If you are an avid eBayer you know there are a lot of different sellers listing external hard drives as New, Used, Refurbished, Recertified, Factory Recertified, Tested, As-Is, DOA, Non-DOA and more.
As a long time high volume buyer and seller we know that buying external hard drives can be tricky. We buy and sell thousands of hard drives a month and to make sure the product we are buying is good we have a strict policy for reading between the lines.
We have created this guide to be the last guide you need in order to make a safe and informed purchase about buying external hard drives on eBay.
Here are the key factors to help read between the lines:
- Rule #1 - Understand what you are buying.
An external hard drive consists of 2 parts. An internal hard drive and an external case. The internal hard drive plugs into the external case and voila, you have an external hard drive. External cases are offered in USB, Firewire and even Ethernet or eSata connections now. So now that we know what we are buying, let's find out how to buy it.
- Rule #2 - Just because it says NEW doesn't mean it actually is.
Many eBay sellers advertising NEW external hard drives are secretly hiding used or refurbished hard drives inside the new shiny external case. We can tell you the current cost on a new hard drive and a new case, they do not generally add up on eBay. The only way to keep costs down is to use a used or refurbished hard drive inside the case. Read the auction carefully, it is our experience that over 90% of the external hard drives listed as new are actually built with used or refurbished hard drives. Contact us if you need assistance picking the right product.
- Rule #3 - Look for an honest seller that will tell you the truth!
We estimate over 90% of the "NEW" external hard drives being sold on eBay are actually refurbished. Look for a seller who tells you the truth in the listing. We sell a lot of external drives using new and recertified hard drives. Sometimes the external cases we use are brand new, but the drives inside are "recertified", "recertified" is basically the new term for "refurbished" and is what is used by the manufacturers we get our hard drives from. If that is the case we list in the auction "case new/drive factory recertified" because that's what it is. Look for an honest seller!
- Rule #4 - Buying refurbished is OK, you are probably viewing 90% refurb anyway!
There are different types of refurbished external hard drives. Here are a few important questions to ask:
- Is it factory/manufacturer recertified? This is the best type of refurbished hard drive because it is refurbished/recertified by the manufacturer or authorized 3rd party and returned to factory specifications.
- Is it used? Used product may be in good condition, but it may also be in bad condition, look for a detailed description and bid accordingly.
- Rule #5 - GET A WARRANTY!
We always recommend buying product with a warranty. Buy from a seller who has been around for a while, has a lot of positive feedback and offers a warranty. We offer many different warranty options for our customers. Choose the option that is right for you and be safe buying on eBay!