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Buying from Dell Outlet Scratch and Dent?

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Buying from Dell Outlet Scratch and Dent?

  • Hi Everyone,

    Would like to ask in the community about your experience in buying a laptop from Dell Outlet. I have bought laptops and other products from Dell before without any problem, but never from Dell Outlet. Your experiences will be very helpful.  It is a scratch and dent buy (I have always bought brand new products).

    I am buying a Dell;

    Studio XPS 16 (1640) Laptop: Intel Core 2 Duo P8700 (3MB cache/2.53GHz/1066Mhz FSB) w/2.0MP Integrated Webcam.

    15.6 inch Edge-to-Edge HD+ Widescreen WLED LCD (1600x900)

    500 GB SATA Hard Drive (7200RPM) with Free Fall Sensor

    4 GB DDR3 SDRAM 1066MHz (2 DIMMs)

    512MB ATI Mobility RADEON HD 3670

    Intel WiFi Link 5300 802.11a/g/n Draft Mini Card

    Thank you,


  • The outlet models vary, some are just returns that a customer didn't like, some are refurbished and some are even new cancelled order models.  You have to look at the full description and what comes with it, sometimes what comes with it is not everything that a full new model has and the full model may be similarly priced.  Sometimes, a new same model or equivalent model will be cheaper than the outlet depending on current sale items.

    I am not a Dell Employee

    Dell forum member since 2002

    Inspiron 15 - 5577 Laptop

    Home Built Desktop PC with ASUS Z170, i7 6700K CPU,  Windows 10 64 bit Pro. SSD drive.  Studio One 3 Recordng Studio Software.

    Dell SE2717HR 27" Monitor


    Member of Nashville based R.O.P.E.

  • Hi Firebird,

    Thank you very much for the information.


  • Does anyone else have a buying experience from Dell Outlet with a Certified Refurbished, Previously Ordered New and/or Scratch and Dent? Would appreciate your feedback.

    Thank you,


  • I have purchased three computers over the years from the outlet.

    The first, Dimension 4700 box, looked brand new.

    The second, XPS M1530 laptop, had a little residue (food?, cigarette ash?) on one of the speaker grills and one sticker on the bottom was missing. A Q-tip and a 30 seconds of elbow grease and the computer looked new.

    The third, XPS 420, had some fingerprints on the front plate. The front plate is made of shiny black plastic, so fingerprints show. A few wipes with a microfiber cloth and the computer looked new.

    I have been happy with all of the systems. They have had no more or less problems than the computers that I have bought new. And I am willing to put up with a few fingerprints (and the time searching the outlet) for 30 to 50 percent savings.


  • the outlet can get you some really great deals, just be careful because some of their older models that they have in the outlet turn out to be more expensive then their current models.. mostly that occurs in the XPS lines...

  • I'm considering the same sort of purchase...a laptop. I'm slowly concluding that a 'scratch' or a 'dent' is going to be nearly imperceptible because of one simple fact: Dell doesn't want you to return it. They want you to be happy with it. Indeed, people on the forums are pretty much validating this. A unit that even shows a hint of being a disappointment to a customer won't even enter the inventory. That's my $0.02 anyway.

  • I or my family members have ordered two systems through the outlet and both were in perfect condition.

  • I have purchased about a dozen desktops and laptops from the outlet for myself and family and have helped dozens of friends and co-workers with picking out systems from the Outlet. I have not had any trouble with the systems and they all showed up like they were new. The nice thing about the Outlet is that they ship out the next day and carry the same warranty as a new system. I have found several times were it was cheaper to buy a new system due to a sale going on at the time.

    When you find the system you want (if it is a currently offered system) open another browser window and configure a new system exactly the same as the one on the Outlet and see if you feel it is worth it. I have gotten systems like my current XPS 730x for less than half of what it was new. Also I think my Inspiron 1720 was about 45% less than a new one.

    Alienware Aurora R4: i7-3820, 8GB, 10TB of HDD, AMD/ATI Radeon HD 7800, Samsung 27" monitor

    XPS 730x: i7 920,   Replaced with an Alienware Aurora R4

    XPS 410: Core 2 Quad 2.4GHz (Q6600) , 6GB, EVGA 8800GTS 640MB,
    Single TV Tuner , X-Fi Xtreme Music, Logitec X530 Speakers

    Latitude 10 Tablet

    Inspiron 1720: T7500, 4GB, 120GBx5400, 120GBx7200, 8600GT, DVD+/-RW, Bluetooth,
    Windows 8.1

  • I've bought almost exclusively from the Outlet in recent years, and I think I've ordered five laptops in the last months from this source.  But that may be my last.

    One of the advantages of the Outlet has been the fact the equipment is advertised as thoroughly inspected and available for quick shipment - "usually within 24 hours."  And that has been my experience until my most recent purchase.  I placed an order online on August 10, fully expected that it would be shipped within a day or be in my hands by the end of the week.  It's now August 19, and still no laptop.  When I asked why there was such a delay for an item that was in stock (and for an item for which there were many identically configured models offer each day at the Outlet, I was advised that it was "in production."  When I asked what kind of production was necessary for an outlet item, this was my response:

    "I would like to inform you that even outlet systems are retested and repackaged to meet all original factory specification."

    Well, yeah.  I would expect that.  But I would have expected that to be completed before the item was posted at the Outlet as available.  So, I guess that this means when we order now from the outlet, there's really no way of predicting when we might get the item, or whether it will even pass whatever retesting  is used and therefore whether it will ever be available.

    So be forewarned - order an outlet item (if this service rep is accurate) may actually result in a much longer delay than ordering from  Although Dell clearly states that the item posted in the Outlet have been thoroughly inspected, that must not be the case and you will be subjected to lengthy delays.







  • It sounds like some users have had great experiences with the outlet purchases.  I have had many great experiences with new Dell products, and tried my hand at a refurb Precision.  This hands down has been my worst purchasing experience ever.

     I was told by a rep on the phone that the product I needed was available.  After several days of hassle I finally got my Dell Business Credit financing attached to the account correctly.  I then confirmed the item and specifications I needed, and placed the order.

    On the day my item was to ship, I got an email stating that the order was delayed for several days and still 'In Production'.  I called and a rep stated they would find out why the delay and politely offered some quicker shipping.  The day for my order to ship rolled around again, with out a contact from the rep.  Here in my email again is an order delay pushing the ship date out again.  This prompted a call which ended with a stonewall of 'Only the original rep can answer your question.'  Several emails later and no response, I get a delay notification again.  Again, no response from any so called customer service department.  Once again, the ship date rolls around and, you guessed it, another delay for several days.   At this point I have had it with the Outlet orders, I call in and get transfered to four different departments before actually getting someone who would even look at the order.  This rep stated that the notes on the service request show that they are searching for a laptop that meets the specs of the one I ordered.  Essentially this tells me that I ordered vapor-ware, and spent well north of $1K on nothing but a hope.  After asking multiple times for a better explanation of the situation and what I could expect the rep disconnected the call.  Hopefully this was by accident since it was mid-sentence, but disturbing none the less.

    If this is an isolated incident, maybe I just had a bad month in shopping.  But how can a refurbished laptop that was confirmed with a service tag still be "In Production' for over 3 weeks?  Why can no one in Customer Service give me a response that has any weight?  I was actually told by one rep that if the situation was not satisfactory, I could take my business elsewhere.  How long with this drag on before I scrap the whole order and buy an HP or worse yet a Mac?


    How surprising:

    "Due to unforeseen circumstance, we have experienced another delay with your order number XXXXXXXXX. Our new Estimated Delivery Date will be on or before 9/17/2010 (updated). Due to this additional delay, the Federal Trade Commission requires we receive your consent to continue with this order else we will be forced to cancel the order automatically. "

    Can ANYONE at Dell be honest about what is happening with these orders?  How long does this continue?

    --Update 2--

    after yet another Delay Notification today, I have conceded and cancelled my order.  This order has made me question my entire business relationship with Dell.  The total lack of response and the attitude that the customer does not matter is not the way to win business.  Instead it is the way to loose business.  I pushed a $540,000 contract to an ISV this morning, it was due to head to Dell.

  • My recent order from the outlet has been delayed twice already while in production.  This is my first time trying Dell again after some pretty bad experiences some 6-7 years ago.  I've tried emailing, chatting, and calling to find the reason for the delay but I keep getting the run around and no one has "access to that information".  Customer service has much to be desired.  So far I haven't had any offers to upgrade my shipping either as every representative keeps reciting my estimated delivery date that I can get myself from my order status page.  I bet they'll cite my next delayed order date when that shows up without explanation.

    I'm tempted to cancel my order all together (who knows if my system actually exists like Doug said) and just go with a brick and mortar store since I have to pay CA sales tax anyways.  According to Doug's story, Dell doesn't seem to be too concerned about losing business.  Has anyone ever been to a Best Buy to buy a computer that is in stock, and then while checking out get told that they can pick up their "in stock" laptop in about a week?  Don't think so.


    HAHAHA.  I went to check on my order status from the outlet this mornig...It has changed from "in production" to "changed" without any notification!?  Estimated delivery date has been scrapped.  To top it all off, I get an email this morning regarding my previous question regarding the reason for my order delay saying that there are no problems with my order and that my expected delivery date is still 9/17/2010!!!!!

    I look into it further and it looks like I've been assigned a new order number, with a new system!!!  It is not even the same system I ordered.  This is getting ridiculous.  New estimated delivery date is 9/21/2010.  My system never existed in the first place.

    Seriously, this is not how you run a business.  I can understand that if Dell made a mistake by taking my order while my system was not in stock, that Dell would notify me and maybe walk me through some other options, such as, canceling my order, or to help me look for a similar system.  Changing my order to a different system without telling me is however not OK.  Not being able to answer simple questions about any reasons for my order delay, also not acceptable.

    Anyone out there had their order changed on them without notification?  What did you do about it?

  • I agree that a lot of ppl have experienced delays lately, because Dell just offered a coupon code so a bunch of orders were placed. However, I was not happy with the way Dell handled the situation. This is the first time I ordered from Dell outlet, but I've ordered many things from Dell in the past. They were always very quick to ship in my past experiences, so I expected the same. I placed an order for a new laptop, and posted an old one on Craigslist and it sold right away. I thought I would be ~3 days without a personal computer while waiting for my new laptop to arrive. But like many people. my order was delayed twice (I think it would have been delayed longer if I didn't make a big fuss to Dell about it). Here are some key things I was dissatisfied about:

    1- Dell knew there would be an increase in demand because they offered a coupon, so they should've warned customers before we ordered that there may be delays. If this were the case, I would still buy it but I would not have sold my old laptop right away.

    2- Dell was very unaccommodating even though it was their mistake. I spoke to a rep to said the reason it was delayed was because Dell couldn't locate my particular system, and advised that I make a new order. However, they REFUSED to allow me to buy an 99% identical system at the same price as the system I previously ordered (prices have gone up after a week). Also, since there were so many systems that were 99% identical to mine, why couldn't they have shipped one of those if they were unable to locate mine?

    3- I decided not to place a new order since they couldn't grant me the price I wanted so I waited out-- I could tell that Dell really wanted me to cancel my order tho! In fact, it would cancel automatically if I didn't do anything (had to fill out a form saying I wanted it). Finally, I got an email saying it was shipped via 3-5 day shipping even tho the rep told me that if they found my order, they would grant me expedited shipping. Bleah.

    In all, great prices but poor customer service and Dell refused to right their wrongs. They don't really care about their customers in fact it seems like they didn't even want to sell you anything.

  • I've had good service from Dell Outlet in the past, but not this time.


    Ordered a laptop.  Didn't receive order confirmation, so chased it to find that the card payment didn't go through.  Had I left it any longer the order would've been automatically cancelled, so it was nice of them to email me to let me know.  Oh, hang on, they didn't bother.

    Anyway, confirmation received, delivery date estimated to be 30th November.

    Sorry, make that 6th December.

    10th December.

    16th December.

    It's now showing as 22nd December, by which time it will been "In Production" for a MONTH.  As mentioned in one of the posts above, you'd expect an Outlet machine to be all boxed up and ready to go, BEFORE they put it on sale.

    Someone's going to be VERY disappointed on Christmas Day, "I've got you a REALLY nice present, but Dell can't be bothered to send it because they're ABSOLUTELY USELESS."

    In a nutshell: if you're thinking of using Dell Outlet to buy a Christmas present, make sure you've ordered it before Easter.

  • Hooded Terror,

    Sorry you are having difficulties with your order.  If you could please contact me privately by clicking on my name in blue, then on the next page click on the envelope icon that says "send message", and I'll be glad to check the status for you.  Thanks.