What Does Refurbished Mean?

Refurbished refers to old, used or returned computer/electronics that is restored by a manufacturer to like new condition, in terms of performance and appearance. Common sources are hardware devices returned due to manufacturing flaws and defects, or devices returned by retailers because of poor or damaged packaging.


Refurbished hardware is resold at prices that are lower than brand new model units.

Techopedia Explains Refurbished

There is not a predetermined definition of the type of damage or usage sustained by a product before it is repaired and deemed refurbished. Thus, there are many types of refurbished products – from cheap lamps to high-end electronic devices and computers. This also means that it is nearly impossible to ascertain an item’s condition before it is repaired.

Reasons for repair range from damaged packaging to hardware, like a bad motherboard or defective LCD. Because of this, refurbished products are never sold as brand new. Consumers often avoid refurbished products because of this ambiguity.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.