How to Comparison Shop Refurbished Notebooks

Congratulations – you’ve made a wise decision by considering a refurbished notebook for your next computer purchase. This will allow you to get a great model while saving a lot of money. Now that you have made that choice, your next task is to scour the web to find the best available deal. Where do you start? What should you look for? The answers to these questions and more are here in this handy guide to comparison shopping.

The first thing you will want top do as you begin the research phase is to identify potential places to buy from. Obviously you will be able to find lots of online retailers selling refurbished notebooks, but did you realize you can also buy these direct from the manufacturers? Companies like Dell and HP sell reconditioned models direct to the consumer. For a lot of buyers, that adds an extra layer of peace of mind to the buying process. In the end, you can get some excellent deals from either manufacturers or third party retailers, and it is important to know all of your options so you can search every available resource to find the best deal.

There is no more powerful advertising tool than word of mouth, and it makes for a great way for consumers to research companies before doing business with them. So once you have identified what companies sell reconditioned laptops, your next step should be to see what past customers had to say about them. Online review sites make it easy to learn about how a company fares in terms of customer service. Chances are, if someone somewhere has had a complaint about shipping, return policy, or product quality, that concern has been voiced on a review site, blog, or message board. Do a quick Google search of the store’s name and see what kind of feedback is out there. This ca save you from making a purchase you will regret later.

Now that you have narrowed down the pool of potential online retail destinations based on customer reviews, you can start to compare what sort of overall value each is offering. One important thing to keep in mind here is to make sure you are always comparing “apples to apples.” For example, you may see two computers that have the same model and which outwardly appear to be the same, yet they cost vastly different prices. Upon further inspection, you then realize that the more expensive model has more memory and a more powerful processor. So comparing these two models is not really a fair comparison, because one has technical advantages over the other.

Beyond price and technical features, you should also pay close attention to shipping costs and warranties. Saving a few bucks on a computer may not be worth it if it does not have a warranty with it. Or if it does have a warranty, but you are charged a significant amount to ship it back to the retailer, then that could be a real drawback.

Buying a refurbished notebook is a great way to save money while still getting the features and technical specs you want. Comparison shopping online can help make sure you get the best deal on your perfect model. AS you are doing so, make sure you research to find a reputable seller, that you are comparing like models from site to site, and that you weight other factors like shipping cost and warranty. By taking all of these factors into consideration, you comparison shopping experience will be easy and effective.

Dan Stiehr is a freelance writer based out of St. Louis MO who has covered the tech industry and consumer electronics since 2004. He is a major advocate of the refurbished notebook having used one for five years. For more information visit


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