If you’re like me, you love quality electronic products but hate their price. It’s so sad to have a budget that only allows you to look at shiny plastic computers or tablets that have weird Chinese brand names and that you know will barely last a year. I feel your pain. What if you could have both? That would be awesome! Here’s how…
Look for manufacturer–refurbished products from a brand’s business line.
Brands such as Dell, HP and Lenovo that have quality business laptops and tablets often sell manufacturer-refurbished (not seller-refurbished) devices with a similar warranty as devices sold as new. They may be items that were returns, wrong orders, overstocked or damaged packaging. They are checked out by the manufacturer and guaranteed to work like new. If you select wisely, you can get devices with almost a full warranty. So, basically, it’s a new device.
Let me share an example of how I recently saved a ton of money on a recent purchase. I was looking to buy a Windows 10, 2-in-1 laptop/tablet. I knew exactly what I wanted it to do, and what I was going to use it for. I found a little-known product that doesn’t show up in most Amazon or Google search results when you search for “Windows 10 convertible laptops”.
It’s a Dell Latitude Rugged tablet. This thing is a beast! It’s basically bomb-proof. It has everything from a smart card reader to a 4g antenna to hot-swappable batteries. It’s really the coolest thing you’ll ever see. The price on dell.com–over $2,000! I bought it for $530 with the full three-year warranty. The Rugged keyboard accessory usually sells for $300. I found a brand new one online for $90. The active stylus usually costs $40 or more. I bought one new for $19. What normally would’ve cost more than $2,300, only cost me $639 (less than the cheapest Surface Pro 4 without a keyboard)! By the way, my tablet eats Surface Pro 4s for breakfast. ;-) I also recently bought my wife a Dell Latitude E5570 laptop that normally costs more than $1,000. I got it with a one-year warranty for less than $500!
Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for a similar deal:
- Remember manufacturer–refurbished, NOT seller–refurbished. Seller–refurbished could be… “Hey, I wiped down my used laptop with a Clorox wipe… It’s now refurbished!”
- Confirm the warranty, if you worry about warranties. Most certified resellers of manufacturer-refurbished products buy a bulk amount of computers, whose warranties go into effect when they purchase the computers, not when you do. You still can get long warranties. If they bought the bulk lot in September with a two-year warranty and you buy your computer in November, you’ll still have almost the full two years on your warranty!
- Business laptops and tablets are better quality and have nicer features than most normal consumer products you’ll find at places such as Best Buy. For example, my wife’s laptop has some rugged certifications as well as a carbon-fiber reinforced body. Can you find something like that for less than $500 at Best Buy?
- I usually find the best deals on eBay. Certified resellers on Amazon can have some good deals, too. If you shop on eBay, be sure to read everything! Once, I purchased a camera, only to find out the seller was in Russia! I am not in Russia. Fortunately, it arrived OK.
That is my two cents. Hopefully, you’ll save more than that.
Stay simple, stay minimal and be happy! :-)
What about you? Have you had luck and scored a sweet deal buying a refurbished product?
Chris is a serial deal hunter. He and his wife have lived a simple life while going to developing countries and helping the local communities. He is also the founder of Find Me a Deal and personally helps others save money online.