Refurbished, used and off-lease PCs

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At we sell computers, and sometimes we may sell refurbished, used, or off-lease computers. Dell Computers explains their approach to refurbishing technology:

What Does Refurbished Mean?

“Refurbished” is an umbrella term referring to a used product that is recertified or repaired for resale. But what that entails can vary greatly across different industries and individual companies. In the computer industry, refurbished products range from desktops and laptops that were sold but never taken out of the box to computers that were in use before they were returned for resale.

What’s the Difference Between Used and Refurbished?

“Refurbished” implies that the product has gone through a comprehensive process — including repairs, replacements and quality testing — to bring it to a set standard of performance and quality.

“Used” refers to a product that was previously owned and operated, often sold as-is. There is no guarantee that the product was ever repaired, inspected, or tested, or that it will function to a certain standard.

Three Tiers of Pre-owned Computers

The top tier is New & Unused. These are either factory-sealed or open-box products that have never been used by a customer and have the software seal intact. This product is typically overstock or a returned order. New and unused products do not have any cosmetic damage.

  • The middle tier consists of Like New (Refurbished). This is Dell’s highest grade of certified refurbished systems, submitted to a rigorous refurbishing process, to achieve Dell’s exacting quality and performance standards. These previously-owned products could have observable minor blemishes that do not affect performance or could look as good as new.
  • Under the last tier, Scratch and Dent products are certified refurbished products with blemishes that do not affect performance. Scratch & Dent computers do not have scratches or pits on the screen, missing or illegible letters on the keyboard, or damage on the touchpad or palm rest – just blemishes that do not impact performance.

While prices vary based on each level, products under all three tiers come with the same comprehensive warranty and support included with new Dell computers.

What Is an Off-Lease Computer and How Is It Different from Refurbished?

Another type of refurbished computer offering you might run into are off-lease computers. These are desktops and laptops purchased using a leasing agreement and then returned when the lease is over. For example, many companies lease rather than buy computers for their employees. Because the lease period is usually three or four years, off-lease computers are typically older than other refurbished computers, which may have been manufactured as little as a year ago. The equipment is typically built for business needs and may not include brands geared towards consumers, for example, gaming laptops.