Purchasing refurbished technology works slightly differently than buying a brand-new model. One of the most important factors to consider when buying refurbished products is the cosmetic condition. Whether you’re thinking of purchasing a refurbished phone or laptop, it’s important to understand the grading system in place, including the history of the product and how each refurbished grade differs.

Discover everything you need to know about our refurbished grades at tier1 online.

What Do Refurbished Laptop and Computers Grades Mean?

The condition of any refurbished equipment can differ and to help users find the best reconditioned laptop or computer, each piece is graded from A to C. The refurbished grades reflect any cosmetic wear and tear, such as scratches, scuffs, or faults of the device.

Where is tier1’s Refurbished Technology From?

At tier1 Online, our equipment is collected from large corporate companies or public sector departments, which is then refurbished in line with our grading model. There are many different reasons why a company may give their unwanted technology to us:

  1. Individual staff changes – rather than buying a new laptop for new members of staff, devices can be data wiped and redeployed or resold.
  2. Systems refresh - Many large companies require their teams to be on the same device model and version at the same time, therefore will do a three- or four-year refresh of all their devices.
  3. Sustainability – Our circular approach to technology reuse is also highly valuable to our business partners, as they can reduce their carbon footprint by refurbishing and reusing their devices.
  4. Rolling systems refresh – Companies that use a four-year refresh cycle will refresh approximately 25% of their devices each year.
  5. Devices are cleaned and refurbished where necessary – New software is also downloaded (Windows Pro and Home are available) and a warranty provided from one to three years, making them ready for their new life, without the hefty price tag.

tier1’s Rigorous Grading System

Once we receive our equipment, each piece undergoes a rigorous refurbishment to ensure once the laptop or computer is purchased, it feels almost as good as new. By grading technology from Grades, A to C, it highlights our sustainability values and prevents perfectly usable technology from going to landfill. All underpinned by helping to reduce e-waste levels in the UK, which is becoming increasingly alarming.

The highest grade, A, is our best reconditioned piece and has minimal damage, whereas Grade C may show signs of heavier use. To see photographic examples of the grades, check out our grading system.

Grade A Refurbished Technology

Grade A is the highest grade in the refurbished industry. Whilst there are many different definitions about what grade A is, at tier1 Online, we define it as a “great quality refurbished device with minimal markings or damage”. Whilst each grade A product can differ slightly, each device will have the following:

  • The body may have light cosmetic marks or scratches barely noticeable.
  • The screen is in good condition, with no marks or scratches.
  • The keyboard and mouse will both be in full working order, although they may have light cosmetic marks or scratches which are barely noticeable.

Is Grade A Technology the Best?

Our grade-A products are simply the best as you’ll be receiving a nearly “brand new” laptop, phone or monitor without the massive price tag. We are very confident that you’ll be delighted with your refurbished device. So much so that we include the first-year warranty for free, with the option to extend for up three years.

Grade B Refurbished Technology

Our Grade B refurbished technology has a small reduction in the finish for a big reduction in price, making it work for many budget types. Particularly suitable for small businesses who are searching for a branded laptop without the hefty price tag. Whilst the cosmetic damage will be slightly more than our grade-A equipment, you can expect to see:


  • Some marks or scratches on the body and the rubber feet may be missing.
  • The screen may have light marks or scratches which are not visible when on.
  • The keyboard and mouse are in full working order but will have some signs of use.

Why Buy a Grade B Laptop?

B grades are great for kids and students when you know they are going to be pushed and pulled in and out of bags and even knocked about a bit. So, even a brand-new device would look old quickly. Grade B is also a good option for people working in office locations where again there is a high chance of heavy wear and tear. Why start with something pristine when it won’t look that way for long? Our grade-B technology makes for the perfect laptop, without breaking the bank!

Grade C Refurbished Technology

Our Grade C equipment is great for homeowners with children or senior technology users who are just starting their technology journey, as they’re fully working devices just with a heavier sign of use.

As there are limited refurbishments to be done, our grade C equipment is budget friendly and is included in a 12-month warranty offering – giving you peace of mind for anything that may occur.

What Does ‘Grade C Refurbished’ Mean?

Grade C refurbished technology such as our laptops and monitors are still in fair working condition, but instead show much clearer signs of wear and tear. For example, there could be large scratches on the screen or the body of the device, but they have no impact on the usability of the device.

In Summary: tier1’s Grading Levels:

Whilst buying a refurbished laptop or phone may require a higher level of research, the benefits stretch further. It’s a great way to make your budget stretch much, much further. You can consider big, branded names such as Dell or Apple without breaking the bank while actively contributing to reducing levels of e-waste in the UK.

To recap the different grades…

  • Refurbished Grade A – The highest quality of a refurbished device with little to no cosmetic wear or tear and is in working order.
  • Refurbished Grade B – Shows slight cosmetic damage but is a small reduction in finish for a big reduction in price.
  • Refurbished Grade C – In perfect working order but may show heavier signs of wear and tear due to long-term use.

Buying refurbished technology doesn’t need to feel overwhelming. By understanding the difference between each grade, you can stretch your budget and help the environment with our new in collection – we could have your perfect laptop right here!