What’s the difference between refurbed and used?

What’s the difference between refurbed and used?
14 Okt 2020

The Earth’s resources are under ever-growing pressure due to rising demand and increasing product diversity. This is why it’s important to treat existing resources responsibly and use them in a sustainable way. The environment can be protected and resources conserved by using products for longer – this applies to IT hardware too. But what’s the difference between used hardware and refurbished hardware – and what advantages does refurbished hardware have to offer?  

A comparison – new vs. refurbed vs. used

New products are unused, undamaged products in their original packaging, which come directly from the manufacturer. The equipment is sold with all accessories and a full manufacturer’s guarantee which generally lasts 12 months.

Refurbished products are those which have been inspected by a manufacturer or dealer and fully renewed. When the work is done, there is almost no difference to a new device. All data from previous owners is deleted from the hardware in an audit-proof process.

Usually it is business equipment which has come to the end of its leasing contract. These devices are designed with high-quality components for a long lifetime and so reusing them is not a problem. To summarise – refurbished products work just as well as new products.

Used products are used and then subsequently sold on directly by the previous owner. This equipment often has traces of wear such as scratches, cosmetic damage or depleted batteries. There is also no guarantee that the equipment even works. Another disadvantage of used equipment is that there is generally no guarantee available.

5 differences between refurbed and used

Refurbed vs. uses

  1. Guarantee
    Refurbished devices are generally sold with a guarantee – at least as long as or even longer than that of a new product. In contrast, used hardware very rarely includes a guarantee. The person selling the product can even completely exclude a guarantee.
  2. Support
    Support for properly refurbished equipment is often provided by the manufacturer or a dealer. There is generally no support at all provided for used equipment, or it is offered by third parties.
  3. Age of the equipment
    Refurbished equipment is often “off-lease” equipment. A customer leases the hardware and replaces it every 24-36 months. The used equipment is returned to the manufacturer or sold to refurbishment companies.
  4. Exterior appearance
    From its appearance and its functionality, it is almost impossible to tell the difference between a refurbished product and a new product. Scratches and the like are repaired. In contrast, used equipment is sold without refurbishing and with all signs of wear.
  5. Data deletion
    With used equipment, it is often the case that data is not fully deleted. Apparently-deleted configurations may still be present and interfere with the equipment’s function. With refurbished hardware, data is deleted completely using an audit-proof process, in accordance with EU-GDPR legislation. The deletion process is standardised and the data is deleted independently of the hardware’s condition.

You can read about our refurbishment process in detail in our article, Green IT Refurbishing.

Advantages of refurbished hardware at Green IT Solution

Properly-refurbished products have many advantages over used or second-hand ones:

  • 10 year guaranteewe offer a full 10 year guarantee on used network equipment. This means we guarantee smooth and reliable operation. In contrast, new products only have a 12 month guarantee.
  • New condition – the equipment is cleaned, repaired if necessary, and thoroughly tested. If there are any scratches or other signs of wear on the equipment these will also be touched up.
  • Cheaper than new products – one of the biggest advantages of refurbished products is their price. They are often significantly less expensive than new products.
  • Inspection of function – The functionality of the hardware is thoroughly tested. Hardware undergoes multiple tests to exclude faults during operation or being dead on arrival.
  • Sustainable – refurbished hardware pushes back against the “throwaway society” and enables a product’s lifetime to be extended. This reduces the demand for new products, conserving resources and protecting the environment.
  • Refurbishing in Germany – the hardware is refurbished in Germany. This avoids long transportation routes and reduces CO2 emissions.

Refurbed hardware – conclusions

Refurbished IT equipment is a sensible and sustainable alternative to buying new products. Through refurbishment, existing equipment can be used for longer. Thoroughly-refurbished devices are therefore a great way of saving money as well as conserving resources – without having to compromise on quality or functionality. So when buying hardware, it’s worth taking a look at refurbished products. In most cases, these work just as well as a new product.

However, used equipment is not tested or refurbished and may be defective – slowing your workflow. So used equipment is less suitable for use in enterprises and even represents a risk.

If you have any questions our experienced consultants are happy to help. Don’t hesitate to contact us for advice. We’re happy to advise you on all IT and network questions.



Lisa Neulichedl