Tight on cash but need a new computer for the family? Have you considered getting a refurbished computer?

Refurbished may give the impression of sub-standard, but if you’re looking for a cheaper yet a still relatively sound way to get your hands on some computers, accessing refurbished computers can be a great option.

Refurbished technology can originate from a variety of sources, including:

Customer returns and cancelled orders

These are fully functional products that leave the HP warehouse and therefore are no longer sold as new.

Damaged products

Some products are returned because of cosmetic flaws or damage during shipping, or a broken part.


These include items that are returned by the seller to make room for newer product lines.


Some brand new products have been used as demonstration units.

Connect IT

Connect IT is Australia’s largest non-profit computer refurbisher. Their goal is to help low income groups, who’ve traditionally been on the wrong side of the digital divide, to feel confident using technology in their everyday lives. Since 2003 they have distributed more than 50,000 refurbished computers.

They sell quality refurbished computers and laptops to people receiving Centrelink or Dept of Veterans Affairs benefits or holding a Centrelink Low Income Health Care Card, as well as not-for-profit organisations.

Computer packages include fully licensed software from Microsoft including Windows 7 operating system and Office 2010 Home & Business edition, as well as free technical support for the life of the computer. More information here.

Microsoft Refurbishers

There are Microsoft Refurbishers around the world that can provide you a professionally refurbished computer preinstalled with genuine Microsoft software for use at home, in commercial businesses or at non-profit organisations. More information here.

HP Refurbishment program

HP re-certifies their products to the factory specifications and architectural features of the original model, so you can expect the same performance, software and certifications as when it was brand new. More details here.

Dell Refurbishment program

The Dell Outlet offers three types of refurbished inventory:

  1. Certified refurbished PCs are laptops and desktops that have been returned to Dell, put through the production process and, then again, retested to ensure they meet all original factory specifications. Certified Refurbished systems may have some observable cosmetic blemishes, but they will not affect performance;
  2. Previously ordered new computers are PCs that were shipped out to a customer who opened the box but decided to return the system without ever using it. All of these computers have undergone testing and repackaging by Dell Outlet. Previously ordered new systems do not have any cosmetic damages;
  3. Scratch and Dent products are systems with considerable cosmetic blemishes that do not affect performance. They are a great way to save money while still enjoying Dell Outlet’s rigorous rebuilding and testing process. Scratch and Dent computers will not have scratches or pits on the screen, missing or illegible letters on the keyboard, or damage to the touchpad or palm rest. More information here.

Apple Certified Refurbished Products

Apple Certified Refurbished Products are pre-owned Apple products that undergo Apple’s stringent refurbishment process prior to being offered for sale.

While only some units are returned due to technical issues, all units undergo Apple’s stringent quality refurbishment process.  More information here.

Were you aware of the option to buy refurbished technology? Have you ever purchased a refurbished computer? Was it a good experience or a not so good one? Tell us in the comments below.

This article is an excerpt from a new book by the author ‘No Kidding – Why Our Kids Know More About Technology Than Us and What We Can Do About It’. Get your copy here.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
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  • i am pretty sure that c’link offers a similar type of scheme of being able to buy ex employee, refurbed computers for pretty cheap. (a few hundred dollars)


  • We knew absolutely nothing about computers when we got our first. Hooked up the Internet with no security = disaster


  • Really good knowledge to know! Thanks for sharing this!


  • No I didn’t know about refurbished computers will look into that next time down the track when we need to get a computer that the children need to use.


  • Just get an iPad instead.


  • I’ve heard of refurbished computers before.. I didn’t realise they could just be overstocked and returned brand new products.. I thought it meant they were used and just had memories cleared and reset etc.


  • Hubby and I both have laptops but they’re so old and weigh a ton…can’t think when we lasted used them.


  • I have done refurbished products a lot. I bought my DH his Kindle as a refurb and it cost half the price and nothing wrong with it!


  • Some useful information here that I will pass on to families in need.


  • Thanks for sharing this interesting and informative article; good ideas.


  • Great information in this article, thank you.


  • All our laptops are so old. It actually takes about 5 minutes to load the browser on a good day!


  • I always love reading your articles. Thank you


  • If you already have a computer but need one for your business, let the young ones use the older one and keep the new one for your business. Make sure you claim it on your tax. You may also to claim for depreciation over the period of a few years (not sure of the number)


  • I feel a lot more positive about refurbished computers after reading this article. I’d happily buy a fridge with a small unnoticeable scratch if it meant saving money, why not a computer?


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