There’s no doubt we live in a technology-driven world. PCs, laptops and cell phones are necessities for billions of people across the globe. More than 50% of online searches start on a mobile device. When was the last time you worked in an office that didn’t utilize laptops or PCs?
These electronics can get expensive, though. That’s why people look at refurbished electronics when they want to upgrade, but don’t want to break the bank.
If you’re looking to buy used electronics, one of the first factors you should consider is the product’s refurbished grade. This grade will tell you about the longevity and the condition of the product.
So, what are these refurbished conditions, and how do you know which condition is right for your purchase? When you walk into a refurbished store, you’ll likely see the following grades.
Grade A: The Best of the Best
If a piece of refurbished equipment has a Grade A rating, that means it’s in excellent condition. These electronics will show little signs of previous use and will work at an optimal level.
If you’re investing in a Grade A refurbished PC, you should expect to see marks on the keyboard or lid from minimal use, but no significant cracks or scratches. Grade A refurbished phones will also have little cosmetic damage and function like it’s new.
Grade B: Middle of the Road
Grade B refurbished electronics are the next tier down from Grade A. Their cosmetic condition isn’t as prestigious as Grade A electronics, but they still function well.
Grade B PCs and laptops will have more noticeable cosmetic imperfections, such as scratches, scuffs, and keyboard marks. The same goes for Grade B phones and tablets. It’s almost like buying a wedding ring with a diamond that’s slightly off-center. These devices may have more cosmetic damage, but they still function and will get the job done.
Grade B refurbished electronics will be less expensive than those with a Grade A rating. If you’re trying to stick to a budget and can live with a couple of cosmetic imperfections, a Grade B refurbished electronic could be right up your alley. Investing in a service or repair warranty might not be a bad idea if you have the extra funds.
Grade C: Low Quality, but it Still Works
The next lowest tier of refurbished electronics is Grade C. Grade C PCs, laptops and cell phones will have a decent amount of wear and tear on them. These cosmetic imperfections will be noticeable, but the device itself will still work. If you don’t mind the damage, this is the most cost-effective tier to purchase from. After all, more than 33% of Americans have poor credit: when you need to get things done at a lower cost, this could be the best option for you.
Grade D: Beyond Repair
If a refurbisher is selling something at the Grade D level, that means it’s really only good for parts. In this case, it’s too damaged to function properly. If you’re looking to fix up an electronic and need a specific part, you can look at Grade D electronics to see if they have the part you need. If you’re looking for something that will function, though, Grade D is not the level you want to look at.
MAR: The Mark of Legitimacy
If you want to buy a refurbished PC, check if any refurbishers near you have PCs with MAR ratings. MAR is an acronym for Microsoft Authorized Refurbished. If a PC has a MAR rating, it’s essentially been labeled as legitimate from Microsoft. MAR PCs go through a rigorous refurbishing process, which results in a refurbished PC that is in extremely good condition.
Which Grade Is Right for You?
Multiple factors come into consideration when deciding which grade of refurbished electronics to look into:
For starters, think about what you’ll use the equipment for. If you’re looking to invest in many new PCs for your office, you may want to consider Grade A PCs. These PCs are in near-mint condition and will likely last a while. However, if you’re looking for a new computer or phone for your personal use and don’t mind a couple of scratches and scuffs, consider Grade B or even Grade C electronics. These electronics won’t be as aesthetically pleasing, but you’ll save some money and they will work just fine. You can always hide some of the scuffs and scrapes with a cool phone case.
It’s important to evaluate your electronic needs before purchasing refurbished equipment. You want to make sure the electronics you buy will fit your needs. If cosmetics mean a lot to you, then consider the upper-level grades to show off your new piece of tech. However, if you’re on a tight budget and don’t mind some wear and tear, a Grade C electronic could be your best option. If you have any questions regarding refurbished electronics, you can always turn to the refurbisher you’re buying from. They know where the electronics came from and what they went through to get refurbished, so they’ll likely have the information you’re looking for.