Find refurbished products at Best Buy

It’s that time again: back-to-school. That means researching and investing in back-to-school tech for students of all ages. From laptops and Chromebooks to computing accessories, headphones, smartphones, and more, plus items like small appliances and personal care gear for those going off to college or university, there’s plenty of worthwhile tech. With the new generation so focused on sustainability, it’s worth looking into refurbished products, which will also save you some money. And Best Buy’s Marketplace for Back to School helps extend the life of products through sustainable, and more affordable, refurbished products that would be great for students.

What does refurbished mean?

When you buy a refurbished product, it means that the product isn’t brand-new, sealed in the box, but is otherwise in perfect, like-new working order, meaning it offers 100% functionality. They have achieved this through cleaning, testing, and, if required, repairs. Refurbished products also include any required accessories but might be missing certain items that usually come in the box, like an instruction manual (these days, you can often find these online in PDF format from the manufacturer website anyway, which further helps save paper!). All refurbished products sold through Best Buy come with a minimum 90-day warranty; some extend even longer, depending on the seller.

So, what tech items can you get in refurbished condition that are worth the savings and perfect for back-to-schoolers? The next few sections will start with a few great suggestions then give some tips for finding the right products for you.

Refurbished items worth looking at for back-to-school

1.Laptop, Phone, and Accessories

Here are some suggestions:

A good laptop is essential for any student from grade 4 and up these days. While elementary schools will sometimes provide one on-loan to students, supply is limited. Having your own laptop is also easier for kids so they can do homework and after-school studying, and they don’t have to return it during breaks or summer vacation.


When it comes to younger students, a Chromebook is best since they can use it exclusively for school with minimal apps, saving everything to Google Drive for a completely clean, distraction-free learning experience.  For older students, you’ll want to look at something premium with plenty of processing power and storage, a wide, high-res screen, compact and lightweight design, and long battery life to last through the school day and beyond are all important features.

You can save big by opting for a certified refurbished laptop from a variety of top manufacturers, ranging from Apple MacBooks to Windows computers from brands like Microsoft, HP, Toshiba, and Lenovo, and Chromebooks from brands like Dell, Acer, and Asus.

If they already have a solid laptop but might be looking for a desktop set-up at home, consider computer accessories to go along with it that can offer big savings when you opt for refurbished, including monitors, keyboards, mice, and more. Make sure the accessory is compatible with whatever computer they have, whether it connects via a wire or wirelessly through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. And look for features like ergonomic design, long battery life (if it’s battery-operated), and high-resolution screen (for a monitor).

If they are already covered when it comes to a laptop, you could look into getting a new phone in refurbished condition, which might allow them to get that higher-end one they have been coveting without having to pay the high price of a new, out-of-the-box one. With popular brands like Apple, Samsung, and Google, even the older-model phones still support the latest mobile OS updates and sport impressive features like water-resistant design, sizeable, high-res screen, and a good camera. And with a refurbished phone in anywhere from good (i.e. slight visible scratches you’ll probably keep covered with a case anyway) or excellent, like-new condition, you can save a bundle, especially if you don’t want to have to lock into a contract.


Here are some suggestions:

Every student needs a good pair of true wireless headphones. For Apple iPhone and Samsung Galaxy device owners, the Apple AirPods and Samsung Galaxy Buds models, respectively, are the most obvious and fitting options. With an open box model someone might have purchased and changed their mind about, you’re still getting a new product without the high price tag. Whichever model you choose, students will appreciate features like long battery life, active noise cancellation (ANC) to block out distracting study hall, dorm, or neighbourhood noises, and a built-in mic for when they are engaged in video meetings or virtual classes.

3.Personal care

Here are some suggestions:

When it comes to dorm room essentials, for the student who will be living on their own for the first time this year, you can treat them with some high-end personal care products they would never be able to afford new. When it comes to high-end hair care products like straightening irons, blow dryers, and stylers, you can find refurbished models in excellent condition from brands like Dyson through its official Outlet Store. They even come with a one-year warranty. Consider wireless personal care products, from hair stylers to shavers, so they can bring it along with them and don’t have to worry about finding an open power outlet.

4.Small appliances

Here are some suggestions:

Older, post-secondary students who are moving on to live in a dorm or shared, or even those getting their own apartment for the first time, will need the necessary small appliances. With likely smaller than usual living quarters, this means finding small appliances that are compact in size, lightweight, and easy to store away when not in use.

A cordless stick vacuum is a solid option because they don’t require any annoying cords so you can move around freely. Students with their own cars will appreciate ones from brands like Dyson where the top can detach to be used as a handheld vacuum as well. For those warmer days and nights when the air conditioning hasn’t yet kicked in in the building, or the bedroom tends to get hot and humid, a dehumidifier will be a lifesaver. And there are ones you can find for a steal in refurbished condition.

Students tend to eat out a lot, which can not only get expensive, it’s also not exactly the healthiest option. But they also often don’t have the know-how or the time to prepare an elaborate meal. That is where small appliances like an air fryer come in. You can kick things up a notch with a multifunctional small appliance that can cook, air fry, toast, and more. Refurbished small appliances, like other product categories, come with warranties as well.

5.Home office

Here are some suggestions:

Whether it’s a high schooler studying and completing homework at a desk in their room or a dedicated home office, or a student living in a dorm or housing setting up their personal workstation, one important component is the office chair. It needs to be comfortable for long study sessions, breathable, and easy to move around. Why not treat a student to a premium brand if you can find a good deal on a refurbished or renewed model?

Look for features like pneumatic height adjustment so they can find just the right height based on their desk and height, along with adjustable suspension seating, adjustable arm rests, and ergonomic design to make it ultra-comfortable. Lumbar support is especially useful for students who will be sitting in the chair for long periods of time. If it reclines, that’s even better so they can sit back and read over a printed report or enjoy some gaming downtime. This will be especially appreciated by students who are athletes and need to take some strain off at the end of the game, or those who suffer from back pain.

6.Sports and entertainment


Students get breaks, too. It isn’t all about studying! And when the weather is nice, an electric bike might be the perfect gift. They can use it not only for exercise, de-stressing, and to travel to local spots, like the grocery store or local theatre, they might also find it handy for getting around a large campus. If they attend a big school and have a morning class on one end followed by another class on the complete opposite end of campus, an electric bike can help them save their energy for paying attention.

There are so many options from which to choose, and you can check out our Electric Bike Buying Guide for assistance in finding the right model before looking at refurbished options. Generally, for a student, you’ll want something lightweight so they can easily ride with a backpack and bring the bike with them on the bus, subway, or train.

Save big with refurbished tech essentials for back-to-school

There’s sometimes a stigma with refurbished products but if you opt for certified refurbished products from reputable sources, read the fine print to discover what the condition is, and understand that they come with warranties, you can save massively on tech essentials for back-to-school. Let’s not forget that you’ll also be helping the environment by contributing to the extension of life of products that might otherwise go unused or unsold when they’re in perfect working order.

In many cases, a refurbished product simply has very minor imperfections that might have occurred after you owned it for a week or two anyway. They always work like new, confirmed through vigorous testing and, if necessary, repair.

Going refurbished means you can opt for a higher-end model that might not otherwise be in the budget, whether it’s a computer, smartphone, electric bike, office chair, or even small appliance. That opens up funds to use towards plenty other back-to-school goodies, from fashion to food, entertainment, books, and more. That’s something any struggling student, and their parents, can appreciate.

Check out a wide selection of refurbished tech essentials at Best Buy Online

Christine Persaud
With 20+ years of experience in trade and consumer tech journalism, I have covered the tech space since before social media was a "thing" and the smartphone as we know it was even invented. Writing for various technology, lifestyle, and entertainment sites, I have covered and reviewed hundreds of tech products, from home appliances to wearables, fitness tech to headphones, TV entertainment products and services, and more. I'm also a passionate foodie who loves to cook and bake, a TV show fanatic (happy to give what to watch recommendations!), and proud mother to a 12-year-old son.