Used devices especially laptops have become popular in the market. Some are often refurbished while others come in the same exact condition they were in from when the initial user handled it.

There are 3 known categories of used laptops, we shall name them and have a brief look at each category.

  1. Open-box
  2. Refurbished
  3. Second hand used laptops


Open-box items are not necessarily used items but due to the condition the buyer receives them from the seller they often fall under this category. It doesn’t matter how new the laptop looks, provided it reaches its end user in an open or tampered box/casing then it automatically falls under the used items category. If the buyer was not notified of its condition then he has every right to request a refund or negotiate a lower price with the seller.

Some open box items may come in this condition from the factory whereas others may reach the buyer in a factory seal and after he opening the seal he realizes its not what he wanted. In this case, the buyer may opt to sell it to a 2nd party in an open-box.

The open-box definition varies a lot however our advice you is that you first determine the laptop’s condition if it is open-box new or open-box used. In most cases, genuine laptop vendors indicate if a laptop is open-box or not.


Refurbished laptops are those that were once used for a period of time before they were returned to the manufacturer for functionality tests and mechanical repairs.

If the manufacturer determines that a laptop is still in good condition and that all it needs are some major or minor repairs and adjustments, they may opt to refurbish it and re-distribute it ad a refurbished item.

Any laptop distributor or vendor who sells refurbished laptops must indicate that it falls under this category and must also mention its current tech specs.

Second hand used laptop

In all honesty, this category is the most common in various black markets. It’s simply defined as buying a used laptop from its initial owner who perhaps bought it from the manufacturer, distributor, vendor or another previous owner. The chain of ownership in this category can never be determined.

We call this a black market category because sellers rarely have any authentic marks that qualifies them as laptop distributors or vendors yet again the buyer is never in a position to determine the laptop’s exact functionality features. In this scenario the manufacturer is never held accountable over anything should matters go wrong?

A used laptop may have many shortcomings such as slow RAM/processor, outdated OS, and viruses and so on. You may opt to buy a cheap second hand used laptop but at the end of the day it you who will enjoy or suffer its long to shorter functionalities.

Now that we all understand the various definitions of “used laptops “ let’s move on to the pros and cons of buying these items mentioned above.

buying a used laptop


Cost reduction

There is an unproven notion that used laptops are way cheaper than new ones. They are cheap yes and it’s because you get to buy them at an almost half price compared to new ones. Again, when we look at cost we not only look at a laptop’s buying price but maintenance costs as well. If you incur zero short to long term maintenance costs then a used laptop is a good choice.

It may be a good discontinued model

Discontinued models of many laptops are still lurking around in various used laptop markets. There are brands like Apple who are known for discontinuing some of their product lines every now and then. If the laptop you have always wanted falls under the discontinued batch then you may opt to buy it as a used laptop just to fulfill your craving.

Buy used, keep the environment litter free

The last thing we need littering our environment are dead none-biodegradable laptop waste. Manufacturers are trying their best to refurbish these items and make them reusable to 2nd parties. You may show some support to these efforts by purchasing a used laptop.

A quick solution to your urgent laptop crisis

Yes, used laptops are a quick solution to your urgent laptop crisis especially if you need one but do not have enough funds to buy a new one.

You get to own it even if the manufacturer doesn’t distribute it in your area/locale

Laptop manufacturers often have a tendency to choose their points of product distribution. If by any chance your area is not served by their distributors then you can buy a used model of the laptop you want from a pal or vendor who perhaps sells it used despite its barred distribution.


Undetected functionality defects at the point of purchase

Unless you are certain that it’s a refurbished laptop from the manufacturer, these other categories are somewhat tricky to discern their effectiveness. You may buy a used laptop, test it and its working just fine but along the way, maybe days later it starts showing you some functionality defects.

There is never an issued warranty

Warranties are a good way of securing your investment especially when it comes gadgets and devices such as laptops. In most cases, used laptops do not have a warranty and you’ll have nowhere to fall back to should anything go wrong. In addition, you may fall victim of a scam from con artists who parade themselves as used laptop sellers.

Used laptop may not have all its accessories

There is a probability that the used laptop you are buying does not have all its accessories such as battery charger and you may have to buy these items separately.

Lifespan remains unknown

The reasons why people opt to sell their old laptops are many. While others may genuinely want to dispose off their old machine and buy a new system upgrade, others just want to do away with their messy, slow and annoying laptops. As a used laptop buyer you remain uncertain of its specs and user warranty thus making you oblivious of it’d lifespan.


This article was produced from various research materials and customer reviews in as far as their interactions with all the three categories of used laptops are concerned.

This article is not meant to discourage the public from buying used laptops however we’d like you to view this piece as an open resource that will help you make an informed choice.

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