Hackernoon logoEverything You Need to Know About Refurbished Computers via TechSoup by@techsoup

Everything You Need to Know About Refurbished Computers via TechSoup

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Explore the details of refurbished computers from TechSoup

TechSoup offers high-quality refurbished desktops, laptops, and other hardware to eligible nonprofits. Not all systems have the same software and hardware configuration or system restore options, so TechSoup recommends that you review individual product pages to see the specifications of each product.

  • Standard Warranties
  • Problems with a Request
  • Shipping and Fulfillment
  • Special Requests
  • Recycling
  • Quality Standards
  • Product Condition
  • Administrative Fees
  • Case Studies
  • Environmental Benefits
  • Become a Refurbisher Partner

Standard Warranties

Most refurbished computers from TechSoup include one-year warranties. All refurbisher warranties cover hardware and component failure, including all parts and labor costs, shipping fees, and customer support. Warranties also cover whether laptop batteries will hold a one-hour charge for the first 90 days.

You may return most refurbished computers within 14 days of receiving them for any reason to receive a full refund (does not apply to special requests). You will be responsible for any shipping charges. TechSoup recommends adding insurance and tracking services to your return.

At any time during your warranty period, you can open a warranty support request. The refurbisher partner might first attempt to troubleshoot the issue by telephone, email, or remote desktop connection to determine whether the partner should replace the product. You will receive replacement hardware when the refurbisher partner has approved it. Replacement units carry the remaining time of the original warranty.

Warranties do not protect products with problems that occur because of installing additional software, uninstalling existing software, or any kind of manipulation of the computer's hardware components. Warranties are void if a third party evaluates or troubleshoots the product.

TechSoup recommends that you inspect your product and activate your software immediately when your hardware arrives. Please keep all packaging until you have confirmed that everything works properly.

The warranty period begins when TechSoup processes the request and communicates to the refurbisher partner to fulfill it. To find this date, visit your Request History (login required). Locate and click the Details link associated with your request. You can find the shipped date under Product Status.

Problems with a Request

TechSoup recommends that you store all of the documentation included with the product in a safe place. It contains important information such as license keys that you may need later.

Refurbisher partners are responsible for providing warranties and troubleshooting for their products. Please have your fulfillment email handy and look for the refurbisher partner label when opening a support request. Labels on desktops are typically on the side or rear of the hardware, and labels on laptops are typically on the bottom.

The refurbisher partner may be able to troubleshoot the problem or replace the product. Contact the refurbisher partner within 14 days if

  • The hardware is damaged or defective
  • There are problems with the preinstalled software
  • The shipment included the wrong hardware
  • The shipment is missing an entire product
  • One or more products are missing parts

To open a warranty claim or for troubleshooting support

  1. Have your request information handy from your fulfillment email
  2. Open a support request

Shipping and Fulfillment

Since we have more than one refurbisher partner, your products may arrive from different locations and at different times.

We cannot ship to PO Boxes. If your organization's shipping address is a PO Box or is different from its physical location, we will ship your request to your organization's physical address.

After TechSoup approves your request, the refurbisher partner will ship your hardware within 10 business days. They will send your shipment tracking number via email. Additional charges and longer shipping times may apply for shipments to Alaska or Hawaii.

Special Requests

TechSoup now accepts special requests for refurbished hardware to provide more nonprofits with a wider variety of discounted technology products.

Special requests include

  • Requests for more than 10 of a single refurbished laptop, desktop, or monitor that isn't in our hardware catalog
  • Requests for refurbished laptops or desktops from our catalog without Microsoft Office installed

Note that products received through special requests can't be returned for a refund.


When the refurbished computers you receive finally reach the end of their useful life or become obsolete, you have a no-cost, secure, and environmentally safe solution to dispose of them. All refurbished computers you've received from TechSoup are eligible for free recycling services and pickup.

For information how to recycle refurbished computers from TechSoup, see Free End-of-Life Recycling for Refurbished Computers.

Quality Standards

Our partners refurbish hardware built to the high standards of corporations and designed for office applications. Its processors are generally of a higher capacity than those manufactured for home use. These refurbished systems usually last three to five years and experience fewer problems and failures than their consumer-oriented counterparts.

These partners must stand behind their products and adhere to strict quality standards. The hardware failure rate consistently remains below the industry standard for new products. These partners back their hardware with warranties and guarantee it to be clean, free of major defects, and in working order upon arrival. They clean hardware inside and out, replace missing and broken parts, and rigorously test each product.

Product Condition

Like most refurbished computer providers, we categorize hardware based on its condition.

  • Condition A: The product meets the highest functional and cosmetic standards of refurbished hardware.
  • Condition B: The product may have cosmetic defects that do not affect its operability. Typical cosmetic defects include wear on keyboards and hand-rest areas, minor screen blemishes, and scratches and nicks on the outer case.
  • Condition C: This product may have average wear or more visible cosmetic issues. Typical cosmetic defects include visible scratches on the case and the screen and minor dents.

All of our hardware is Condition A unless we specify Condition B or Condition C in the product name and description.

Administrative Fees

Our administrative fees include all shipping and handling. Sales tax may apply separately. Read more about administrative fees in the TechSoup Product Donation FAQ.

Case Studies

Read how nonprofit organizations benefit and make use of refurbished computers they receive through TechSoup.

Environmental Benefits

By offering refurbished computers, we put useful technology in the hands of nonprofit organizations and public libraries and save it from an early disposal. See TechSoup's Green Technology page for more technology solutions that can help reduce our overall impact on the environment.

Become a Refurbisher Partner

We connect top computer refurbishers with nonprofits, charities, and libraries across the country. TechSoup's refurbisher partners bring industry expertise and a commitment to serving the social benefit sector.

For information on becoming a refurbisher partner, please contact Gayle Carpentier ([email protected]), director of business development at TechSoup.


Originally published as "About Refurbished Computers from TechSoup" with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.


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