Upgrading your tech comes at a cost. Finding the newest, shiniest version of your trusted laptop isn’t that difficult - but sometimes the price of the upgrade makes you put off buying a new device for yet another year. Shopping refurbished can be a smart way to get higher performance at a lower price if you know what you’re looking for.
For every successful buy, you’ve probably also heard a used tech horror story. Don’t fall victim to common schemes. Buying a second-hand laptop has its risks, but you can certainly avoid them by doing your research before making your next big purchase. There are some amazing benefits to buying refurbished tech - and a few downsides too. Read Discount-Computer.com’s list of pros and cons to find out if buying refurbished is the right fit for you.
Pro: Higher Performance, Lower Cost
If you opt for the latest laptop upgrade, you might have to come to terms with the hefty price tag of buying brand new. First, consider the age of your current device. If it’s more than a few years old, last year’s refurbished model will already be a huge upgrade on what you have now at a fraction of the cost. A second-hand laptop could have a larger screen, increased storage or added programs that might be out of your budget buying new. You’ll very easily get more bang for your buck.
Refurbishing computers is a craft in itself. Many sellers claim their computers are “refurbished”, but it’s important to be aware that the definition of the word is broad, and that processes vary. Some sellers lightly clean and reboot the machine, and call that refurbished. Others are more comprehensive. Some refurbishing techniques might include:
- Interior dusting & cleaning
- Replacement of worn out or broken parts
- Exterior Replacement
If you can somehow guarantee the reliability of the seller’s refurbishment process, or if the seller offers a warranty, there is almost no risk or downside to buying your laptop second-hand. But be sure to read the company reviews and do your own research.
Pro: Environmentally Friendly
Buying a refurbished laptop means that you are reusing old technology instead of supporting the manufacturing of new technology. Millions of tons of e-waste (including computers, mobile phones, tablets, electronic toys, and other electronic devices) head to the landfill each year to support the need for the latest and greatest gadget upgrade. Many of these devices are in perfectly good condition, and may release harmful chemicals into the soil when they are disposed of. Buying your laptop second-hand keeps a device in circulation and out of the dump for a little while longer.
Con: Shorter Lifespan
When you buy refurbished tech, remember that you may need to replace it sooner. This is often no big deal as consumers replace their technology frequently already and expect to upgrade in a year or two. For some users, however, this inconvenience may be enough to convince them to buy new. Portable devices especially may have been dropped, jolted, or misused before being refurbished. Don’t expect your second-hand laptop to last as long as a new one. Pay specific attention to battery life and plan to replace the battery sooner on a used device.
When you buy a new product you won’t find thousands of reviews out there. You are left to simply trust the “buzz” around its release and the reliability of the brand and manufacturer. The main perks of brand new devices usually include more storage, better graphics, or faster performance. Shopping used or refurbished products means you will find millions of reviews out there already. Do some basic research and you can figure out if the device will meet your needs. Dig a bit more and you’ll find out if it’s easily repaired, user friendly, and a good buy overall.
Con: Buying Direct from Previous Owners Is Risky
There are many ways to shop for a second-hand laptop. Opting to buy directly from the previous owner of the device is one of the best money-savers out there, but it’s risky. If the device comes without the protection of a warranty or other guarantee, your savings are less valuable. You may also not enjoy protection of your purchase from your credit card provider as you would with many online or in-store purchases. You might pay a bit more for a refurbished device with a warranty, but you’ll still pay much less than buying the technology brand new. Consider choosing a reliable and established reseller.
Pro: Like New
In some cases, your refurbished laptop will arrive in the mail completely unscathed. Many companies purchase technology and upgrade from year to year, and the devices are basically unused. In other cases, buyer’s remorse sets in and devices are simply returned and exchanged after light use. In some cases, you actually do end up getting a practically brand new machine.
Con: Cosmetic Imperfections
Even though many companies replace the exterior of a device, your second-hand laptop may have a few cosmetic imperfections. Think small scratches or dents. Before you buy, consider inquiring about the process of refurbishing the exterior if cosmetic appearance is a must-have for your purchase. In many cases, these imperfections don’t hinder performance at all.
Questions to Ask
Still not sure? Now that you have a good idea of some of the pros and cons of buying new versus a second-hand laptop, here are some final questions to ask before making your purchase:
- Am I okay replacing my technology sooner?
- Will I save money in the long run?
- How important is the latest technology to my business or personal use?
- Do I mind a few cosmetic imperfections?
- What risks am I willing to take with my technology?
Buying refurbished is a personal decision that can save you thousands of dollars over the course of a few years if you choose wisely. Visit Discount-Computer.com today and search for your next second-hand laptop - warranty included.