A question we do get a lot is: what is reconditioned equipment? We decided to use the wording “reconditioned” for the used equipment we fix/clean/test and then resell. Some call it refurbishing, some call it recertifying. When we opened business in 2011, we decided to not use “refurbished” as “manufacturer refurbished” and “reseller refurbished” are two very different things, the fact that in many customers’ mind, “refurbished” means “formerly broken and maybe or maybe not repaired right”, and “recertified” didn’t sound right to us. In short, “reconditioned” means that we put the equipment in as new usable condition, unless otherwise stated. Some of the equipment we get was indeed “broken” and we repaired them, but in most cases, the equipment we get is in good working condition and just needs some love (translate: parts upgrade, cleaning, stress-testing of components, etc.) to perform properly. Items that don’t match our standards of quality, are either recycled, or offered for sale for parts or repair.
Should I get a new or a reconditioned computer for the same price?
For most people, the answer would be: definitely reconditioned, this is where you find the best bang for your buck. Performance/features will be much better on a reconditioned model, compared to a similarly-priced brand-end one. Pretty much the same as buying a new vs used car, you can have something that looks and “smells” new, or you can get something that will be more powerful, and have more bells and whistles. In most cases, we also upgrade the models we get, to current standards, therefore they perform better than when they were new, and usually much better than similarly priced brand-new models.
We also sell new models, mostly in special order but sometimes also get great deals on new items (they usually sell quite fast though).
Why buy from us?
We have an extensive checklist of tasks we do on every single machine we refurbish/recondition, which we believe to be one of the most comprehensive in the industry. Here’s a sample of what we do:
1. clean the equipment inside and out (using compressed gas, acetone, alcohol-based solution, LCD solution, etc.), remove most marks and/or sticker residue.
2. check outer casing and either replace broken/damaged parts, replace the lid/palmrest/keyboard or we get a new skin, or give a discount if the damage is just cosmetic
3. we check if there are any loose pieces (broken plastic, loose screw) in the machine and remove them if so
4. install all drivers, including the obscure ones most people don’t know about, and USB3.0 drivers, which many refurbishers don’t care to install, leaving your USB3.0 ports either not working or working at USB2.0 speed
5. install BIOS update to the latest available version, confirming the motherboard is healthy
6. test backlit keyboard/ambient light, test webcam audio and video feeds, check hinges, replace missing screws
7. do a fresh windows install – including all current updates
8. install some basic software so the machine is plug’n’play – no bloatware and no spyware – and go as far as installing a wallpaper package specific to the machine brand
9. activate Windows. Replace the license if it is invalid, call Microsoft if it is necessary to activate it
10. remove the machine’s BIOS password if there’s one – or give a discount in the few events when we can’t remove it
11. replace thermal paste if the processor is overheating, using using high end.
12. test all USB ports, memory and hard drive for bad sectors and I/O issues, healthiness, number of hours, and in many cases, we end up using a brand-new hard drive as used ones are often no to our quality standards.
13. battery check – health and wear levels, replace it if it’s too low
14. activate firewall and antivirus
15. test both wifi and ethernet
16. check screen for dead pixels, scratches or other defects
17. test charger and cord to ensure they provide the expected power to the machine
18. gaming machines are stress-tested using industry-leading tools to ensure the gaming performance is as expected
19. run WEM on Windows 7 to assess the machine performance
20. list all machines on our website and include detailed specs about the equipment
21. provide a 90 days warranty or you can opt out for a 15% discount. We also offer extended warranties and maintenance plans on what we sell. Sure, some of our competitors offer longer warranties – but for a higher price
22. offer free data transfer on purchases $150 and more, $25 under that price. We keep customer’s data for 5 days at no charge before doing a security wipe on the old equipment. No extra charge for that
23. price our equipment competitively and price-match valid competitors
24. you can trade-in your old equipment!
When you’re looking to purchase from a competitor, feel free to bring them this list and ask them how many of the items on this checklist they do, you might be surprised by the answer.
Many only install the system (some only do a system cleanup and call it a day), which is far from identifying all the potential issues on the equipment.
You may argue that some of these items are usually easy to do (while others are really not!), but doing so save our customers’ time and hassle. Some other items are highly important to make sure the machine performs well, and lasts longer.