- Buying a used or refurbished PC is not as easy as people think. There are tons of listings out there selling PCs that aren’t worth the money they’re asking, and these PCs offer no value whatsoever even though they look great in the first place because many sellers don’t list them properly. This process is the “glamfurbishment” of PCs.
- PC glamfurbishment is similar to PC refurbishment, where defective components are either repaired or replaced (in most cases). The difference between glamfurbishment and refurbishment, however, is the value proposition.
- In this blog, we’ll learn what PC glamfurbishment is, why it’s so common, how to avoid it and what better alternatives there are to spending your hard-earned money on PCs sold without proper transparency.
Have you ever thought about buying a PC from Amazon, Wish.com, and many other sites that offer great deals on PCs with a Core i7, an 8GB graphics card, 16GB of RAM, and tons of RGB decor that can handle any modern title under $500? If it looks too good to be true, sometimes it’s not. The above situation is the perfect example of PC glamfurbishment, and you should definitely be wary of this scam.
In this blog, we’ll look at PC glamfurbishment and how you can avoid the trap of wasting money on literal E-waste.
Table of Contents
What is the glamfurbishment of PCs?
Glamfurbishment may sound like a similar term to PC refurbishment because the two are very similar in practice. Just like refurbishing a PC, sellers remove the parts that can no longer be used and replace or repair them to make the PC functional again so that it can be used again and does not become e-waste. Glamfurbishment also takes the same approach, the only difference being the transparency between seller and buyer.
In the glamfurbishment of PCs, sellers may not give exact details of the used and new components and also not give information on small details that are important, such as the generation of the processor, the exact generation of the GPU, and the type of RAM used. These are the details that an average consumer who does not know the processor nomenclature or is not up to date with the industry might overlook.
Here’s the problem: most vendors selling these PCs don’t give the right details. Sometimes, you get what you order, and sometimes you don’t get what’s in front of you. While most tech enthusiasts know the difference between a Core i5 12400 and a Core i7 5930K and which one is better, for most people, a Core i7 is better than an i5 just because it’s mentioned in the listing.
Glamfurbishment of PCs is nothing more than the practice of putting all the old components in a new case and selling it as a solid machine capable of handling modern workloads because it now looks modern thanks to an RGB case or a new SSD.
Why is PC Glamfurbishment so common now?
Glamfurbishing a PC has become a widespread tech trend. Under the name of refurbishing a PC and selling it, many vendors simply give the PC a glam furbish treatment (they don’t properly refurbish the PC, but instead give it a modern look) and sell it as a powerful computer. This trend came to prominence during the infamous 2020 Covid era. Many consumers need to work from home and need a computer. Due to rising GPU prices and COVID-19, many people are turning to the second-hand market.
Many sellers took advantage of the situation and maximized their profits by simply replacing the look of the old PCs with modern components such as cases and RGB fans, which improved the look of the PCs but did nothing to change the performance of the system.
- The good thing about the glamfurbishment is that, in some cases, you still get working components and tech upgrades, but that’s about all that’s good.
- The bad thing is that you get components that look good but don’t deliver the performance you need for your use case because they’re not state-of-the-art and, more importantly, don’t have the performance you need for modern workloads.
How to avoid this SCAM of PC glamfurbishment
There are many ways to find and get a good PC, even if you buy something online. You just need to follow a few simple steps to avoid scams, and you’re guaranteed to get a good price for your money:
Do not Fall for Bad Marketing Tricks
This is probably the most important tip for anyone trying to buy a PC online: Don’t fall for false or bad marketing. Most sellers give the specs of the PC you want to buy upfront in the ad. But some sellers do not mention all the technical data and overlook many small details that are important for the purchase decision.
To avoid this, you should always read the description of the offer to get accurate information about the components. Also, don’t forget to look for the seller’s reviews on sites like Amazon and eBay so you can get a good idea of whether you should buy from that seller or not. Email or message the seller if you can’t find the exact details in the description.
Also, check what kind of warranty you get and what the return policy is if you are not satisfied or have bought something wrong. Most websites like eBay and Amazon have a good return policy, so make sure you check that, too.
Do not fall for the listed Specifications
Often, sellers only give the most general specifications and do not mention the small details that are important for the consumer to look for the exact specifications of the model in the description or to send a message or email to the seller if the exact specifications are not mentioned.
On the other hand, if you don’t have a clear idea of what specifications you should choose, you can find countless videos on YouTube that will tell you the best possible specifications for your budget. But to make it a little easier for you, we’ll give you the minimum specs you should have if you want to buy a refurbished system and not waste your money. To avoid the scam of pimped-out PCs, you should try to buy a PC with at least these specifications:
- For the CPU, in 2023, you should choose at least an 8th or 9th-generation Intel i5 or i7, with the 10th-generation being the sweet spot. On AMD’s side, the 3rd generation is the sweet spot, while 2nd gen Ryzen will be the least, we would suggest.
- The choice of memory is simple: don’t go for DDR3; DDR4 is the sweet spot. Do not forget to check the clock speed and latency of the RAM. Try to get something with at least 16 gigabytes of memory. 8 gigabytes is also fine, but you’ll need to upgrade later.
- Getting a good GPU might be difficult. Many so-called glamfurbished PC sellers will try to confront you with a GPU that you’ve never heard of and is too old to play games like Valorant. Instead of trying to figure that out, just remember that you shouldn’t get anything under a GTX 1060, 1070 or 1080, and on the AMD side, nothing under an RX 570 or 580 if you want to play some games at 1080 at reasonably respectable settings.
- Regarding storage, SSDs are the best choice because they are dirt cheap when it comes to performance/ value per dollar.
- An HDD is fine, but it’s only good for mass storage and nothing else.
Go for Performance over Aesthetics
Don’t fall for the glamfurbishment of PCs. Simply put, the specs are more important than the look of the PC. This is an important step to follow because this is where many salespeople will try to pressure you into buying an underperforming PC. You can always improve the aesthetics of your PC later and for a little money. But once you have bad core components, it’s hard to upgrade to better components because many of these systems come with CPUs and motherboards so old that they’re not easy to come by.
Better Alternatives of Glamfurbishment PCs
There are 3 main alternatives you can try to avoid these refurbished/glamfurbished PC scams, and all of them involve either getting new/old parts or giving up the PC altogether:
If Gaming is the only objective
If gaming is your main goal and you don’t use your PC for anything else, then you should get a console instead. They are better for gaming. You can connect them to your PC or monitor and play many titles at a high refresh rate. But if you need to do multiple tasks that only a PC can do, then the second method will solve your problem.
Go for used parts instead of used PC
Set a budget and see what parts you can get for that price. Go to Facebook Marketplace or Craiglist to find the best parts you can get. While there’s no guarantee you won’t get completely scammed with this method, in most cases, you’ll get your money back if something happens. And the good thing is that the second-hand market is flooded with used PC parts, which are sometimes even better value for money than new parts. However, you should inform yourself thoroughly on the online and offline market beforehand.
Sometimes, you can use this method to save money and build a better PC instead of buying a refurbished PC from an unknown eBay seller.
Go for New Components
Get new components and build a PC instead of spending your hard-earned money on refurbished PC deals. If you’ve been following this blog so far, you’ll have understood that the glamfurbishment of PCs is a real thing that many people fall victim to every day. So, instead of looking for refurbished PCs, opt for new parts that come with a warranty and will serve you well for years to come.
A current generation i3 is much more powerful than an i7i7s that is 4 or 5 generations old. An i7 8700, for example, may look like a 6-core CPU with 12 threads, but a current i3-12100 with four cores will give it a run for its money, especially when it comes to gaming performance. And that’s not the only thing: an i3 will be supported for many years to come and has numerous technologies that are useful in current scenarios.
Things like DDR5 RAM support, PCIe Gen5 support, and much more. The same principle applies to graphics processors, storage, CPU coolers, and even cabinets.
Beware of Glamfurbishment of PCs
Refurbishing old PCs is one of the best ways to save the environment, and buying refurbished PCs is probably the best way to save money while keeping old hardware running longer. If a refurbished system is powerful enough, it can be used for multiple purposes; if it’s not, it can be used for a million other things. The main goal in purchasing a refurbished PC is to save money and reuse old hardware instead of getting dumped into landfills.
On the other hand, the glamfurbishment of PCs is not beneficial to consumers or the environment, as it only serves to get consumers’ hard-earned money to maximize profits while throwing useful things into landfills just because they don’t look as good as modern RGB flare, while we’re not saying every seller does this, many do, and we certainly don’t support the glamfurbishment of PCs, and it must be prevented at all costs, because consumers don’t get what they deserve, and the useful parts like old PC cases end up in landfills anyway.
FAQs about PC Glamfurbishment
1. What are the best sites where we could buy prebuilt or pre-owned PCs?
There are several websites where you can buy used or pre-built PCs, but we recommend buying a PC from a real website like Amazon, eBay, or Java. GG. But most importantly, take a good look at the seller beforehand and try to figure out if the seller is genuine or not. And then make your purchase.
2. How does the glamfurbishment of PCs differ from the Refurbishment of PCs?
Refurbishing a PC involves several steps, such as replacing/repairing defective components, testing the PC, and then listing it as a genuine product, whereas glamfurbishment of PCs only serves to fool customers into thinking they are getting a product that is very powerful and has a super price-performance ratio, which in reality is not the case. The PC can’t do anything at all, and the whole thing is covered up with poor marketing strategies and lots of RGB to make it look like it’s something special.
3. Is it good to buy a refurbished PC?
Yes, if you know and understand what you want, and if you can get it at a good price, then a refurbished PC is a good option, especially because the new generation of graphics processors from Nvidia and AMD are not that impressive in terms of value for money. You also need to know that the old components in a refurbished PC will last longer, which indirectly means less e-waste and good value for the consumer.
4. Is it good to buy refurbished PC parts?
Yes, if you know what you’re getting and want to assemble the PC yourself, refurbished PC parts are a great way to save money. While you may void the manufacturer’s warranty in some cases, keep in mind that most refurbished PC parts have been fully tested and are guaranteed to work properly. So we think that’s a good choice.