How To Pick Up Your Next Computer on the Cheap

Want to make money online? Get into blogging, Internet marketing, or any other possible business ventures on this crazy world wide web? A big part of the appeal here is that anyone can do it (through the truth is a little more complicated than that). The startup costs for your online business are remarkably minimal, and decidedly much less than if you wanted to launch a more conventional business.

Just as you can hop onto YouTube and start vlogging for $200 or less, you don’t have to put yourself into serious debt to have a perfectly adequate computer in front of you for work. Depending on how much horsepower you really need, you can easily find a great computer for not much money at all. You just have to know where to look. So, in addition to the usual sales, discounts, clearouts and mail-in rebates, keep your keen eye on some of these top online shops for refurbished computers too.

Amazon Renewed Computers

Okay. Shopping on Amazon is hardly any sort of secret. You probably already go there to buy everything from toilet paper to dining tables. And yes, buying electronics from Amazon is nowhere out of the ordinary either. As you sift through the search results, you may come across a handful of desktops and laptops that are refurbished. What if you really want to focus only on this subset of products? And how can you be certain about the quality of the refurbishing?

Amazon has a program called “Renewed” wherein the refurbished, pre-owned, and open box products are “inspected and tested to work and look like new” and “backed by a minimum 90-day supplier warranty.” Browse through over 6,000 renewed computers from such brands as Samsung, Lenovo, HP and Acer. Some machines are even priced under $100.


Woot! started out only offering a single deal every 24 hours, but the online store (which is now owned by Amazon) has expanded considerably since then. The main deal in the computers section is still featured at the top of the page, but if you scroll about halfway down, you can shop by category, including desktops, laptops, tablets, peripherals and computer components.

Below that, you’ll find computer “events” wherein a related collection of products are significantly discounted for a designated period of time. There are events for everything from gaming desktops to all-in-ones to Chromebooks. Check back often to score the best deals, noting the condition of each product. Some stuff is new, some are refurbished but like new, and some are scratch-and-dent and priced accordingly.

This is where I got my certified refurbished desktop for $500, when the equivalent model new was selling for almost twice as much, and the latest version was even more than that. Especially if you’re willing to settle for last-gen processor, this is a great way to go. It’s what I did.

Here’s another “alternative” online store that has always prided itself in delivering the best deals. Indeed, the slogan for is “Why Buy New – Save Big Now!” In addition to audio and video equipment, smart home products, and other categories, the main draw here will be in the computer section on

The first page typically only features a handful of products. If none of these tickle your fancy, scroll a bit further down the page to navigate to subsequent pages and you’ll find a lot more computers to choose from, including both desktops and laptops. I’ve seen some great deals on MacBook Pros and iMacs here. Read the descriptions carefully for the most detailed specs; sometimes, you might find “case only” products that aren’t the full computer. Toggle between new and refurbished via the menu on the left too.

Apple Certified Refurbished

While it is true that you can find refurbished Apple products elsewhere, you can rarely be completely certain about the level of quality and care that went into the service. If you want newer Apple stuff, but don’t want to pay full price for the brand new, latest generation products, then Apple Certified Refurbished is the way to go.

Whereas other refurbished products rarely come with more than 90-day warranty (usually much less), refurbished Macs you buy directly from Apple come with a one-year warranty, with delivery and returns, genuine part replacements if necessary, and a thorough cleaning. They also repackage them in a brand new box with all the accessories and cables, which isn’t always the case with refurbished products either.

Depending on availability, you’ll find the MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iMac, iMac Pro and Mac Pro all available as certified refurbished product directly from Apple.

Dell Outlet for Work

Unless you’re coming from more of a corporate environment, chances are that you’re generally shopping in the “consumer” side of the computer aisle to power your online business. This is particularly true if you’re a solopreneur working from home, and that makes perfect sense. However, that doesn’t mean you should overlook the more enterprise and business side of the market either.

A great resource to peruse is Dell Outlet for Work. Here, you’ll find a variety of refurbished business desktops, workstations, and all-in-one PCs. Oftentimes, these are off-lease machines. Sometimes, the computers may not have ever been used or deployed, because the company or office that ordered them no longer needed them.

The case designs aren’t the most inspiring things in the world — they are mostly designed for cubicle people — but they’re perfectly functional. What’s more, they generally use parts that were designed for the abuse of a busy office, and these parts are typically more durable than their consumer-level counterparts. That’s good news for you. With big savings to boot.