Many Black Friday deals have already arrived, and there are plenty of great discounts on everything from gaming monitors to graphics cards to SSDs. However, some of those discounts are for refurbished (or “renewed”) products, which means they aren’t strictly new.
You might have seen a few sales and discounts for refurbished products already, and more are sure to come. To help you sort through everything, we’ll answer a simple question with a somewhat-complicated answer: when should you buy refurbished PC hardware?
What is refurbished?
Before explaining when you should buy refurbished products, it helps to start with a simpler question: what exactly does ‘refurbished’ mean?
The term ‘refurbished’ refers to products that are sold after they were returned to a manufacturer or vendor for various reasons. The buyer may simply have not liked the product (e.g. a graphics card that didn’t fit in their PC), or the device came out of the factory with some components damaged (e.g. gaming PC with a dent in the case), or the product didn’t work at all when the buyer received it (e.g. dead graphics card).
When a company refurbishes a product, it tests the functionality to ensure everything is in working order. That means when you purchase a refurbished graphics card or SSD, it should work like when it was new, though it may have different packaging and/or accessories. Some refurbished products may also have minor cosmetic defects, which are usually specified in the product description.
Because the term ‘refurbished’ can be off-putting to some buyers—usually due to experiences with third-party sellers, which we’ll get to later—you may also see different words being used that mean the same thing. Some common examples in the world of PC hardware include “refurb,” “reconditioned,” “recertified,” or “renewed.” EVGA also uses the term “B-Stock” for its refurbished graphics cards and other devices.