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Refurbished desktop computers: a buyer’s guide

Shopping for a new desktop PC can be a process fraught with frustration – with new models often prohibitively expensive. This can lead to the painful choice between overpaying for the model you really want, or settling for an inferior one that fits your budget.

This is why more and more people are turning to refurbished computers as a solution. Whether buying a single desktop for personal use or in bulk to kit out an entire office, the potential savings on offer are certainly appealing. Refurbished computers can be upwards of 50% cheaper than their brand new counterparts, allowing you to get your hands on a machine with the specifications you need at a more comfortable price.

Read on to find out more about what makes a refurbished computer, all the benefits of opting for one and whether a refurbished desktop is the right choice for you.

What is a refurbished desktop computer?

If you’ve spotted a refurbished desktop computer at a price that interests you, it’s important to know what exactly is meant by “refurbished” before you go any further. Refurbished in this context quite simply means second-hand, but guaranteed to be sold in perfect working condition by a trustworthy retailer that has undertaken the necessary checks and repairs to prove it.

Refurbished computers are likely to have been returned to the manufacturer or retailer shortly after purchase. In most cases, they won’t have suffered damage, and any they have will only be cosmetic. Any faults or malfunctions will have been repaired by a team of experts, with all models undergoing extensive testing before they can be put up for sale. At IT Resale, all our refurbished computers are data wiped, PA tested for electrical safety and functionality tested.

It’s crucial to note that a desktop computer can only be declared as “refurbished” by a retailer, not an individual seller. In many cases, retailers will offer a warranty for additional peace of mind. All IT Resale products come with a three-month warranty as standard.

All of these factors mean that refurbished computers have a significant advantage over used computers. “Used” is a much more broad definition for the computer’s condition. Used computers can be sold by anyone, and are very unlikely to have had any tests or maintenance carried out on them. They will probably also have had longer and heavier usage than refurbished desktops, while they won’t come with the protection of a warranty.

While used computers can certainly be found at very cheap prices, the level of protection and confidence you get from a refurbished model make them the smarter choice.

Benefits of refurbished desktop PCs

First and foremost, value for money is the key benefit of buying a refurbished computer over a brand new model. But there are a number of other reasons why it just makes sense to go refurbished.

  • Quality. When shopping on a tight budget, the quality of computer you are likely to find will be much higher when opting for a refurbished model. For around the £300 mark, you will be able to afford a machine with better specifications for memory, processing speed and storage than if you were to buy brand new. Many of the refurbished computers on the market are extremely new models which have been returned – making them an absolute bargain.
  • Peace of mind. You can have just as much confidence when buying a refurbished computer as you would if buying a new model. As well as the rigorous testing applied to all desktops before they can be sold, as well as a warranty as standard, all trustworthy retailers will provide you with in-depth information on their condition. This will usually come in the form of a condition grading.
  • Sustainability. Buying your computers refurbished instead of new is a fantastic way to do your bit for the environment. It is thought that producing new computers requires chemicals and pollutants of 10x the weight of the machine itself. In a time where sustainability is becoming more important for businesses and individuals, buying refurbished is a sure fire way to reduce your carbon footprint and help your company meet its environmental commitments.

What to consider before buying a refurbished computer

To get the maximum value for money when shopping for a refurbished desktop computer, it’s important to have a clear idea of what you will primarily be using it for and to do your research accordingly. Here’s what to consider before buying a refurbished machine:

  • Condition. All desktops sold as ‘refurbished’ by a trustworthy retailer will be in fantastic working order having undergone a series of tests. However, not all refurbished computers come in the same aesthetic condition. Before buying, make note of the machine’s condition grade so you can work out whether you’re willing to part with your cash:
          • Grade A – superb condition, in perfect working order and with no noticeable cosmetic defects.
          • Grade B – the computer is still in great working order, but there may be some noticeable scratches to the casing.
          • Grade C – again, the machine is perfectly operational but may be exhibiting some heavier cosmetic damage – although none that will affect its performance.
  • Specifications. Take a close look at the machine’s specifications before you commit to buying. Particularly important specifications include processing speed, memory, storage and operating system. What you intend to use the computer for will have a big impact on the specifications you need. For instance, if you only need it for light home working and internet usage, you won’t require a particularly high-spec device. On the flip side, gamers will want to make sure any computer they buy comes with an advanced processor and sufficient RAM.
  • Added extras. Keep an eye out for any package deals which could bring your overall outlay down significantly. Refurbished computers are often also sold with discounted monitors, keyboards, mouses and other vital accessories. 

IT Resale are the perfect choice for refurbished desktop computers

At IT Resale, we stock a variety of refurbished desktop computers, as well as package deals. When you buy from us, you can be confident your new product will be:

  • In perfect working condition. Full testing and a complete system wipe are carried out by our experienced engineers before any product goes up for sale.
  • Significantly discounted. On average, our refurbished equipment is available 60% cheaper than new.
  • Guaranteed for three months. Every item we stock comes with a 3-month warranty as standards for additional peace of mind.

Explore our high quality refurbished desktop computers at a fraction of the cost of buying new.

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