Are Refurbished Computers Safe?

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Scaramouche

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I am in need of a new(er) desktop and see a lot of refurbished ones on Amazon sold through third parties. I can get a lot more computer for less money by buying a refurbished one, especially since I got Amazon gift certificates for Christmas. My paranoia tells me they could have hidden malware or spyware on them as they do not come directly from the manufacturer. Are they safe?
 

parcelboy2

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I'm using a refurbed laptop and its ok and I've had no problems with any mal ware or viruses
 

parcelboy2

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Where did you buy it?

Ideal world tv (like QVC) a Uk company sorry , it's HP probook 6450b upgraded to win 10 but has blue tooth and a go wifi card as it was an ex service engineers computer
 

NovaDL

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Not really a matter of "safe". I've never had good luck with refurbished electronics, even supposedly "factory refurbished" ones. Typically the testing just involves seeing if basic functions work, and not whether they keep working for more than 5 minutes. The main devices to avoid are anything portable like laptops. Desktop computers are usually safe, though.

FYI, I work as a datacenter technician and have been in IT for over 8 years. I've encountered LOTS of refurb crap. Some good, some bad.
 

WildRoseBaby

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They are probably safer than a new one since they wipe them back to bare bone windows with no stupid manufacturer stuff one them.
 

Cottontail

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At my company, almost all of the desktops are manufacturer-refurbished units from various big names. Having previously worked in an environment where everything was purchased brand new, I feel confident in saying that it doesn't (seem to) matter much. I would stay away from "seller-refurbished" machines, though. That's not because I doubt there are sellers who are capable of refurbishing things, but rather because I feel like too many individuals and small companies use "refurbished" as short-hand for "used, but seems to work ok". Like, I get the distinct feeling that most "refurbished" stuff that goes by on eBay and Amazon hasn't really had anything done to it. Somebody may have uninstalled some apps or reinstalled the OS--maybe spray-dusted the inside, but done any real checkups? Not so sure.

So if you're attracted to a particular refurbished machine on Amazon, definitely make sure it has a competitive warranty, and maybe ask what's actually been done to it--how has it been refurbished. If the response isn't organized or compelling, move along.
 

MetalMann

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I bought a used laptop from a pawn shop. The computers are wiped clean.

Refurbished means they have been reconditioned by the factory. Usually things like a hard drive, motherboard, or something needing to be replaced. Amazon does throw their warranty on top to change that it works. The only real downside of buying refurbished is that the use and wear won't be fixed. Maybe it has a paint scrape or chip. Maybe it has a ding or dent.

Whatever you do buy, you can buy in confidence if you don't mind that its not in new pristine shape.

You can also look at Amazon warehouse deals. They get returns, sometimes it's just because it's an open box, you can get a good discount on something.

Don't worry about it being in non working order, malware or spyware, something like that. The computer will be completely wiped clean.
 

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For me, it entirely depends on the cost. Building a new computer can actually be pretty darn cheap as it is.

But I suppose if you find a refurbished computer for sale, with a great price tag on it. I say go for it. However, as others have stated, make sure it's from someone who actually refurbishes them. I never purchased anything refurbished from newegg, but I bet they are pretty good to buy from.
 

Calico

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I am in need of a new(er) desktop and see a lot of refurbished ones on Amazon sold through third parties. I can get a lot more computer for less money by buying a refurbished one, especially since I got Amazon gift certificates for Christmas. My paranoia tells me they could have hidden malware or spyware on them as they do not come directly from the manufacturer. Are they safe?

I suppose if you are that worried, take it to a computer repair shop and have them look at it and see if everything is okay and have them clean it and remove any malware they see.
 

MarchinBunny

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I suppose if you are that worried, take it to a computer repair shop and have them look at it and see if everything is okay and have them clean it and remove any malware they see.

I don't trust computer repair places, because I know how easy it is to make fake problems, just to earn more money.
 

Calico

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I don't trust computer repair places, because I know how easy it is to make fake problems, just to earn more money.

Really, a man was fired from a computer place I take my laptop too for lying to customers. I was actually surprised one of the workers there disclosed that information to a customer when he asked about that person because he wasn't in that day so the man from behind the counter told him he was fired. I thought that information was kept private. Either they were breaking the law or there is some rule about it for when it's okay to tell someone.

I guess not all computer places are dishonest and some just want to be loyal and will sack anyone if they catch them lying.
 

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Guy I used to work with only bought refurbished. At the time, he had a refurbished iPod (back when those were still new), refurbished MacBook, etc. He swore by them.

My advice would be this: If it's been refurbished by the OEM, it's probably a safe bet. Whatever flaw will have been corrected, the machine certified, and overall they'll do a general reconditioning. If you're buying something refurbished by a random company, though? I'd steer clear.
 

MarchinBunny

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Really, a man was fired from a computer place I take my laptop too for lying to customers. I was actually surprised one of the workers there disclosed that information to a customer when he asked about that person because he wasn't in that day so the man from behind the counter told him he was fired. I thought that information was kept private. Either they were breaking the law or there is some rule about it for when it's okay to tell someone.

I guess not all computer places are dishonest and some just want to be loyal and will sack anyone if they catch them lying.

Ya .. obviously some places will be fine, but unless something like that was to occur ... there really is no way of telling.

Just to give you an example, if I can get access to a computer, such as repairing it ... I can setup a scheduled task, which mind you most normal users of computers have no idea the scheduler even exists so they would never know, and make it so it runs a very specific program that causes problems. So a couple months down the road, it activates, and you have to bring your computer back.

I have not done this, just want to point that out lol. XD I just know it can be done, and most people would be oblivious. Also you would typically be safe, because most people who know about the scheduler likely also know how to fix their own computer, which means they wouldn't be handing it over to you in the first place.
 

Scaramouche

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Thank you for all your replies so far. You guys are great!

Here is an example. This computer says it is fulfilled by Amazon but it says it is sold by E Trust. So is it "trust" worthy?
 

Tyger

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I have a laptop that I love that is referbished, it is from Newegg.com

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Have you checked out his site before? It is run by Dell. http://www.dellauction.com/ (make sure your's comes with an OS from here, unless you were wanting Ubuntu).

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This computer says it is fulfilled by Amazon but it says it is sold by E Trust. So is it "trust" worthy?

Looks like an OK deal to me, you could do better maybe, but since it is a 4 core with an OK speed, I'd say it isn't a bad deal. If it is fulfilled by Amazon, then you are pretty safe with the trustworthy question. If the computer comes to you with pre-loaded garbage you are concerned about, then Amazon should automatically pay to have it returned and your money back, but I might be wrong on that, for this particular item, on most items though, if there is a defect then they will take it back and give you a full refund. If you got the computer, then I would check to make sure that it forces you to go through the windows initial setup. If it doesn't, then somebody could have tampered with it. You can do a factory reset and be pretty safe too. In the end though, there are some viruses where it wouldn't matter either way, so that is always a concern. I would look at the ratings at that point and see if the seller has a good rep. Since there are only 2 customer reviews on that computer, there isn't a lot to go on. It does say that E_Trust has ratings of: 95% positive in the last 12 months (788 ratings), so that is nice.

I'd take a bit more time to look around personally. Check out the deal of the day on newegg.com, watch slickdeals.com as well.

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Ah, here is the amazon policy:

Amazon.com Return Policy:You may return any new computer purchased from Amazon.com that is "dead on arrival," arrives in damaged condition, or is still in unopened boxes, for a full refund within 30 days of purchase. Amazon.com reserves the right to test "dead on arrival" returns and impose a customer fee equal to 15 percent of the product sales price if the customer misrepresents the condition of the product.

So, yeah, if it has a noticeable virus problem with it, I would suspect you could still argue it with them, but there isn't really a guarantee on that.

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So I have been doing a little bit of looking around, and based on current deals that I have personally run across, I'd say, yeah that amazon deal is just as good a deal as any for what it is you are buying.
Some other options you might consider looking at. If you go to newegg.com and search 'referbished' there are some deals, there is an i5 core computer, but it is only single core, but has 8gig ram and a terabyte of HD, so not too bad. Also, if you search 'quad core referbished' there is a computer that is 60$ more with an i5 quad core and 1TB HD, but only 4gig mem. Or for $10 more on top of that, you can get the one i5 4-core with 8gig ram.

In the end, you are just dancing around how much you want to spend. Having multiple cores is often a really good thing, over having a single core of a higher model, but the i5 model is far better than the one you are looking at on amazon when you compare single cores. Since yours has 4 though, I'd probably go for it over a single core i5.
 

Scaramouche

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Thanks Tyger. That computer was only an example of what I saw at Amazon. I would much rather have a new one or a refurbished one directly from the manufacturer I was just wondering how good the ones from Amazon might be. If not for a computer, I don't know what I would buy with Amazon gift certificates. Do you? ;)
 

Tyger

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Thanks Tyger. That computer was only an example of what I saw at Amazon. I would much rather have a new one or a refurbished one directly from the manufacturer I was just wondering how good the ones from Amazon might be. If not for a computer, I don't know what I would buy with Amazon gift certificates. Do you? ;)

Yeah, I don't know how a referb is when it is from Amazon. I know I was very happy with the one from newegg, but they deal all of their stuff through themselves, so I feel a little more confident in that. It is probably a good idea though to deal with a manufacturer directly, or at least find out if it the referb has been sent into the manufacturers before it was sent out for re-distribution.

I'd end up finding something on amazon to buy with gift cards...there is always something on there I want.

BTW, if you do end up wanting a computer on amazon like that one for that price, get this instead, it is the same price but with a 4 core i5 proc, 1TB hd, and 4gig mem. http://www.amazon.com/6200-Pro-Towe...451199146&sr=1-4&keywords=refurbished+desktop (the seller has less rep though, it is good rep, but not as many votes).


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Not a bad deal on this one either. It is cheap, and through newegg which is trustable. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...-cables-_-na-_-na&Item=N82E16883798771&cm_sp= I have feelings about lenovo though.
 

Scaramouche

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I'd end up finding something on amazon to buy with gift cards...there is always something on there I want.

((((Diapers)))

BTW, if you do end up wanting a computer on amazon like that one for that price, get this instead, it is the same price but with a 4 core i5 proc, 1TB hd, and 4gig mem. http://www.amazon.com/6200-Pro-Towe...451199146&sr=1-4&keywords=refurbished+desktop (the seller has less rep though, it is good rep, but not as many votes).

That's a good one! I was actually thinking about an HP. Thanks again for all your help Tyger!
 
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