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Why Buy Refurbished? TechMike's Guide to Getting More While Spending Less


The idea of buying refurbished tech may not initially sound like the most glamorous option. After all, isn’t that just a fancy term for used, beat-up gear? Well… not quite.

When we say “buying refurbished”, we don’t mean scouring Craigslist for sketchy, half-broken devices. We're referring to the process of purchasing custom gear from reputable refurbishers who offer reliable, high-quality tech that's less likely to break down and more sustainable for your budget. 

In this blogpost, we’ll talk about the benefits that make buying refurbished just as good (if not better) than buying new. So, if you're ready to save some cash and potentially upgrade your gear in the process, let's dive into the advantages of buying refurbished tech.

Here’s an analogy for you. 

The moment you drive your brand new car out of the dealer’s lot, it’s already lost 30-40% of its value. It’s still the same car, of course. It just became that much cheaper because technically, it’s no longer “new”. Refurbished technology products behave  similarly; a piece of equipment labeled as “refurbished” just means that it’s been previously returned to a manufacturer or vendor for any reason, whether or not it’s been sold in the market. Regardless of how well the products actually work or the length of their use, you’ll see products get immediately marked down the moment they leave the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). If you manage your company’s purchasing, or are someone who buys and upgrades their technology often, buying refurbished could save you thousands upon thousands of dollars without sacrificing quality. If you’re just making a one-time purchase for yourself, maybe looking at a product and some accessories, you could still save hundreds of dollars; working with spare parts is really that much cheaper. No matter who you are, buying refurbished will result in saving cash one way or another. 

You’ll get more bang for your buck.

More importantly, buying refurbished allows you to afford much higher/better specs on a much lower budget. So if you don’t care about labels, and you understand how to evaluate different refurbishers, you’ll be able to put a limited budget to much better use by tailoring your server. One server could have thousands of possible configurations, so why be limited by what the OEM or distributor has to offer? When you buy a refurbished server, all of these options are made available to you at a fraction of the cost, not to mention a fraction of the time; going straight to a custom configure-to-order page avoids the hassle of contacting an OEM-certified distributor to get a quote or check on availability. 

Smaller likelihood of malfunction. Wait, really?

Yep. Purchasing refurbished products from a reputable company means that the products have been thoroughly tested and any damages fixed. Since every single component gets re-tested, it may even mean that you are less likely to experience malfunction. In the event that you do run into any issues, reputable refurbishers will offer you a warranty and a return policy in case any of the products do fail (so be sure to check out the warranty). And as opposed to returns for new-in-box products, which can get costly and complicated, these returns are usually paid for by the refurbisher (to ship) and rarely come with a restocking fee.

It’ll save you a good deal of waiting, both on lead times and replacement parts.

When buying a new server, the lead times are often painfully long, even when stock is readily available. That brings us to another beauty of purchasing refurbished servers; due to the nature of these kinds of orders, your purchase is usually ready to ship within one business day, and often the same day you purchase it. Even when configuring your own specs, these built-to-order servers are usually available to ship within a day or two at the most. 

Plus, purchasing from refurbishers means they’ll have plenty of spare parts on hand. If you need them, replacement parts are readily available and can ship to you as fast as you are able to purchase them.

Make a difference in stopping the constant stream of e-waste.

As the amount of electronics produced on a yearly basis grows, so does the towering mountain of discarded electronic waste. Each year, the United States alone disposes of over one million electronic devices that end up harming our soil and water supplies. Based on current trends, reports predict that the total amount of e-waste generated worldwide will reach 67 million tons (74 million metric tonnes) by 2030, almost doubling the output from 2014. 

That’s where electronic refurbishers come in. Refurbishing electronics reduces the demand for new products, which decreases the need for the extraction of raw materials and the energy required to produce and transport new products, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint.

The largest refurbishing companies also have certifications in place that require annual audits to ensure that all electronic waste is being handled properly. Refurbishing electronics is an effective way to reduce the demand for new products, and give old electronics a second life. By choosing to buy refurbished, you’re also taking an important step towards reducing the amount of e-waste that ends up in landfills. Way to promote a sustainable approach to technology! 

Save on shipping costs.

Many sellers across various channels in the US list their refurbished products with free shipping. Yes, free. Shipping is often costly given how large and heavy servers are. When purchasing new, shipping and handling are costs that are quite considerable. These costs will also largely vary depending on the location of the third-party distributor you will be using. In the refurbished servers world however, shipping is either provided for free, or is quoted at cost (with no margin added by the reseller).

But what makes a good refurbisher?

Of course, you’ll want to make sure you research the refurbisher you are buying from. Here are some qualities you will want to look for:

Full disclosure - A good refurbisher will be transparent with its customers.

Certified - Refurbishers that are certified by the original manufacturer are more likely to provide good quality products.

Warranty/Extended - A refurbisher that offers their customers extended warranties (90+ days) is a refurbisher that stands by the quality of their products

Return Policy - A return policy of 90+ days is a good one. If the refurbisher accepts their products back, it speaks to the confidence they have in the products they sell.

For a comprehensive comparison of new vs. refurbished servers, check out this handy table: 

Comparison table of pros and cons of buying refurbished vs. buying new from original equipment manufacturer

TechMikeNY is an established brand with over 20 years’ experience refurbishing and reselling high-quality servers. With R:2-v3, ISO-140001, ISO-9001 and ISO-45001 certifications, we pride ourselves on providing the best quality refurbished products at an affordable price.

Looking for good deals on used servers? You’re in the right place.

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