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Monitors are the main portals through which we engage with our computers. They bring whatever we are viewing, working on or enjoying to life. Even given the ubiquity of laptops in every environment from work to leisure, the importance of monitors remains undiminished. Whether you’re working on documents at home or in the office, developing a design project, studying, gaming or watching a film – chances are you’ll need a monitor to enhance the experience.
And, as with all tech, monitors come in a variety of sizes, types and price points. When the time comes to invest in a new monitor, the received wisdom is that it’s preferable to go brand new. But what you might not know is that there are plenty of second-hand monitors available with the same quality, condition and reliability as new models but at a significant discount. If you’re in the market for a cut-price monitor with all the guarantees you’d get by buying new, then refurbished monitors could be for you.
If you’re in the market for a new monitor, it’s important to understand the terminology used first. Now if you’re a little sceptical about the word ‘refurbished’, there’s no need to be. While the term may have a different meaning when referring to other types of products, all it means here is that the monitor has been returned to the manufacturer or retailer.
In most cases, it will only have experienced very light usage. In the case of any faults or malfunctions, a full repair will have been carried out before it can be re-sold. In fact, even for units with no reported faults, trustworthy retailers will still undertake quality checks before they sell them.
If you’ve been stung after purchasing ‘used’ tech in the past, you’ll be glad to know that you won’t be taking a similar risk by buying a refurbished monitor. As we explained above, refurbished items have to be sold in excellent working condition after full maintenance checks. Monitors can also only be designated as ‘refurbished’ by retailers or manufacturers – not individual sellers. It’s common for refurbished monitors to come with warranties for protection in the event of any problems that have slipped through the net. For example, all IT Resale products come with a 3-month warranty as standard.
‘Used’ monitors, on the other hand, do not come with any such guarantees. Often sold by individuals on sites like eBay, they’re highly unlikely to have had the kind of quality assurance refurbished models do. They also tend to have had greater usage before sale, meaning the likelihood of problems cropping up soon after purchase is higher. And if this does happen, you won’t have the recourse of a warranty to fall back on.
When shopping for cut-price monitors, there’s only one choice when it comes to refurbished vs. used.
You’ll already be aware of the number one benefit of refurbished monitors, and it’s probably the reason you’re reading this article! The significant cost savings they offer mean they’re definitely worth considering, even if you previously had your heart set on a brand new model. Depending on the type of monitor you’re looking for and its age, you could potentially be saving in the hundreds of pounds when compared to buying new.
But a heavily discounted price isn’t just about a quick financial win for you – it can also help you get your hands on a better, newer bit of tech. Your budget is probably going to be the same whether you’re buying new or refurbished, so by choosing the latter you’re giving yourself the option of higher-quality models from the bigger brands. These will usually give you a better experience, and a monitor that lasts longer and is easier to repair if you need to a few years down the road.
Opting for a refurbished monitor also gives you the chance to do your bit for the planet. By extending the life of an older monitor instead of buying a newly-produced one, you’ll be making a truly sustainable choice that benefits your carbon footprint. For businesses with environmental commitments, this is especially useful as it enables them to keep improving and updating their monitors without contributing to the ever-shortening lifespans of electrical equipment.
When searching for the perfect refurbished monitor for you, it’s easy to be dazzled by the discounts on offer. However, to get absolute maximum value for money, you’ll need to think about a few things:
While the majority of refurbished monitors on the market will have only experienced light usage throughout their life, it’s still important to make sure you know the monitor’s condition before purchasing. While any monitor sold as ‘refurbished’ will be in full working order, some units may have cosmetic damage, replacement components or recently have been repaired.
Most reputable retailers will have their own grading system to help you understand the condition of their monitors. The best-condition monitors are usually marked as ‘Grade A’, so this is likely to be what you’re looking for. In particular, you should be sure the monitor you buy doesn’t have any dead pixels or discolouration – this information should be provided by the seller.
Think carefully about what your primary use of the monitor will be. This will inform the size, resolution, responsiveness and features of the model you opt for among other criteria. For example, if you are planning to use your monitor for general home working and internet browsing, you won’t require the highest-quality display. Instead, it might be a good idea to dedicate your budget to finding a larger screen size.
Alternatively, those planning to use their new monitor for design tasks will require a higher-quality resolution – perhaps even an HD model. Meanwhile, gamers may want to choose a specialist gaming monitor – these have high refresh rates and good pixel response times to make the experience as realistic as possible.
It’s dangerous to assume your chosen monitor will have all the ports you require for your use – so make sure you check before you buy. The range of ports you need will depend on the different types of activity you want to use your monitor for. Check the cables of your existing devices to ensure your prospective new monitor will be compatible with them. HDMI and USB-C are likely to be must-haves, but other connections like VGA and DVI might be needed.
Here at IT Resale, we regularly stock a variety of refurbished monitors. If you buy from us, you can rest assured that the product you get your hands on is: