Should I buy a refurbished PC?

Buying Refurbished Saves Money

They are many factors to consider when purchasing a new computer such as memory, hard drive size and removable media are just a few to mention.  For most of us the final determining factor usually does not come down to the computer’s specifications as much as it does the price. With the economy in a recession and the unemployment rate on the rise most of us are already tightening up the belt on our finances as it is. So, why not consider buying a refurbished pc?

I know what your thinking, why would I buy somebody else’s junk just to save a few bucks? Another man’s trash is another’s treasure right? In today’s time it’s just easy to snag a great deal on used computer as it is to go out and buy a brand new one.  There are both pros and cons with purchasing new or used. Let’s just look at the numbers shall we?

Dell Optiplex GX360

Specifications

Now, I have taken the same pc and compared it to the new price vs. the refurbished price.

*Note: This particular pc is considered to be business class computer according to Dell which is great for a small business wanting to save some money on the bottom line.

Dell Optiplex GX360

MEMORY 1.0GB DDR2 Non- ECC SDRAM, 800MHz, (1DIMM)
HARD DRIVE 80GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s and 8MB DataBurst Cache™
OPTICAL DRIVE 16X DVD+/-RW SATA, Roxio Creator™ CyberlinkPowerDVD™
VIDEO CARD Integrated Video, Intel® GMA3100
MONITOR No Monitor
KEYBOARD Dell USB Keyboard, No Hot Keys
MOUSE New Dell USB Optical Mouse with Scroll, All Black Design
SPEAKERS No Speaker, OptiPlex

Comparison

 

Dell’s new price: $463 (www.Dell.com)

Refurbished price: $155 (www.sdiusa.net)

A difference of $308

Ok let’s be fair, this new computer has 1 year factory on it compared to the 90 days of remaining Dell warranty left on the refurbished pc. Alright now let’s assume the average computer user will purchase a new and or refurbished computer every 2 to 3 years. With this stipulation we can now look at the long term costs of maintaining this particular pc. Also, let us assume that the motherboard has to be replaced within first 6 months of ownership.

1st year of ownership after 6 months costs comparison.

 
Refurbished PC
New PC
Initial Cost
$155
$463
Replacement Motherboard
$195*
$0
Total
$350
$463
*Indicates included labor costs.

That’s still a savings of $113!

Now, lets look at the same numbers over a 3 year lifespan and this time lets assume that you purchased the $99 extended warranty on the new computer when you bought it this time. In addition, to make this interesting lets add another hardware failure into the mix. For this example, there is a memory failure calculated in.


2nd year of ownership costs comparison. (Includes 1st year Savings)

 
Refurbished PC
New PC
Initial Cost
$155
$463
Extended Warranty
$0
$99
Replacement Motherboard
$195*
$0
New Memory Module
$95*
$0
Total
$445
$562
*Indicates included labor costs.

For a savings of $117!


Is it ok to condsider a Refurbished PC?

When looking at both examples take note that all the prices included in the calculations include labor costs. These figures where calculated in order to show that you don’t have to be a computer guru to own a refurbished pc. But, just think about the savings if you could do it yourself. From our examples above you would have saved an additional $140 over two years.

There is a common misconception about factory warranties that when it expires you know longer can get the manufacturing company (in this case Dell) to help you diagnose and troubleshoot the pc. But, this is simply not true, most of the time the manufactures’ technicians will help you troubleshoot a problem if you just ask. This could mean big savings for you. I’ve actually seen third party companies charge upwards of $100 just to tell you what is wrong with your pc. So in any case, use all money the saving tricks that you can think of to your advantage. Just like owning anything of monetary value there will always be some costs involved with maintenance. As a result, the next time you find yourself shopping for a computer you might want to consider expanding your horizons and possibly considering a refurbished pc.

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