Good, reliable sources for buying refurb computers?
September 11, 2019 10:15 PM   Subscribe

My go-to source for buying off-lease refurbs, Arrow Direct, has gotten out of that business. Those of you who have purchased refurb computers, what are your preferred sources?

I've become a convert to buying off-lease refurbs instead of new. I can get a higher-quality machine at a lower price, without a bunch of crapware installed.

The problem is, the term "refurb" means different things to different people. I'm looking for a source that inspects them before selling and provides somewhat of a guarantee. (I know Apple is the gold standard for refurbs, and I've bought some of their devices that way, but this is more of a Windows question.)

Not looking for particular machine recommendations. Generally more interested in Windows than Mac. No urgent need right now, just trying to plan ahead.

posted by pmurray63 to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
I don't often buy computers, but people who do have often recommended Mac of All Trades to me. I bought a refurbed Macbook there a few years ago, and it's still going strong.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 4:00 AM on September 12, 2019 [4 favorites]

If I were buying a refurb tomorrow, I'd probably look to get something direct from Dell (or similar). I've had good experiences ordering hardware from Newegg in the past and it looks like they offer 90-day warranties on their kit, which seems reasonable enough.

We have purchased used Chromebooks for a couple of the kids through Amazon, and have have to return one already for a hardware issue. The RMA process has been fairly painless, but the price point on them was also pretty low (~$100 or so) so I feel like the risk is manageable.
posted by jquinby at 6:31 AM on September 12, 2019

I've been thrilled with Micro Center. We've bought three Dell refurbs there and they were great. They have a retail store near us, so that helps me feel better about taking the refurb risk, but so far, it's been nothing but fine.
posted by advicepig at 7:35 AM on September 12, 2019 [2 favorites]

Family embers have done well with newegg as well.
posted by advicepig at 7:38 AM on September 12, 2019

I've been pleased with the couple of direct manufacturer refurbs I've bought - an Acer chromebook, and a Lenovo Yoga. I suspect they're more expensive than the third-party refurbs you normally buy, but it's worth taking a peek at the manufacturers' websites and Amazon if you shop there.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:25 AM on September 12, 2019

Thirding Newegg
posted by gregr at 9:57 AM on September 12, 2019

I know you said you are more interested in Wintel than Mac, but for the benefit of future readers, here is a good list of used Mac dealers. I would personally recommend Small Dog Electronics, although they seem to have redone their web site and I can't find used/refurb stuff listed in a quick look. (My previous recommendation was Shreve Systems, but they are sadly no more.)

For Wintel stuff I usually buy local, and if you live in an area with a lot of tech/office businesses, there's probably a local shop that takes in off-lease machines for refurbishment/recycling. I would do some local searching, as you may save yourself a couple of percent... and more importantly be able to inspect the machine you're buying before purchase. Searching Google Maps for "used computers" seems to work pretty well. "Used servers" is also a useful search term, even if you're not looking for servers—it tends to weed out a lot of smalltime places, pawn shops and the like, and leave the bigger dealers that do ex-corporate IT equipment.

Specifically for ThinkPads, I like ThinkPadDepot.
posted by Kadin2048 at 11:30 AM on September 12, 2019 [3 favorites]

IBM still sells off lease Thinkpads and ThinkCenters through a website somewhere. Though they don't make them any more, they continue to lease them to customers who are also leasing their own-brand server products as part of business-wide deals. Sometimes their pricing sucks, but sometimes it doesn't, so it's worth checking out.

I have good reason to believe that a large fraction of what they are selling there sat in a server room permanently connected to some IBM hardware and was used maybe 10 times for a total of less than 40 hours in its entire life.
posted by wierdo at 2:35 AM on September 13, 2019 [1 favorite]

Just updating quickly - Dell is running a 40% coupon code right now that's good on refurbished laptops. The code is LUCKY13DEAL, so maybe it's only good for today (9/13)?
posted by jquinby at 12:31 PM on September 13, 2019

« Older A Halloween Party with kids   |   Quiet Carribean with kids Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.