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Many businesses and users opt for refurbished hardware —an area where many people can have doubts and questions, especially when it comes to reliable purchasing. Undeniably, there’s a lot of benefits to buying refurbished goods, such as cost-savings, environmental benefits, and additional manufacturer warranty. It’s important, however, to make sure you choose a reputable seller or refurbishment program and purchase the right hardware.

What is ‘Refurbished’ exactly?

The terms refurbished and recertified are used commonly by both primary manufacturers like Dell, ASUS, and MSI, and third-party sellers online. Step one in shopping for refurbished hardware is to thoroughly check the seller’s rules and definitions regarding refurbished goods. Generally, refurbished products entail returned or canceled orders, and defective products that have been repaired by the manufacturer with new parts. Also, if you shop from authorized sellers or the manufacturers themselves, you’ll get warranties that can guarantee you free replacements without any outstanding fees. For instance, NeweggBusiness conveniently guarantees a 90-day product warranty and up to 3 years of extended warranty (with additional costs) for laptops and desktops.

Even in a perfect world, there are many reasons why a product can be returned. From finding a better deal to a minor scratch, people return perfectly normal products that will perform no worse than a new piece of hardware. Try to shop from authorized dealers or manufacturers to ensure high product quality and dependable, long-lasting warranty.

What Refurbished Components to Look Out For

It’s important first pinpoint what kind of hardware you want to purchase and what your use case is. Depending on the component, buying a refurbished edition could make a lot of sense, especially if you’re purchasing non-essential peripherals or computer cases. Buying other refurbished components, like a motherboard or power supply can be a bit riskier and you should take precaution when buying them (especially from third-party sellers).

PC Cases

PC cases, used or not, come in the same shape, size, and form. Since these cases have been thoroughly tested by the manufacturer, you don’t have to worry about serious structural damage. If you don’t mind possible minor scratches or signs of wear, refurbished cases are worthwhile for your wallet.

Power supply

If a power supply fails to provide enough wattage, other components are at high risk of being damaged. Since it’s such a core, integral part of a PC, we recommend you to stray away from refurbished PSUs. If you plan on using the PC for non-intensive tasks, such as storing files or light browsing, opting for a refurbished could be acceptable.


Similar to power supplies, you don’t want to skimp out on a component that is connected to and affects other parts. Anything from loose hinges to defective circuits can severely impact your other hardware, and it’s best to avoid this situation altogether. If you end up finding a great however, do make sure that it comes with a warranty.


Modern CPUs have come a long way when it comes to durability, longevity, and performance. Popular chipmakers Intel and AMD both implement smarter technologies, such as thermal throttling and sensors to improve CPU lifespan. Buying a refurbished CPU, especially from a manufacturer or authorized retailer, is a safe and economical bet.

HDDs and SSDs

When it comes to hard drives, you’re open to a bit more risks due to the nature of mechanical, moving parts. You’re probably not going to find the price difference too different because hard drives are inherently so cheap, so have the peace of mind with a new HDD. With SSDs, higher prices and lower failure rate makes purchasing a refurbished a more sensible choice. On top of this, the warranty will ensure that you can return immediately if you see any serious faults.

Graphic Cards

Graphic cards are usually the most expensive piece of the hardware, which is why a refurbished version is so attractive and sensible. While this is true, the complicated system and intricate circuitry of GPUs can mean more room for hardware faults and problems. If you’re trying to tackle heavy multi-tasking, video editing, or professional design, it’s probably best to invest in a new GPU. On the other hand, refurbished GPUs with extended warranties can be a great way to save money if you want to set up multiple PCs for a small business.


Buying refurbished RAM is another cost-saving way that won’t leave the rest of your PC vulnerable to hardware issues. However, diagnosing possible RAM issues can be difficult because technical faults related to memory can be very subtle. Always remember to purchase from authorized sellers or manufacturers because third party sellers may not adhere to the same standards.


Whether or not you should buy a refurbished monitor depends on how picky you want to be with the condition and potential flaws. Most of the time, going for refurbished monitors can save you a lot of money especially if you buy a bulk. Some dead pixels or a minor scratch here and there won’t impact the average user too much, but if you want the peace of mind of avoiding those hassles, go with a new monitor. It’s also worth mentioning that, with warranty or returns, you have backup options if the monitor is far below your standards.

Final Thoughts on Refurbished Hardware

calculating risk versus reward

Buying refurbished hardware comes down to understanding basic risk versus reward. Cost-saving is awesome until the cost of potential hardware failure outweigh it. This is why it’s important to purchase refurbished products from trusted manufacturers and authorized retailers like NeweggBusiness. With proper warranties, returns, and replacements, you’ll still have something to fall back to if you’re not satisfied with the products.

Albert Cho

Author Albert Cho

A big tech and gaming/esports enthusiast from California and Korea.

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