Used Desktop Buying Guide: How to Shop for Cheap Desktops With PCs for People

Contrary to popular belief, used desktops can run smoother than and even outlive their brand-new counterparts. Typically, refurbished products are reliable and a great option for people on a tight budget. And used and refurbished desktops are an even better option because they are cheaper than laptops.

Here is what you need to know about acquiring low-cost refurbished desktops through PCs for People.

Is Buying a Used Desktop a Good Idea?

used pc desktops
Buying a used desktop from a trusted seller is a great idea if you are looking at saving some coins.

The risks of buying a used desktop are considerable—from unexpected malfunctions to cybersecurity threats. But all these risks are only pertinent to purchases made from unvetted vendors.

Buying a used desktop from a professional and trustworthy refurbisher like PCs for People is a great idea when short on finances. There is nothing to worry about as all the machines we sell are refurbished using industry-standard procedures.

The refurbishing process ensures the desktops are repaired, upgraded, and data sanitized using DoD, HIPAA, and NIST 800-88 compliant software and set up with the latest Windows operating system and Microsoft licenses.

We guarantee that our desktops are in good working condition and without a trace of previous user data.

Where is the Best Place to Buy a Used Desktop PC?

second hand desktops
Buy our like-new desktops and save a few hundred dollars.

Second-hand desktops are sold everywhere on the internet, and finding the best place to buy one may be confusing. While recognized online stores are the go-to places for most people, some nonprofit social enterprises such as PCs for People offer quality used desktops at better prices.

Provided you meet the eligibility criteria for a low-income individual, the best place to buy a used desktop is from any PCs for People retail store or online at

Our stock comprises a variety of brands, including Dell Optiplex, HP Prodesk, and Lenovo ThinkCentre, among others.

While our physical retail stores are spread across nine markets in the U.S., eligible customers from anywhere in the country can shop for quality desktops online through our website.

Are you having trouble deciding? Our representatives will help you choose the best computer for you from our wide selection of refurbished, low-cost desktop computers.

What is the Price of a Second-Hand Desktop Computer?

Used desktops vary in price based on a range of factors. However, a second-hand desktop for basic use should be affordably priced.

second hand desktop computers
If you work or study from home, a small form factor desktop computer can serve you pretty well

Desktops are generally cheaper than laptops, even though they serve the same purpose. The only major difference is portability, which should not be a problem if you’re stationed in the office or at home.

Second-hand desktops can be incredibly affordable, depending on where you source them. We have some of the best deals for used desktop computers at PCs for People.

You can get a fully functional, ready-to-use desktop computer for as low as $30 in-store. And most refurbished desktop computers retail at $150 and below online.

To navigate through the prices by order in the desktop category, use the “Sort By” menu at the top of the list to select “Highest Price” or “Lowest Price.”

Our primary concern is to achieve digital equity rather than making a profit. We are interested in providing low-income communities access to low-cost, quality computers and the internet.

Since all our desktops use Intel Core processors, you can comfortably edit documents and spreadsheets for school or work, take on video calls, and browse the internet without encountering performance issues.

What to Look for When Buying a Pre-Owned Desktop

used desktops
How you plan to use your desktop should determine the choice of processor and memory.

When buying a used computer from a vendor, it is essential to do your due diligence.

You’ll want to be sure that your desktop PC’s basic accessories (the keyboard, mouse, and power cord) are intact, all ports are working, and the whole unit is in good condition and safe to use.

Fortunately, at PCs for People, the testing and quality control phase of refurbishing takes care of most of the essential things to watch out for when buying a used desktop. In other words, we test all components and system functions before selling the units to our customers.

How to Access Our Low-Cost Desktops

PCs for People is mission-driven to promote digital inclusion by offering low-cost desktop computers and the internet to people who might not otherwise be able to afford them.

We believe that focusing on low-income individuals, families, and nonprofits is an effective way of bridging the digital divide.

People need computers, but for some, the high market prices may not allow them to own one easily.

We want to give everyone a chance to benefit from the life-changing impact of digital technologies by allowing them access to the quality and affordable second-hand desktops available in our retail stores and online.

If you want to shop for a desktop computer with us, you’ll need to prove that you are in the low-income bracket of 200% federal poverty level or 60% area median income. To show eligibility, you will need:

1. Photo Identity

To purchase from PCs for People, we need to verify your identity with photo identification. We accept several forms of photo identification. Depending on which is most accessible, you can send one of the following to verify your identity:

  • Driver’s license or state ID card for non-drivers
  • Passport
  • Formal ID card (such as veteran or student)
  • Company or work-issued identification

Please note, we do not require or check citizenship status.

2. Proof of Income

For proof of income, we accept two types of documentation. The first is qualifying income-based assistance program documents. Ensure that the document you submit is not more than a year old for smooth processing.

You can also submit qualifying income documentation. Documents can be sent via mail (, fax (651-666-1045), or uploaded online at the time of purchase.

Benefits of Shopping for Desktops With PCs for People

Apart from the obvious low-cost tag on our items, eligible customers enjoy unique benefits by shopping with us, which include:

Customizing and Upgrading Your Desktop

Our refurbished products can be customized and upgraded to your liking. Features that can be customized and upgraded include:

  • RAM
  • HDD
  • Operating System
  • Software
  • LCD monitor
  • Audio output
  • Wi-fi internet adapter
  • Desktop mouse
  • Webcam

You can add extra memory, screen size, and hard drive storage if you plan to use your desktop for playing games and multitasking with heavy apps.

Visit a store or email our staff at to get help.

Shipping Included

All desktops bought from our stores are eligible for our standard shipping, which takes between 4-7 business days.

Shipping is included for customers within the Continental U.S. Additional fees may be charged to buyers who ship orders to AK, HI, and PR.

For more inquiries, please get in touch with us at

Returns and Warranty Guide

We have a 30-day return policy and a one-year hardware warranty for all desktops bought from our stores. Return policy only applies to items returned within 30 days after purchase.

The warranty applies to a defective desktop or laptop returned within 365 days of shipping. Remember, damages caused by the user are not covered under warranty.

See full details of our warranty terms and conditions here.

Lifetime Customer Support

All computers and accessories bought from PCs for People come with lifetime customer support through our Support Center and the team of dedicated experts.