources, a refurbished laptop is usually a great deal. Without the need for the absolute latest laptop and the cleanest, shiniest laptop on the market, users can get the same usability as a new laptop but for a much cheaper price. Refurbished laptops allow people with budgets to stretch their hard-earned dollars a little longer and get a better brand or better model than they would have if they bought their laptop absolutely new. 

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