Should Freelancers Buy New or Refurbished Laptops?

The first thing you need to think about when you want to start freelancing, besides the types of services you will be offering, is the computing device you will be using. Most of your work will be done on a computer, and so it is important to think about the type of computer you would like to buy and that will fit your use cases. When shopping for a laptop, it is common to hear the term “refurbished” or “refurb”. What are refurbished laptops, and how do they compare against new laptops?

Refurbished Laptops: An Overview

A refurbished laptop is a laptop that has been returned to a retailer or manufacturer for a variety of reasons. The retailer or manufacturer then takes these laptops apart, checks them, and ensures everything is working like it would in a new laptop. The major testing these laptops undergo before being put back on store shelves is what differentiates them from used laptops.

When Buying Refurbished is a Great Idea

One of the most common reasons why a laptop is returned to a retailer or manufacturer is cosmetic defects. This means there is nothing wrong with these laptops and after undergoing the required checks, they are often sold for a lower price than new laptops.

This means it is possible to buy refurbished laptops that are essentially new at a fraction of the price of a new laptop of the same capabilities and specifications.

As a budding freelancer, you can shop online for refurbished laptops that have the specifications you are looking for, and you might find them.


One downside of going with the refurbished option is that stock might be limited depending on the retailer and the specific model you are looking for. If you are looking for a specific laptop model, you might have to reach out to a manufacturer directly and see if they have a refurbished option.

A common solution to this is choosing a refurbished laptop that has the same specifications as the one you are looking for, even though it may not be the exact model you need.


Another huge difference between new, used, and refurbished laptops is the warranties offered for them. With used laptops, you do not get any warranty or quality assurances, and so you have to rely on what the seller tells you.

With refurbished laptops, you usually get a limited warranty. This is typically a fraction of the period offered by a retailer or manufacturer for a new laptop. However, even with these shortened warranty periods, you can expect the laptop to last almost as long as a new laptop due to the quality checks and assurances.

New laptops come with a full warranty. This is because they have been fully tested from the factory, and thus the retailer or manufacturer is completely sure about their projected lifetimes.

If you have the money, buying a new laptop is the best option. However, refurbished laptops are a great option if you are strapped for cash. They have been checked to ensure they perform as expected and come with a warranty, even though it might be limited. It would be a bad idea to start your freelance career with a used laptop unless you have a very small budget and trust the seller completely.

Should Freelancers Buy New or Refurbished Laptops? was last updated September 7th, 2022 by Boris Dzhingarov