How to Tell If a Laptop is Refurbished [5 Signs]

  • Post published:June 15, 2022
  • Post category:Laptop
  • Post author:
  • Reading time:7 mins read

Recently, we have heard a lot of cases where people have bought laptops that were advertised as new but were actually refurbished. Because most of the time, it is hard to spot the difference between a new and refurbished laptop at first glance.

Also, very few laptop users know the difference between a used and a refurbished laptop. Many people think a refurbished laptop is the same as a used one, making a seller’s job very easy.

To help our readers avoid being ripped off, we have put together a list of five ways to tell if a laptop is refurbished. So, keep reading the article to the end.

Most people may not be familiar with the term “refurbished“. So, you should first understand what a refurbished laptop is.

Refurbished laptops are pre-owned laptops that have been returned to the manufacturer, typically due to a technical issue. The manufacturer then inspects and repairs the laptop and sells it at a discounted price.

In addition, some manufacturers offer warranties on refurbished laptops, giving shoppers an extra level of protection. Also, because these laptops have been previously used, they typically come with pre-installed software and features.

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Difference between a refurbished and used laptop

Most people get confused between used and refurbished laptops. Therefore, you should first know the differences between a used and refurbished laptop to make the right decision and not get ripped off.

A used laptop is just that – a laptop that has been previously owned and used by someone else. The biggest takeaway from this purchase would be that it’s as-is without any repairs or reconditioning.

On the other hand, a refurbished laptop has been professionally cleaned, tested, and serviced to ensure that it is in good working condition. Refurbished laptops also come with a warranty, so you can be confident that they will last.

In general, refurbished laptops are a better option than used laptops because you know that they have been properly serviced and are less likely to have any major issues.

How to tell if a laptop is refurbished?

Here are some signs that may indicate a laptop is refurbished:

1. Check for scratches or other damage

Normally, laptop manufacturers or retailers try their best to remove all kinds of scratches or other damage from refurbished laptops before they are put on sale. However, some minor scratches may still be present on refurbished laptops.

Read: How to Remove Laptop Scratches?

Therefore, the first and the most straightforward way to identify whether a laptop is refurbished or not is to check it for scratches or other damage. The laptop has likely been refurbished if the case is covered in scuffs and dings.

In addition, take a close look at the keyboard and touchpad. If they appear worn or damaged, likely, the previous owner didn’t take good care of the machine.

2. Shorter warranty period

Another key difference between a new and refurbished laptop is the warranty period.

For example, a brand-new laptop will usually have a one-year warranty, while a refurbished laptop may only have a 90-day warranty. This is because the manufacturer wants to cover any potential defects that may have been missed during the refurbishing process.

Also, the return policy of a refurbished laptop is often different from that of a new one. So, be sure to check the return policy before you buy a new laptop.

3. The laptop is sold at a significantly reduced price

Laptop prices can vary significantly from one retailer to the next. However, if you find a laptop being sold at a fraction of the normal price, there’s a good chance that it will be refurbished.

Manufacturers and retailers typically offer refurbished laptops at a discount of 15-25% off the regular price to clear out inventory, and shoppers can often find even deeper discounts of 30-50% or more during special sales.

Read: Why are Laptops more Expensive than Desktops?

In addition, refurbished laptops are often available with additional savings in the form of coupons and promo codes.

4. Check the box and the accessories

If you want to identify whether a laptop is refurbished or not, then a good place to start is by checking the box and the accessories that came with it.

On the other hand, if the laptop comes in a plain box, then there is a good chance the laptop is refurbished. In addition, the box may also have different markings or labels than a brand-new box. You may not find the brand logo or model number on the box.

While most refurbished laptops come with everything you need to get started, some may be missing items like an AC adapter or user manual.

Read: Best Laptops for Psychology Students

5. Check the serial or product number

Last but not least, you should be able to tell if a laptop is refurbished by its serial or product number. These numbers are usually located on the bottom of the laptop or on the back of the monitor.

check laptop serial number

If the serial number ends with an extra “R“, the laptop is likely to be refurbished. For example, a serial number that ends in “C0212345R” would be a refurbished laptop. Also, the product number of a refurbished laptop might have an “RF” or “FRU” designation. For example, the product number “X555LF-XX23RF” would be a refurbished laptop.

In addition, you can use the serial number to find additional information about your laptop’s history. For example, you type the serial number on the manufacturer’s website and see if it comes with different hardware or has any previous warranty claims.

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Laptops can be a great investment, but knowing what you’re buying is important. Therefore, in this article, we have briefly discussed five ways to identify whether a laptop is refurbished or not.

The most obvious way is to check for scratches or other damage on the case. If the keyboard and touchpad are worn or damaged, the laptop has likely been refurbished. Additionally, refurbished laptops come with a shorter warranty period.

We hope you find this guide helpful, and good luck in your search for the perfect laptop.

Thanks for being with us 🙂