All About Our Refurbishing Process

Posted by Doran Janeka on 10th Jun 2014

Date Last Modified 12/28/2023

If you are considering buying a refurbished rugged computer, you may have some questions and concerns about the refurbishing process. Nobody wants to gamble away their money on a machine that was promised to work but might break down when it is needed most. That’s why you need the added assurance that when your purchase leaves the warehouse floor, it ships out with our technicians’ one hundred percent confidence that you will receive a functioning, long-lasting, and reliable computer.

At Bob Johnson’s Computer Stuff, Inc., we want you to feel the utmost confidence in the products we sell. That’s why we ensure every piece of equipment that leaves our warehouse works as well as it did when it left the factory floor. This is no simple, one-step process, though. To guarantee that our customers receive reliable machines, each rugged computer goes through a scrutinous buying process, a rigorous testing procedure, and a meticulous shipping routine.

The brands of rugged laptops and tablets that we refurbish include:

  • Dell
  • Durabook
  • Getac
  • Panasonic
  • Xplore/Zebra

You may wonder what you receive when purchasing a “refurbished” rugged laptop or tablet. Do we simply format the hard drive, wipe the computer off with a rag, and throw it in a box to send it out? No! Every unit we sell has gone through a comprehensive, point-by-point inspection four times over before shipping out.

A box full of FZ-G1 fully rugged tablets shipped in on a pallet to Bob Johnson's Computer Stuff

The Life of a Bob Johnson’s Refurbished Rugged Computer

Have you ever wondered where Bob acquires all of the rugged laptops and tablets piled up on the shelves at his Delaware storefront? Most of our rugged inventory is obtained from off-leasing agencies. These agencies lease the computers, brand new, out to companies and organizations for 1-5 years. At the end of the lease, the computers are turned in, regardless of condition, back to the agency in which they are sold to Bob.

Bob works diligently with a select few of these agencies to ensure we can always maintain a regular inventory. We keep our eyes peeled for good deals to help customers save money on their refurbished equipment. The lower the cost we are able to purchase the computers for, the better deals we are able to pass along.

While most of our computers come from those off-lease agencies, a portion of our inventory is received through our Toughbook trade-in program. If you have some rugged computers that you are looking to part with, fill out our  trade-in form. You can send us your old units and be given credit towards an upgrade!

How Does Inventory Arrive At Bob Johnson’s?

When we order a lot of rugged computers from a leasing agency, they are either delivered to us in multiple boxes through a mail carrier like FedEx or UPS or through freight on a large pallet. These computers come with a wide range of problems when they first arrive through our doors. They can come with broken parts, missing parts, or even not work at all. However, Bob’s trained technicians are on the job to test for, repair, and remediate any issues that could possibly arise when dealing with an un-refurbished rugged laptop.

Once a shipment of computers arrives at Bob Johnson’s, it is quickly sorted, checked, and tested for things like obvious signs of damage, power failures, and recalled parts. After the shipment is properly inventoried and any computers beyond usability are recycled, they move onto the next phase of the tech-in process, where the hardware is tested piece by piece.

Loading New Inventory

In order to test each piece of hardware on a laptop or tablet, each rugged computer needs an operating system. Typically, our technicians load each unit with either Windows 10 or Windows 11 to test all the ports and functions of the machines’ hardware. If a piece of hardware on a unit fails our technician's tests, they will either replace the part, if it is replaceable or recycle the unit for parts to fix another computer. During this process, any parts with overt cosmetic damage are changed or repaired as necessary.

Unfortunately, some of the laptops that arrive through our doors would be too time-consuming to fix all the cosmetic damage on, so, instead, we sort those laptops into the “Scratch & Dent” category on our website. These computers have a lower price tag for the wear and tear that we cannot repair. They tend to come with some bumps and bruises, maybe even some dents as advertised; however, if you plan on taking your computer into a harsh environment where the chances of it getting damaged are already high, “Scratch & Dent” might be for you. View our  selection of “Scratch & Dents” here!

Some of the cleaning supplies used to clean our rugged laptops and tablets next to a Panasonic Toughbook CF-31

After the loading and testing process, these pre-owned computers undergo a detailed cleaning procedure. We do a complete wipe down of the computer as you never know what type of environment the previous owner used them. And, from our observations, we can tell you that some of these computers are filthy when they first arrive. Our favorite cleaning tools include Windex, isopropyl alcohol, Goof Off, microfiber rags, various brushes, Mr. Clean Erasers, and compressed air. Once cleaned, the machines are stored on our shelves until someone purchases them.

From Our Shelves to Your Hands

After an order is placed for a rugged computer, our technicians take one of the prepared units off of the shelves and prepare it for the order. At this point, our technicians make sure the units are up-to-date, built to order, and ready to be used. During this time, upgrades ordered are installed, licenses are activated, and hardware is rechecked. We also do an additional wipe down of the computer to clean up any missed areas of the laptop or tablet that we may have missed during the first cleaning of the machine.

Finally, when everything on the computer matches how the customer ordered it, the unit is moved to shipping, where it is quickly checked over one more time, carefully packed into a well-padded box, and then handed off to FedEx to be delivered to its new owner. To learn more about our shipping process, check out our  shipping webpage.

Limited Lifetime Warranty

For added peace of mind, we offer a limited lifetime warranty with any refurbished laptop or tablet purchased on our website.

On top of that, there is an option to purchase an extended warranty on our rugged computers, for one, two, and three years. For more info about our limited lifetime and extended warranty, check out our  warranty page.

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