Action13

Save money with refurbished computers

Monday, August 01, 2011

It's back-to-school week on Stretch Your Dollar, and a big ticket item for many students this time of year is a new computer.

Sure, new is nice, shiny and slick, but that may come with sticker shock. So if you are looking to get the same quality at the quarter of the retail's price, then consider used.

The small computer sales and repair shop called Top Tech Experts located in Spring Branch has a steady stream of regulars. The store known for its $99 computer is now fully stocked with refurbished computers just in time for back to school.

Take, for example, one HP with flat screen monitor we found for $149.

"It includes everything you need. You know, computer itself, all the accessories: mouse, keyboard, power cables, the monitor, all the software already pre-loaded so you get home. You plug it up, you're set to go," said Alex Diaz with Top Tech Experts.

The store is now carrying more laptops. Prices start at $175 p to $250. Each computer at Top Tech also comes with a warranty.

"It's a 90-day, 12-month warranty. Ninety days covers all the parts for any defects or failures. You get 12 months warranty on the labor on those parts. So for instance, if 10 months down the line, a part fails, you pay for the part, we do the work for free," Diaz said.

At the non-profit Goodwill Computer Works in southwest Houston, the deals are just as good on their refurbished computers.

"You can get a desktop computer, complete system, starting as low as a $100, sometimes less," employee Jeff Kendell said.

Goodwill Computer Works gets all their inventory from donations. A team refurbishes all the equipment in new-like condition for a fraction of the retail price.

"So when we refurbish a computer, we are going to ensure that we have wiped off all personal data, it gets a brand new copies of an operating system and we run through full diagnostics to make sure everything in that computer works. It comes with a 90-day warranty on everything we sell," Kendall said.

The store also carries a massive selection of accessories like printers that start at $25, ink cartridges for just $4 and adaptors for $2.

"I was on my way to Radio Shack to buy a chord that had shorted and $2 that probably, love you Radio Shack, but it would have cost me probably $10, $15, $20. So absolutely, six children and a mortgage, I need to save every penny I can," customer Angela Mims said.

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