If you’re in the market for a new desktop but want to stick to a budget, you should consider buying a refurbished computer. How much you can get for your money depends on how well you evaluate your specific needs, such as what type of computing you will be doing. You should also consider who to buy the computer from, and how old of a computer you’re willing to purchase.

Before I get into all of that, let me explain what the term refurbished means. A refurbished desktop computer is a pre-owned computer that has undergone extensive diagnostic tests to ensure each part is in working condition, has had any and all broken parts replaced, and has been given a new warranty for any parts that might be near their breaking points. Refurbished desktop computers perform just like new, meet all of the same factory standards as new products, but are much more cost-effective than new machines.

On top of that, opting to buy a refurbished computer instead of a new one is incredibly environmentally-friendly. Choosing to purchase a refurbished computer helps keep an old computer out of a landfill. Along with this, most vendors will offer to take care of the disposal of the desktop you’re replacing (if you are replacing one). These vendors will then refurbish that computer and resell it. Even if vendors don’t refurbish your old computer, they will at least be able to dispose of it in an environmentally safe way that meets all of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) compliance standards.

When considering purchasing a refurbished computer, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

How do you plan to use your new desktop?

Do you plan on using your computer for hardcore gaming requiring an impressive graphics card and fast processing speeds? Or do you simply want a computer to complete basic computer functions with, such as browsing the Internet, checking email, running applications like Microsoft Word and Excel? Whatever your need, it is important to find a computer that suits you completely. It would be silly to buy a computer with impressive graphics is all you’re going to use it for it browsing the Internet, for example, you’d be spending extra money on features you’re not going to use.

It’s also a good idea to have in mind a specific brand of computer you want to buy, like HP, for example. This will help narrow the choices down, which will ultimately help you pick the perfect computer for you.

How old is the computer?

Ask yourself this: are you okay with purchasing an older model of a computer, or do you need to have the latest technology? There are refurbished versions of older and newer models of computers. Whichever suits your style is what you need to consider when purchasing a refurbished desktop.

Who should you buy from?

When buying a refurbished computer, you should make sure that the company you go through is reputable. Do your research. Read reviews, good and bad, and try talking to a representative of the company before making a purchase. A good way to make sure a company is reputable is whether or not it offers any type of warranty on the product. A warranty is a good indication that the company fully satisfied with its products and is sure you will be satisfied as well.