Maybe you’re in the market for a new computer, but don’t want to shell out the full ticket price for the latest model (an understandable wish after the fiasco of 2020. You don’t want to buy the two-year-old model your friend is tired of, but those recertified items you can buy online are starting to look pretty appealing. Apple, in particular, has its own certified refurbishment program, with devices around $200 less than new models.

Understandably, though, you’re not quite sure what are the pros and cons of a refurbished device. Since we actually refurbish computers for donation and resale, we figured we could walk you through some tips for your buying consideration.

What Goes into the Refurbishment Process?

Refurbished computers are usually devices that were returned too long after their order date and cannot be resold as new, defective new devices which have since been fixed and retested, or items with small cosmetic defects. Some are completely unused, while some have seen minor use and have undergone cleaning, diagnostics, OS reinstall, repairs, and tests to ensure that they are ready for resale.

Should I Buy a Refurbished Device?

As long as you buy from a reputable seller, refurbished devices can be a great way to get a reliable device at a greatly reduced price. Maybe you won’t get the latest generation of the processor, but as long as you don’t need the absolute peak of performance in your computing work, having the previous generation of processor probably won’t make any noticeable difference – except a positive one for your wallet.

Pros and Cons

But in case you want some more informations, here are some factors to consider:

  • Pro: you can get a high-quality computer at a discount just because it’s no longer legally ‘new.’
  • Con: you’ll never know the real reason why a refurbishment was necessary.
  • Pro: most refurbished computers may have never been faulty or even used. A good number are simply returned after buyer’s remorse.
  • Con: there’s usually going to be some unknowns about the computer’s history – for instance it may have been shipped and handled multiple times.
  • Pro: the hardware in refurbished units will have been tested extensively, whereas ‘new’ counterparts are often straight from the factory with little testing.
  • Con: there can be a level of risk in case something goes wrong and you didn’t choose a seller with a good warranty and return policy.
  • Pro: it’s the green choice! Items are not dumped, but instead refurbished and re-sold.
  • Con: the availability of refurbished computers depends on the market, so you may not get the exact device you want.


A refurbished device can be a great deal, but you have to do a little extra work to a) make sure the seller is reputable and offers good warranty and returns, and b) find the device you want. If you’re just needing a general workhorse at a great price, we strongly recommend choosing a refurbished computer. If you need something very specific, then new is always going to be the best choice.

Interested in getting your current computer refurbished so you can extend its longevity and maybe save you from all the above considerations? Send it in for one of our refresh packages!

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