Tech Buying Tip: Buy Refurb

by Randy Murray on July 19, 2010

Here’s a quick tip for those of you playing the Spend Nothing Game, but still need/want to buy technology and gadgets: buy refurbished hardware.

I’m surprised at how few people know about this. Refurbished hardware, especially factory refurbished, is actually BETTER than new. Not only will you save money, but you’ll get a piece that went back to a special lab, probably though no hardware fault (most are returns for other reasons). At this lab, every piece of equipment gets special scrutiny and attention. Quality control at the original factory is pretty good, but QC at the refurb bench is excellent.

Most manufacturers maintain their own “Outlet” stores and have refurbished deals available. Here, for example, is Apple’s.  And it’s not just consumer goods that you can buy refurbished. You can purchase virtually any business or enterprise hardware, from Cisco routers and switches to bulldozers, all refurbished and with savings often close to 50%.

And here’s one more thing about refurbished goods: it’s a green approach. Reuse is almost always better than recycling. If you can extend the use of any piece of hardware before it’s disassembled and recycled (or worse, dumped in a landfill), you’ve made a real impact in reducing waste.

I buy refurbished whenever I can. If you want to save money and care about quality and reuse, then you should look into it, too.

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