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Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

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Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#1 Post by hart22 » Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:27 pm

I've ordered 2 machines from Lenovo Outlet, as well as various other odds and ends, and I've come upon some useful procedures that may help with the process. The main thing to keep in mind when ordering there is that oftentimes the system you receive will differ slightly from the specs listed in the online order page. There are definitely times when this works to your advantage, as both of my machines arrived with double the ram I paid for, which in the case of my X61T was quite a lot (2 GB listed, 4 GB actual). However, when a component or service arrives inferior to that advertised, which in my case occurred with warranty coverage, resolving the issue is difficult, because the confirmations sent are very different from the Lenovo main page store. The following has always worked for me in these situations:

1) Keep irrefutable records of the system specifications advertised as well as all of your transactions. Saving the webpage as html doesn't cut it. A PDF, however, works. If you don't have Acrobat (quite pricey), the freeware PDF Creator works well and is available here:


When placing your order, be sure to save the page with listed specifications as a PDF. Ideally the page should include the machine type and serial number on the same page as the specs (frequently in the outlet the S/N will appear in the following form: XXXNNNNNNN, where XXX is the first 3 digits of the machine type, and NNNNNNN is the serial number).

I've found the XXXNNNNNNN machine type / serial number, when present, is the most reliable indicator of the system specifications. It is very useful to do a parts lookup using that number. Because serial numbers are not unique (i.e., there are different machine types with the same serial number), you need to try each of the digits 1 - 9 as the last digit of the 4-digit machine type along with the listed serial number. The actual machine will be the one that most closely matches the advertised outlet system.

Also, and this is extremely important, make a PDF of your order confirmation pages, especially the page after placing your order where it lists your name, billing address, items purchased, and (perhaps most essential), the price you paid. Doing this is important because Lenovo Outlet oftentimes sends you a e-mail confirmation that only lists an order number (no customer number), and no readout of your order specifications.

2) If there are discrepancies between what you paid for and what you receive, contact Lenovo. You may be instructed to send them proof of your order and the advertised specifications; just e-mail them the PDFs you saved. In a few business days the resolution center should solve your issue.

My latest tablet purchase shipped with no warranty coverage, and by following these steps I was able to get the advertised 1 year depot warranty.

As other forum members have found, ordering through the outlet is very different from ordering through the main store. Listed machines may be unavailable, orders may be canceled, and actual shipping dates vary widely from what is advertised. I will comment that both of my systems shipped very quickly, with my X61 Tablet arriving within a week of placing the order.

The Outlet has some very good deals, upwards of 40-50% savings off the exact same system configured in the main store if you manage to find a real bargain. Products are updated as huge lots, so if you browse through and find that there are few to no machines matching your needs wait for the next refresh cycle. On the other hand, if you browse and see pages upon pages of results, then a refresh occurred recently. Hope my experiences help any potential bargain hunters.

Edit: Clarified some points and added some information.
Last edited by hart22 on Wed Jan 14, 2009 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Just wanted to say thank you for a fabulous post ...

#2 Post by brasscupcakes » Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:45 pm

That was a very thoughtful and clearly laid out post, sure to be useful to many of us.



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#3 Post by carbon_unit » Sat Apr 26, 2008 5:55 am

Very good information. Thanks for sharing. :thumbs-UP:
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#4 Post by schiesz » Wed Jun 11, 2008 3:56 pm

After ordering a T61 from the outlet this week I learned a few things that were not made clear to me at the time of the order, and people should probably consider before making the decision to buy the machine in this manner. I received all of this information after calling and trying to find out if my order was confirmed.

When you place your order, you have not ACTUALLY placed an order yet. You have created a ticket with a request to buy a certain machine. You will NOT receive a confirmation email for at least 3 days, and possibly not even after a week. When you "order" a machine through the outlet, it starts a manual process that generates some paper that needs to be manually checked against their actual inventory. I placed my order on Monday morning, and was told today that there was no way they could check before Friday afternoon.

He also told me he "hoped" I had screenshots of all the details of the order, including time, because they didn't track that information "very well"! What?!? Was this guy just messing with me or something?

This does not seem to agree with the statement made on their website, "They are sitting on the shelf, fully assembled, waiting to be shipped."

I guess the statement is TRUE, but it does not mention that it will take awhile before they get over to the shelf to see if they really are there.

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#5 Post by basketb » Sat Jun 21, 2008 1:50 am

Excellent post, OP. Everybody should read it before ordering from the Lenovo outlet. As an additional data point here is my recent experience with the outlet. Overall, I am very happy so far (even though I nearly lost my patience in between :wink: )

6/4 late night: ordered a refurbished T61p
6/5 early morning: got order confirmation email with order number. Link to order status indicated shipping a week later 6/12 via UPS ground. From what I have been reading around here, one week seemed like a reasonable time.
6/12: order status page was updated with a new shipping date of 6/18. Bummer. But no problem, I got a good price and can wait.
6/17 late evening: I checked the order status page again and it was updated to say that the new ship date is 6/24 :x . This is when I got a little bit impatient.
6/18 mid-day: called Lenovo to check what's going on. Provided order number. CSR told me that it usually takes 7 - 10 business days after credit card authorization (which supposedly happened 6/8 ) before the system ships; i.e., it should ship by end of the week. I was ready to cancel the order if it didn't ship by the following Monday.
6/18 evening: came home from work and found a box from Lenovo shipped a day earlier vie UPS next day air containing my new (to me) T61p :D , which for me is indistinguishable from a really new system (except for a sticker at the bottom that says it is refurbished and a CTR instead of CTO model number, no visible marks, etc., 0 cycle battery, 0 dead pixels, etc.). Apparently, the CSR I spoke to earlier that day had no clue about the real order status either.
6/19 evening: order status page updated to say system shipped on 6/19, supposedly tracking info will be available a day later; warranty page shows in-warranty until 7/31/09 (thirteen months and some odd days instead of the advertised 12 months - I'm not complaining :-) but will check again in a few weeks to see whether anything has changed. (When the system was advertised on the outlet website, the warranty page indicated that the system is out of warranty as of 4/15/2008.)
6/20: still no tracking info on the order status page; credit card has not yet been charged (which doesn't seem to be too unusual from what I read here).

The system itself was advertised as follows:

Processor -> Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T7250 (2.0GHz 800MHz 2MBL2)
Operating -> System Genuine Windows XP Professional
Screen -> 15.4 WUXGA TFT
Memory -> 2 x 2 GB PC2-5300 DDR2 SDRAM 667MHz SODIMM
Hard Drive -> 80GB Hard Disk Drive, 5400rpm
Optical Storage -> DVD Recordable 8x Max Dual Layer
Wireless -> Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG
Warranty -> 1 Year Standard Depot Warranty
Battery -> 6 cell Li-Ion Battery
Features -> Bluetooth w/ antenna
Video Card -> Intel PM965/GM965 graphics

Now, given that this was supposed to be a T61p, the integrated Intel graphics didn't make any sense at all. Also, I don't know whether the T7250 was ever an option for the T61p. But I didn't really care that much about the CPU as any C2D (and even CD) should be sufficient for what I want to do. The most important thing for me is the WUXGA screen; followed by XP as the OS and the DVD burner (as RAM and HD can be upgraded fairly cheaply, if need be).
According to the type and serial numbers for this model that were provided on the outlet web page, the system originally came with the following:

Processor -> Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9300
Hard Drive -> 250GB Hard Disk Drive, 5400rpm
Video Card -> nVIDIA FX570m graphics

Though this is quite different from what the outlet site said, I took the chance and ordered the system as even with the lower specs, the price seemed right for a machine with a WUXGA screen and I was pretty sure that the graphics card would not be an Intel integrated one. Only after I had ordered the machine, it occurred to me that they could have replaced the motherboard and HD with cheaper parts. But luckily, this was not the case (and I have no knowledge as to whether they would actually ever do this).

The WUXGA screen is a Samsung and even though it is criticized quite heavily around here, I do not have/see any problems with it.

To summarize, I am very pleased with the machine I got for the price I paid and the time frame it took to get to me (though info about the order status can certainly be improved).

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Better specs

#6 Post by Flamengo » Tue Jul 08, 2008 3:34 am

Hi there,

I´ve also ordered through lenovo outlet and i´m very pleased about it.
I´m a student (and as you might know, a studie is a big investment in yourself but the ROV (return on investment) comes after the studie), so i was forced (not really, but just love the ThinkPad quality) to deal with the outlet.
The outlet said my T42 should have a Wi-Fi 802.11b card. (i believe in the US the (fastest) standard is 802.11a but in europe the (fastest) standard is 802.11g). Between the order and delivery i allready was in the market for a IBM (1802-problem and want my led to work :) ) MPCI Wi-Fi card.
When the notebook arrived it allready had a 802.11 a/b/g card!!! :D :D
Very pleased!

futher on, the laptop has a few shiny keys and is slightly blemished. But overall it seems as a great deal!

Kind regards,

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Re: Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#7 Post by hydrazine » Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:29 am

Very happy with my purchase of the R400 refurb.

The order was confirmed in about 4 business days, and another 3 to get an order/tracking number. The laptop was shipped the next day and arrived a day early on 3-day shipment.

Besides slightly loose packing (the styrofoam cushion was secured to the laptop, but did not fit perfectly to box allowing it to move around within the box) and missing the laptop bag, I have no complaints.

The laptop came in near-mint condition with only a slight stripe on the top of the case that can easily be overlooked. The battery seems brand new with 0 cycles .. and frankly everything is just like new. I can't quite tell the difference. Very pleased indeed.
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Re: Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#8 Post by Turbo Audi » Fri Jul 24, 2009 10:17 pm

I ordered my refurbished X200s on July 14. Got a confirmation email 3 days later, and received the laptop today (24th). It came exactly as described. The battery had 3 cycles on it. I figure someone bought it, didn't like the small size plus the high resolution, and returned it.

I never got an email telling me it shipped, so I was left in the dark completely. I got free 2nd day air on it, so that's good. Overall I am happy with my experience. However, customer care leaves something to be desired; as so many people have mentioned in the past. It seems I got lucky, compared with some peoples experiences.
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Re: Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#9 Post by vagabonder » Tue Nov 24, 2009 1:43 pm

Based on the information in this thread I went to the Lenovo Outlet store to look for a battery for my X61s. Found a refurbished high capacity battery for $53.70 with free shipping. This sells new for $179 so I decided to take a chance. It arrived 7 days after order and after installing and giving it a full charge the battery reported the following:
  • FRU Part Number: 42T6432
    Full Charge Capacity: 77.15 Wh
    Design Capacity: 74.88 Wh
    Manufacturer Name: SANYO
    Manufacturing Date: 2009-7-26
    First Use : 2009-11
    Cycle Count: 0
Looks like I got me a new battery!

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Re: Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#10 Post by ginopilotino » Mon Dec 28, 2009 5:55 am

Can I order from outside US?

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Re: Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#11 Post by fem » Wed Oct 06, 2010 12:20 am

Hi to all. I am new to these forums and I just thought I should share my experience with Lenovo Outlet, since a lot have likely changed since the earlier posts in this thread.

The long story short, I am very happy with my experience. :D I ordered on September 28 (Tuesday), received a confirmation email the next day (29th), the item shipped on the 30th (Thursday) and I received it on October 5th (Tuesday; standard shipping since it was free). :thumbs-UP:

I got a refurbished x201 with ultrabase (my first refurb purchase ever) and I was a little bit concerned about the condition of the machine (Lenovo Outlet categorizes the products as new, redistributed, refurbished, and scratch/dent). Spec-wise I got what I ordered and, to my surprise, the laptop arrived in impeccable condition! And the ultrabase w/ DVDRW was still sealed. I really cannot tell the difference with a new (and I am very picky). It looks new, feels new, darn the thing even smells new! :bow:

Hence I cannot but highly recommend the Outlet, even though the true bargains are just a few.

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Re: Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#12 Post by ukieandrew » Tue Dec 07, 2010 4:29 pm

Yes, I agree. Lenovo Outlet have changed many things. Now I buy only from outlet as they have great prices! Year ago I got W700ds almost twice cheaper than the original new price, and I could not even tell it was used. I got same 1 year warranty as Lenovo gives for it's new machines. Than I bought x100e and it was like new condition too! Couple days ago I got great price for x200 tablet and it is shipped already. It was selling in outlet for a $700 and it is new. What a great price! I had great experiance with the Lenovo Outlet overall.

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Re: Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#13 Post by jpresto » Tue Jan 18, 2011 10:51 am

Just spoke to Lenovo sales. Not possible to get an onsite warranty with refurb units.

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Re: Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#14 Post by tpadwny » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:14 am

Hi All--I'm new here and first want to say what a great find this site is--Thank You!

I was looking forward to participating in the forum, having just received a New Thinkpad T510 from the Outlet. However, my schedule the last couple weeks has been very busy and it wasn't until this weekend that I had a clear block of time to get up and running / transfer software and files.

Long story short is that when I was ready to fire up the computer and register the Windows software, I got the 'Fan Error' message, and the computer shut itself off after a few seconds. I searched the forum and saw the advice to blow out the fan vent. I did so lightly, but hey, this is a new machine. It didn't solve my problem. So my new computer is inoperable at this point in time.

I ran my model and serial number through Lenovo's warranty status check and came up empty--it doesn't show in their system. Then it occurred to me maybe the Outlet sales have a different warranty provider than new units ordered from the main part of the webpage.

I intend to call and get this sorted out, but can any of you tell me about the process for returning a new unit purchased through the Outlet for warranty work?

Thanks, in advance.

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Re: Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#15 Post by Harryc » Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:21 am

Contact warranty support at 1-800-426-7378. Here are the terms - http://outlet.lenovo.com/customer-service

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Re: Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#16 Post by tpadwny » Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:34 pm

Harryc wrote:Contact warranty support at 1-800-426-7378. Here are the terms - http://outlet.lenovo.com/customer-service
Harry--shoulda seen that my self. Thanks for the quick response.

Lenovo has the order ready for repair. Hopefully a week from now I'll be good as new.

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Re: Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#17 Post by jaina » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:54 pm

Hi! I found this forum from a search I was doing about Lenovo Outlet. I purchased a computer from them last Friday. They had 100 in stock. I called them and they said that it was a company order and they decided they didn't want them. I kind of find that hard to believe, but whatever.

Anyway, I ordered the computer and got a shipment confirmation today. Of course, my luck, the price dropped on the remaining computers by $20. All of the computers are the same. So, I thought, I will call them and get them to adjust the price. I just purchased it a couple of days ago. Well, you know what happened...they said they couldn't adjust it. I complained that it is the same exact computer, but the guy said they can't do the price adjustment. He said I could call the supervisor tomorrow as he is the only one that can fix the price.

My question is...has that ever happened to anyone? Should they adjust the price?


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Re: Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#18 Post by AMATX » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:34 am

You'll probably spend way more than $20 in time, effort and aggravation in trying to get such a small refund. Might consider just letting it go. Presumably, you felt you got a good deal as-is, so $20 is just the cost of doing biz on overstock stuff.

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Re: Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#19 Post by Vilaia » Fri Dec 14, 2012 9:35 pm

I ordered from the outlet for the first time this week. The emailed order confirmation that I received included the full part number for my X230, R9RL5ED-2306CTR; it looks like that information wasn't necessarily included in the past. I received the order confirmation the same day that I placed the order, 12/11, and today (12/14) I received a UPS tracking number for the item. Original projected shipping date was 12/17.

So it looks like they've improved their process for handling outlet items significantly from when this thread was first started. I'm looking forward to seeing how my new machine's specs compare with those that were listed for the item on the outlet site.

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Re: Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#20 Post by TammaraBa27 » Tue Oct 14, 2014 3:31 pm

It's sad to know that Lenovo seems to have discrepancy with the product ordered and the one they actually sell. What will happen then if I don't have any evidence like pdf? Trust and crebility are affected.
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Re: Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#21 Post by studentt12 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:02 pm


I am a student in the market for a Thinkpad. I want to buy a Thinkpad yoga x1 3rd gen, and I am new to the Lenovo Outlet scene. I have a few questions:

First, I have found the model/specs I want, but why are there several different pricing options? For example, there are about a dozen options ranging from 1300$ to 1700$, quite a hefty difference! Is the explanation for the price difference something like: The cheaper models have more wear and tear, and the more expensive models have less usage overall? If someone could explain the price difference, that would be a HUGE help

Second, I understand that there is no warranty available with refurbished products, but how about returns? I am struggling to find the return policy for Lenovo outlet purchases.

Third, I understand that legally, manufactures are obligated to mark a product as "refurbished" even if a customer simply bought a device, opened the box, and returned it the next day. Is there any way to differentiate between which products are that type of "refurbished"?

Thanks for all of your help in advance!

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Re: Ordering from Lenovo Outlet: Tips and Tricks

#22 Post by Cigarguy » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:15 pm

Best place for a lot of your questions is the Lenovo Outlet website. There's a chat feature where you can talk to a live rep and there's also a big write up on return policy.

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