Choosing to ‘go green’ with your computer hardware has never been easier or more essential, with refurbished computers, laptops and tablets offering a huge host of benefits to you as a consumer.

Making the switch to refurbished IT saves you money, gives you access to better tech than buying new at a comparable price, and helps reuse the depleting core resources (cobalt) used in manufacturing lithium batteries.

If this is your first time shopping for recycled hardware, it’s important to understand the terminology surrounding it and to know exactly what you’re getting.

A frequent question we hear is ‘What is the difference between seller refurbished and manufacturer refurbished?’ Here we go into detail so you can make the right decision for you and your tech.

Seller refurbished

What does seller refurbished mean?

When a refurbished product has been repaired or reconditioned by a seller other than the original company that made the item - the manufacturer - it is known as seller refurbished. Whilst this can mean an individual seller, it typically refers to professional third-party companies with in-house experts.

Seller refurbished items aren’t brand new, but can work as good as new. The repairs may have been just for superficial damage suffered in transit or during the manufacturing process, and the item is then sold at a much lower price.

You may be familiar with this terminology through seller sites like eBay.

Pros/Cons

You can shop a range of refurbished IT from multiple leading brands on one website, or in one store, and make an informed decision across different models from different manufacturers to get the specs and style you want for the right price.

Whichever brand you choose, you will make significant cost savings in comparison to buying new. Just be sure to check when you’re ordering that your chosen item has a warranty. At Hardware Associates we offer a one year warranty.

Manufacturer refurbished

What does manufacturer refurbished mean?

If a product is manufacturer refurbished this tells you that the refurbishment work was carried out by the original manufacturer, for example, if Apple refurbished an iMac Pro, that item would then be manufacturer refurbished.

You will only find these types of reconditioned hardware sold directly by the manufacturer and not a reseller. When viewing these products, it’s recommended to still browse online to compare prices.

Pros/Cons

It’s easy to assume that if the manufacturer has done the repair work that it will be of higher quality than a reseller, but this isn’t the case, and it’s likely they will be of the same quality.

Manufacturers such as Apple and HP often include warranties with refurbished items and may have options to extend the period. Whether from a manufacturer or reseller, always check this is included and the terms of the warranty to ensure you are compliant.

What is the difference between seller and manufacturer refurbished?

Ultimately, the main difference is price. You are more likely to get a better price for the same refurbished computer, laptop or tablet by choosing seller refurbished.

You also have more choices than with manufacturer refurbished, in the sense that the competition of seller refurbished items brings the price down, so more models are likely to be in your price range without you having to do significant research on each manufacturer's own website.

Packaging will also be different. Resellers don’t typically use branded packaging that matches that of the items being shipped. If you’re going to recycle this anyway, it shouldn’t be a big factor, especially when you take into account the overall cost savings.

Again, check the warranty from resellers and it’s terms, as well as any returns policies before making a purchase.

Which type of IT is sold at Hardware Associates?

When you buy computers, laptops and tablets from our online store, you are buying seller refurbished hardware.

As part of our dedication to quality and customer service, we have a strict testing process for all of our stock, and each product adheres to our Q20 Promise (our warranty) with a number of cosmetic and physical checks, diagnostic software tests and BIOS checks.

You will also find a refurbished grade - either A or B - as you browse which refers to the condition of each item; Grade A is like new and Grade B may have noticeable scratches and some wear and tear, but will function as well as those in Grade A.

Find out more today

If you’d like further clarification on what buying seller refurbished or manufacturer refurbished means in real day-to-day operating terms, get in touch on 01428 707900 and browse our range online to find the right hardware for your needs.

All of our Apple, Dell and HP models are available at fantastic prices, so see how much you can save today for your home PC, business or education facility.