In the current digital world, unfortunately not everybody has the budget to buy a cutting-edge and expensive computer or laptop for carrying out the demanding needs of modern lifestyle.
Fear not! There are Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers (MAR) to the rescue. Their goal is to ensure you get a reliable and high performance computer product, with the same specs and functionality of expensive models, but at a much lower cost.
What is a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher?
So let’s see what a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher (MAR) is all about. A MAR is a company that is authorized by Microsoft to refurbish old computers and install genuine Microsoft software on them and sell them at a reduced price.
The program allows firms, academic users, charity organizations, small businesses, individuals, and specially approved recipients across the world to gain access to refurbished PCs which are already pre-installed with genuine Microsoft software.
The program was established in November 2007 as a way to combat piracy and also to reduce electronic waste in the world.
Authorized Refurbisher companies must adhere to strict guidelines and requirements from Microsoft and must be large enough to sell on average 1,000 PCs per month. Therefore, when buying from a MAR company you can be sure that you are getting a great product and service.
Advantages of Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers.
The main advantage of the refurbishing program is gaining access to licensed Microsoft software at a lower price compared to new PCs from manufacturers.
This licensing program is specially designed to make it easier to install windows and other genuine Microsoft software on refurbished machines.
Purchasing from a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher guarantees that you’ll get high quality and professionally refurbished devices featuring genuine Microsoft Windows and other software.
As opposed to genuine Microsoft software in retail, refurbished computer software is sold at significantly subsidized prices to end-users.
In other words, refurbished computers are meant for users seeking to save on cost and still have a quality computer for their computing needs. Also, you’ll be saving the planet by reducing the carbon footprint of making new desktops and laptops.
List of Best Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers
We have researched and curated the top MAR companies which operate both in the US and in other countries in the world and listing them below for people who want to buy cheap electronics without sacrificing quality.
Founded in December 2005 by Andy Blair, the Blair Technology Group (BTG) has been creating the best possible computer experience by selling low-cost and reliable refurbished computers and laptops, helping thousands of customers to save money in the process.
Blair Technology Group is an award-winning leader in the refurbished computer industry in USA. In 2012, they became a Tier 1 Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher, a status that only 20 other MARs in the U.S have managed to achieve.
When you buy a product from BTG, you are guaranteed of getting hardware with Microsoft Genuine software and a properly Licensed computer.
They sell an array of low cost and well-known brands of desktops, laptops, tablets etc to meet any personal or business needs. You will find brands such as Lenovo, Dell, HP etc.
At BTG, you can even build your own computer. All you have to do is pick a computer model, select the specs and add-ons you want, then place an order & enjoy. How easy is that!
For businesses, you can get volume pricing discounts if you buy three or more same model devices. For this purchase, there’s a free 1 year warranty to give you peace of mind.
In 2019, BTG was ranked the #1 MAR IN THE U.S regarding sales.
BTG offers the highest quality favorite brand refurbished computers at a fraction of the price you would get for a new one in retail.
Prior to refurbishing, they completely wipe the Hard Drive clean to ensure it’s free of any file possibly left.
Also, most of their products have a 30-Day warranty and exchange policy of 14 days. The customer support team is U.S. based, so if you need help you can talk to a qualified sales agent for advice.
Free shipping on all orders (in the USA) is the “cherry on the cake” for buying a product from BTG.
Bargain Hardware is among an elite of less than 10 Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher partners in the UK.
They have a trusted relationship with Microsoft that eliminate concerns regarding the legitimacy of second-hand PC’s.
Bargain Hardware combines their years of experience and knowledge in IT hardware solutions with the genuine Microsoft OS, which will put your security first, premium quality at a great value.
They sell a wide range of Dell, HP, and Lenovo laptops and desktop PCs, coupled together with genuine Microsoft software.
Bargain Hardware and Microsoft share a goal to fight piracy on second hand and refurbished computers.
Piracy hinders software development, drains resources, and leaves you and/or your business open to attack. Their MAR program comes with a Certificate Of Authenticity (COA) with accessibility granted by using a Product Key.
“Approved Selection“ is another Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher that has been in operation for over 24 years (mostly in Europe).
They are also among the first European companies with MAR certification, which makes sure you get a genuine Windows Installation.
Do you have an old computer you want to get rid of? Approved Selection has the experience, expertise, and resources needed to arrange a safe, environment-friendly way of doing so. That old hardware has value.
Their Approved Selection computers come pre-installed with authentic Microsoft Windows. They include Dell Refurbished, Lenovo Refurbished, HPE Refurbished, Refurbished Macbook, Refurbished iPhone, Refurbished iPad, A-brand products such as Apple, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, and the product range keeps on growing each day.
Launched in the summer of 2015, RefurbIT has a partnership with VIG computers to offer top-tier Microsoft Authorized Refurbished equipment at attractively lower prices to the North America region.
They sell HP, DELL, Apple, Lenovo laptops, desktop computers, Chromebooks, and notebooks. All processes, tests, refurbishes etc are done in house at Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, with a strict set of methods to make sure of the greatest conditioning and quality.
All their products come with a 30 day 100% Satisfaction and 1 year warranty on A-Grade hardware. Accessories and monitors have a 90-day warranty. There’s also FREE SHIPPING to most of the U.S. and Canada (Remote areas will be $20). With RefurbIT, you’ll be getting more for less!
Sage Sustainable Electronics is a privately owned Microsoft refurbisher based in Columbus, Ohio. Their mission is creating a more sustainable society by increasing the lifespan of used electronics instead of recycling.
They provide over 100 brand-name electronics up to 65% off the original price. They include desktop computers, laptops, phones, printers, flat-screen TVs, printers, tablets, and accessories. With sagese, you’ll be getting awesome tech that’s good for your wallet and the earth.
CFA trading claims to be one of the leading Microsoft Authorized refurbishers in the UK who provide a complete solution for refurbished laptops and PCs.
You can expect to get Aiken Workbench services (auditing, testing, data erasing, disk imaging), certified testing, certified grading, and certified refurbishment.
Joy Systems claims to be one of the best Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers in the world. They have been bringing smiles to user’s faces since 2001 and have refurbished 4,000,000+ laptops, desktops, monitors, and tablets and also scooped 29 Microsoft Partner awards.
Their reliable services, superb quality, and excellent value have indeed set and maintained the industry standards.
IT Zoo is one of the largest European suppliers of refurbished computers (including laptops as well). They mostly work with top computer brands like Apple, HP, Dell, Lenovo, Samsung etc.
They are based in Sheffield UK, working via a complete warehouse facility to provide their MAR computers among other services.
The company, as a MAR authorized partner with Microsoft, has managed to achieve the exact high-quality standards that Microsoft requires for their MAR program.
In addition to desktop computers and laptops, IT Zoo offers also peripheral electronic devices such as Apple parts, PC base units, computer monitors, adaptors, networking devices etc.
This company claims to be one of the first registered MAR in the UK and they are able to provide large quantities of refurbished products to consumers or businesses alike.
As all the other Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers, 1st Technologies provides authentic and genuine Microsoft software (operating system etc) to all of their refurbished devices that they sell.
They also serve educational institutions and charity customers in addition to end users.
This company is so large that they sell also large quantities in wholesale and also exporting many of their products.
Another USA company, TekRefurbs is an official Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher founded in Richmond, Virginia in 1999. They sell refurbished desktops and laptops from brands like Dell, HP, Lenovo etc.
As the company states, they have an in-depth stress-testing process for the systems they sell to ensure proper functionality and reliability.
According to the MAR program, each computer they sell has a Windows 10 installed which is fully-licensed and authentic.
Their products are ideal for churches, charities, small businesses with low budget etc.
Now let’s discuss some terms and definitions that many people see online when shopping for used/refurbished electronics etc.
Refurbished vs. New Computers
Although refurbished computers may never have been used, they are different from “new” computers. A computer may be refurbished for a number of reasons, including the following:
- Customer return
- Shipping damage
- Store models
- Models with production defects
- Open box models
The main reason why people choose a refurbished computer is that it usually carries the same warranty as a new computer but it costs less.
In addition, buying refurbished computers is environmentally friendly. You won’t have a lot of customization options with a refurbished computer, but you can save some money and get one that hasn’t been used and still has the manufacturer warranty.
Refurbished vs. Used Computers
The primary difference between refurbished and used computers is that refurbished computers have not been used. They include computers where the box may have been opened, there may be some cosmetic damage, or they might be overstock.
A used computer has been used by another consumer. They no longer want or need it so they sell it directly to a buyer or to a third-party seller.
You take a few risks because you don’t know what the previous owner has downloaded onto the computer, or they may have dropped it or spilled on it. These are the chances that you take. However, they usually cost less.
Renewed vs. Refurbished Computers
A renewed computer is different from a refurbished computer. While a refurbished computer is one that has been opened and returned, has cosmetic blemishes, or is overstock, a renewed computer is a used computer that has been restored so that it is “like new.”
It has been tested and anything that needed to be repaired or replaced has been done. They come in a generic box, and they have all of the cables and parts that a new computer would have.
Refurbished vs. Open Box Computers
Open box computers can be refurbished computers. They are computers that have been opened and returned by a customer.
If the box has been opened for any reason after leaving the manufacturer, it is considered an open box. Refurbished computers include open box computers, but they also include computers that may have suffered shipping damage or those that are overstock.
They could also be computers that have production defects. While an open box computer is a refurbished computer, a refurbished computer includes more than open box models.
Refurbished vs. Certified Refurbished Computers
When you buy a refurbished computer, it is a computer that is no longer eligible to be sold as new. It might be a return or it could be a computer that was damaged during shipping. It often carries the warranty and it has been checked by a professional to make sure that it works.
If you buy a certified refurbished computer, it has undergone more checks to make sure that the computer has been restored to its original condition.
The primary difference is that a refurbished computer will work, but a certified refurbished computer is considered “like new” condition. You can have greater confidence when you buy a certified refurbished computer. Also, if you buy from a Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher, the Windows operating system will be original and authentic and is certified my Microsoft.