In a recent article by TechSoup, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping other nonprofits with technical support and IT training, refurbished technology was discussed. This is an important topic for the Nerds Abroad organization because one of our main projects is accepting people’s technology, refurbishing it, and then finding a home for that technology through an organization/nonprofit in need. Similarly to what TechSoup does, Nerds Abroad is able to serve the local community, but also nonprofits around the world that need refurbished technology at a discounted price.

But the biggest question is, “Is certified refurbished worth the potential extra cost?

We are here to answer that question! There are several myths about technology donations that we are going debunk. Both Stephen, President of Nerds Abroad, and I, secretary of Nerds Abroad, have Apple computers that are over eight years old and do a marvelous job at assisting us in our daily work tasks. So while your old computer may not be serving the purpose you need it for, a little bit of repair can go a long way for aging electronics.

The first distinction that must be made is the difference between used and refurbished. Used technology can be found on Craigslist or eBay. Usually it involves buying from a private seller and basically, the description is what you get and you hope nothing is wrong with it when you receive it. Refurbished technology comes from a certified refurbisher (like Nerds Abroad) and you are guaranteed that it will work properly or else you can send it back to be properly fixed. So you aren’t stuck with something based on the description from the seller, but refurbished technology has that guaranteed peace of mind piece.

The first myth we want to debunk is that once the computer stops working, it is useless. The truth is that there are tons of options when a computer stops working. This is where refurbishing comes in. The most common thing that stops a computer from working is the hard drive, which is totally replaceable! Swap in a new solid state (SSD) and WA LA! It is a completely different computer. We perform this operation on a handful of computers each month. Now, there are some pieces of technology that are much harder to fix and are not as useful refurbished, such as logic/motherboard, when the part costs more than the worth of the item.

Myth number two, refurbished equipment has a short lifespan. Life I mentioned before, I’ve been using a computer that is over ten years old for at least three years. It’s still fast, has a great working memory, and serves its purpose. The computer itself with the original functioning stopped working probably 3-5 years after its purchase and after it was refurbished, gained another 5 years of life. How cool! I didn’t have to pay full price for a brand new computer, but instead was able to pay for a few parts that turned it into a functioning computer.

On top of the many great reasons why refurbishing a computer is the best option, it is also the greenest option. In Oregon, we are all about recycling and reusing whenever we possibly can. So maybe next time you are in need of a new computer or you are going through a cleaning purge, you’ll consider us to take your donated technology and we can give it to organizations in need!

Do you have old tech you want to donate? Get in touch to arrange a transfer

Reference here for more information.