When was the last time you bought a new computer or laptop? If you've shopped around lately, then you know they're not cheap items. Although the average laptop price is under $500, if you want anything more than the basic specifications, you're going to have to pay more for it.
A new HP Spectre x360 will set you back around $900. Dell's Inspiron 15 5000 Touch costs around $750. An Asus ZenBook 3 ranges from $1,000 to $1,700, depending on the bells and whistles you want. And, of course, there are MacBooks, which cost a pretty penny. A new MacBook Pro with the built-in touch bar costs just under $2000!
If you're tech-savvy, it can be cheaper to build your own computer. However, computer parts are pricey as well. That's why, whether you need a new computer or laptop, or just computer parts, you need to hear about this alternative option that can save you hundreds of dollars.
Goodwill probably isn't the first place you think of when you're shopping for tech gear, but if you want to save money, it should be. The company is a well-known chain of thrift shops, but what you might not know is that it has special locations called Goodwill Computer Works.
Computer Works locations are much different than the regular stores where you might find an old stereo or box TV alongside the books, dishes, coffee makers and toasters. These unique locations focus on one thing: refurbished tech (particularly, computers).
When you visit a Goodwill Computer Works, you'll feel more like you're visiting a Best Buy than a thrift store. They carry computers and laptops, as well as the occasional printer, gaming system, flat screen TV, cellphones and more. You can also find replacement batteries, chargers, cords, hard drives, graphics cards, keyboards, mice, etc.
How it works
Goodwill Computer Works hires trained technicians to test and repair each item before it's sold. In some locations, these techs even install a new hard drive and the most current operating system.
Some items that are donated are too old to be refurbished. In these cases, the techs dismantle them and salvage any parts that can be reused. Parts that can't be salvaged are then recycled.
What you'll find
The one downside to this type of store is that you never really know what you'll find when you walk through the doors. So, if you're shopping for a particular laptop model or PC, this might not be the best option. However, if you're flexible, you'll find amazing deals.
All of the specs for each item are listed on the price tag, so there won't be any surprises. Plus, you can try the item out to make sure it works, and Goodwill's technicians can help answer any questions you have.
When we looked, laptops and desktops start at $60!
Here are the types of refurbished products you'll find:
- Laptops and desktops
- Computer hardware and software
- Computer monitors
- Computer cables, chargers, batteries and more
- Individual computer components
- Computer accessories
- Phones and cellphones
- VCRs, DVD and BluRay players
- Video game consoles and games
- Movies (DVDs and BluRay discs)
- Printers, toner and ink
- Stereo systems
- Flat screen TVs and accessories
Where you'll find them
Unfortunately, Goodwill Computer Works stores aren't available in every state currently. However, the program is seeing growth, so there's a good chance that the stores will come to additional cities in the future.
As of right now, Computer Works locations are available in the following states: California, Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Texas.
Here's a breakdown of the cities where you'll find them:
- Santa Ana, California
- Omaha, Nebraska
- Charlotte, North Carolina
- Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
- Providence, Rhode Island
- North Charleston, South Carolina
- Austin, Texas
- Houston, Texas
- Dallas, Texas
- San Antonio, Texas
Another way to save
If you don't find what you're looking for, another option is to refurbish the computer or gadget you already have. It got you through several good years, so why not make it run like new again?
Note: If you're on the fence, click here to see if it's cheaper to upgrade or replace your older computer.
To tackle a DIY project like this, you're going to need some help. Check out these articles on Komando.com that walk you through the process:
- When should you wipe, shred, delete, erase or reset?
- Securely wipe hard drives and other storage gadgets
- Tweak your computer's appearance and maintain its performance
- One free step to make an aging computer run like new
- How to clean up your PC, tablet and phone
- How to make an iPhone last longer instead of buying a new iPhone 7
Still not convinced? Well, there may be another option for you as well. Depending on the make, model and condition of your used gadget, you could sell it online for some serious cash. Click here to see which older models are hot sellers on eBay.