Episode 6:

How to buy a great used PC for your business.


New PCs are increasingly affordable and powerful, but if you have cost-cutting on the mind or prefer an eco-friendly option, why not purchase a refurbished PC? While there are lots of people selling used PCs, the Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR) program works with partners to professionally refurbish desktop, laptop and servers with genuine Microsoft software, at a great value. Let’s answer some of the common questions people have when considering a refurbished PC.

Used versus refurbished – what’s the difference?
Used products are usually sold “as is,” which means you may encounter defects. Refurbished products have been repaired, updated and tested for performance before they are sold.

Where do refurbished PCs and devices come from?
Usually they are devices that were used by corporations and then given to refurbishers to be wiped and sold. This helps prevent devices from ending up in landfills.

What exactly does refurbishing a PC involve?
A refurbished PC sold by a Microsoft authorized refurbisher has been cleaned of old data, repaired (if required), tested and has genuine Windows operating system software installed on it.

Why does running genuine software matter?
* Who does the refurbishing and what are their standards and policies?
* What process is used to ensure the hard drive data has been completely wiped and is virus-free?
* Where did the pre-owned PC come from and has it been upgraded with any new or used parts?
* What is your equipment disposal policy and how are you environmentally responsible?
* Does the PC have a warranty, and if so, what does the warranty cover?
* What is the return policy?

What about support and other services?
If you buy a refurbished PC from a Microsoft refurbisher, you get free web-based operating system support from Microsoft. You can purchase additional support from Microsoft on a fee-per-incident basis.

How do I know it is a MAR PC?
Labels. Look for the original Certification of Authenticity (COA) that came affixed to the PC or a genuine Microsoft label AND a specifically designed COA for refurbished PCs. Look for the statement “For Use on Refurbished PC Only—No Commercial Value—For Authentication Purposes Only.” It also includes the brand name of the refurbisher who refurbished it and installed Windows on the computer.

How do I know it is a MAR PC?
Ask the IT company or retailer who is offering the refurbished product if they are a member of the Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher Program (MAR).

Where can I find an authorized refurbisher in Canada?
Visit this page and select Canada for a complete list of Microsoft registered refurbishers. You can also visit the refurbished PC section of Microsoft’s website for more info and resources.