Buying open box motherboard - dumb idea?

ss88

Weaksauce
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
87
Thinking of buying an open box motherboard from MicroCenter to save a little money. Is there a risk that I'm buying a headache? Is returning open box items a nightmare?
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
29,852
There's always a risk you're buying a headache, but as long as you have a decent return policy and the time to run it back, you should be fine. I've bought several "open box" motherboards on Amazon before and they all worked fine.
 

legcramp

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Aug 16, 2004
Messages
12,273
I always buy a bunch of amazon warehouse boards from amazon (picked up four last week, X470 boards etc) and they all work fine. Also the couple boards I've picked-up from Microcenter open-box worked great too so no experience with the returns though. Amazon return is pretty much no questions asked.
 

TheHig

Gawd
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
991
My daily driver is an open box Tuf Z690 from Microcenter. Working fine and they have never given me an issue on a return during the return window. Just check and see if it’s 15 or 30 days since sometimes the open box stuff is 15 days. Lastly if I know I’m going to keep it long term often I buy the 2 year protection on the mobo so now I’ve got 2 years to return it. 👍
 

pavel

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
372
There's always a risk you're buying a headache, but as long as you have a decent return policy and the time to run it back, you should be fine. I've bought several "open box" motherboards on Amazon before and they all worked fine.

I always buy a bunch of amazon warehouse boards from amazon (picked up four last week, X470 boards etc) and they all work fine. Also the couple boards I've picked-up from Microcenter open-box worked great too so no experience with the returns though. Amazon return is pretty much no questions asked.

My daily driver is an open box Tuf Z690 from Microcenter. Working fine and they have never given me an issue on a return during the return window. Just check and see if it’s 15 or 30 days since sometimes the open box stuff is 15 days. Lastly if I know I’m going to keep it long term often I buy the 2 year protection on the mobo so now I’ve got 2 years to return it. 👍
Hi, guys - feel free to reply - I didn't know who to ask or reply to. :)

I was trying to find ways to squeeze some parts I really want into my budget and although, there probably isn't a lot of $$ off open box, every $ counts and I noticed some stores near me have $20 off here or there. It would add up?
Anyway, ironically, I was looking at open box items and I was hoping to find an open box of a case I really want - and I narrowed it down to three different ones. But, alas.... I was looking at open box motherboards, too, but I was too paranoid/concerned about that.

My main question is, aren't you guys worried about warranty? How is the warranty handled for that? After the 15 days or whatever it is, you are stuck with the board? If you find a problem later - is it different than if you bought a board normally? Is it still with the motherboard manufacturer and won't they care that you bought it open-box? Technically, the open box had a 'previous buyer' - and who knows what they did with the board, right? I guess as long as it doesn't look like it was installed or touched - you're golden? I guess I could see someone returning it because they decided to go to a different form factor, switch Amd <-> Intel or decided they wanted a different brand/chipset.... - who knows. But, I would be concerned if it was actually used or put in a system. It's technically 'used' - and I am not sure a discount of $20 really satisfies me in that particular situation? Am I overly paranoid about it?

Thanks for any advice and ideas.
 

Nobu

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
8,360
I always buy a bunch of amazon warehouse boards from amazon (picked up four last week, X470 boards etc) and they all work fine. Also the couple boards I've picked-up from Microcenter open-box worked great too so no experience with the returns though. Amazon return is pretty much no questions asked.
Same, and also from newegg, though I'm not sure I'd recommend them anymore.

afa warranty, not really, personally. If there's a problem with a motherboard or CPU it's usually apparent pretty soon after building the system, and amazon's pretty good about returns. Of course, if it's for someone else or you aren't going to build it immediately, openbox may not be ideal.
 

mvmiller12

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 7, 2011
Messages
1,242
I bought an Asus Crosshair VI Extreme open-box from NewEgg about 2 years ago for $180...

It came in a generic box and was missing the WiFi antennas, but works great. One of the best mainboards I have ever owned, actually. And NOW it supports Ryzen 5000-series CPUs so I am going to steal it back from my son this summer when I do my annual household PC maintenance :)

Side note: Buying open-box AMD AM4 boards just seems less risky than buying Intel boards that way - you can't bend the pins in a ZIF-socket :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nobu
like this

Shadowarez

Gawd
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
872
well can only chime in on scamegg, i returned a New cpu that arrived mangled had my account of 15 yrs banned and deleted, before this return was complete any order i made was cancelled 2 days later,
 

vegeta535

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
8,834
Make sure you examine the board before you purchase it. They always allowed me to open a board up at the pickup counter before paying. 2/3 had bent pins and were in terrible condition. No acc at all either. I couldn't believe they would accept a return in the conditions. The one other board was a x299 board long sold off but was perfectly fine. MC is good about accepting back open box items that don't work.
 

Jonnycat99

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 9, 2006
Messages
425
If there's a problem with a motherboard or CPU it's usually apparent pretty soon after building the system...

Yep, build it and burn it in for a few days then just leave it running to make sure everything is smooth. After that it's a keeper.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ss88
like this

bigddybn

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Nov 21, 2006
Messages
7,632
If the retailer has a solid return policy and the potential time investment is acceptable to you then go for it. My primary home server is running on an Amazon warehouse board and has been doing so for about 3 years now.
 

whateverer

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Nov 2, 2016
Messages
1,659
I would only buy an openbox from Microcenter for something as complex a s a Mobo if they gave at least a hundred dollar discount
 

MooCow

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Apr 13, 2000
Messages
7,705
Buying open box is like gambling or playing the silicon lottery with dings and scratches. It depends on the amount of risk you're willing to take.
 

MrCaffeineX

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Aug 22, 2011
Messages
1,570
Hi, guys - feel free to reply - I didn't know who to ask or reply to. :)

I was trying to find ways to squeeze some parts I really want into my budget and although, there probably isn't a lot of $$ off open box, every $ counts and I noticed some stores near me have $20 off here or there. It would add up?
Anyway, ironically, I was looking at open box items and I was hoping to find an open box of a case I really want - and I narrowed it down to three different ones. But, alas.... I was looking at open box motherboards, too, but I was too paranoid/concerned about that.

My main question is, aren't you guys worried about warranty? How is the warranty handled for that? After the 15 days or whatever it is, you are stuck with the board? If you find a problem later - is it different than if you bought a board normally? Is it still with the motherboard manufacturer and won't they care that you bought it open-box? Technically, the open box had a 'previous buyer' - and who knows what they did with the board, right? I guess as long as it doesn't look like it was installed or touched - you're golden? I guess I could see someone returning it because they decided to go to a different form factor, switch Amd <-> Intel or decided they wanted a different brand/chipset.... - who knows. But, I would be concerned if it was actually used or put in a system. It's technically 'used' - and I am not sure a discount of $20 really satisfies me in that particular situation? Am I overly paranoid about it?

Thanks for any advice and ideas.
I've purchased quite a few open box motherboards from Microcenter in the past. They will usually let you look at it at the back counter by the hardware components prior to purchasing it. Even if they don't, it's a brick and mortar store that you can bring your item back to in the event that it doesn't work right.

There can be a large number of reasons why a motherboard gets returned. Sometimes it's due to someone trying to win the silicon lottery with a great overclocker, sometimes they just buy the wrong motherboard for the other components that they have, sometimes they buy one to use as a placeholder while waiting for something else to be available or as a warranty replacement...It's not all bad news.

Microcenter has been great, in my experience, on the occasion that you need to return or exchange something. I've also gotten the bundle discount, though not every time, buying an open box motherboard with a CPU. I recommend testing everything out to the best of your ability as soon as possible after purchasing to avoid missing the return window and I assume that the manufacturer warranty should still apply in the event that you need an RMA direct from the manufacturer. It used to state such on the open box sticker and in the fine print on the Microcenter receipt; though it has been a few years since I've lived close enough to one to entertain the notion of making the trip.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ss88
like this

pgaster

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
May 17, 2008
Messages
1,386
I have also had good luck with Microcenter open box boards.
As others have said, you can check out the board before you buy it, either at the open box table, or at the register. AMD boards will not have bent pins in the socket to worry about so that is a plus, but AMD boards might be missing the AM4 bracket. I have no idea why or how people lose things like that.
Two different times I did get a board with some sort of error/problem, but the price was so good I just RMAed the boards instead of returning them. The ones I had were Gigabyte which at the time went by serial number for warranty so things were easy. One had a dead RAM slot and the other had a dead network port.
If you are near the Chicago Central store you can get some amazing deals sometimes. Normally open box boards are maybe $30 to $50 off the full price but sometimes the manager there drops that in half to clear them out. This only happens maybe once or twice a month it seems. I got my Asus TUF X570 Plus Wifi that way for under $100 and it's been running fine since before covid hit. These are normally open box for about $150 to $160 even now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ss88
like this

toast0

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
1,804
If you can take a look at make sure it's in decent shape, I've had good luck with open box boards in the before times at Fry's, would save a couple bucks if I could; my first one was an ECS board that was rather unstable out of the box, but a BIOS update cleaned things up and it was solid. An older AM4 board could easily have needed an update to use the processor they had, etc. Or it could be a broken part like pgaster experienced; if it's something you weren't going to use anyway, you might not even notice.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ss88
like this

ss88

Weaksauce
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
87
I would only buy an openbox from Microcenter for something as complex a s a Mobo if they gave at least a hundred dollar discount
Yeah, that's about where I'm at. $40 to $50 discount isn't worth the hassle of combing over the board prior to purchase and the potential hassle if issues pop up during testing. For $100 savings, I'd do it though.
 

djstarfox

Limp Gawd
Joined
Sep 20, 2010
Messages
473
I bought an open box MB from NewEgg. Works great. Of course, it was missing a few accessories but otherwise fine. YMMV.

PS I think I saved $50 over new retail.
 

vegeta535

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jul 19, 2013
Messages
8,834
I have also had good luck with Microcenter open box boards.
As others have said, you can check out the board before you buy it, either at the open box table, or at the register. AMD boards will not have bent pins in the socket to worry about so that is a plus, but AMD boards might be missing the AM4 bracket. I have no idea why or how people lose things like that.
Two different times I did get a board with some sort of error/problem, but the price was so good I just RMAed the boards instead of returning them. The ones I had were Gigabyte which at the time went by serial number for warranty so things were easy. One had a dead RAM slot and the other had a dead network port.
If you are near the Chicago Central store you can get some amazing deals sometimes. Normally open box boards are maybe $30 to $50 off the full price but sometimes the manager there drops that in half to clear them out. This only happens maybe once or twice a month it seems. I got my Asus TUF X570 Plus Wifi that way for under $100 and it's been running fine since before covid hit. These are normally open box for about $150 to $160 even now.
I stripped the screw trying to remover one of those am4 brackets. Pissed me off. I never had a issues with the other AM4 brackets but that cheapo Asus board gave me hell. I had to break out the Dremel to get it off.
 

StormNobleheart

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 12, 2017
Messages
188
I have bought several open box items and only had trouble with one open box motherboard. I bought it from Newegg and it was quite sad when I received it. It was missing the antennas, CPU backplate, CPU heatsink mounting brackets and the screws that held the m.2 drives, and covers in place. I knew it may not have all of the accessories. I just never thought it would not have some of the parts attached to the motherboard itself. I borrowed those parts from another motherboard to assemble the machine just to discover that the motherboard did not work. I opened a ticket with MSI and they approved an RMA. I was rather surprised they repaired it at no cost given MSI's track record concerning customer service. Just too bad they did not send me a couple screws too. I would had sent that sucker back and got a refund if I had of checked the board when I first got instead of more than a month later.
 

pavel

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
372
I always buy a bunch of amazon warehouse boards from amazon (picked up four last week, X470 boards etc) and they all work fine. Also the couple boards I've picked-up from Microcenter open-box worked great too so no experience with the returns though. Amazon return is pretty much no questions asked.
You guys that buy the Warehouse deals openbox boards don't care that you have no warranty? 'Used' boards - no (manufacturer) warranty, right? I found a board at a good price on Warehouse Deals - but, got 'scared' :) I hesitated and it was sold. I just wasn't sure about picking a board with no warranty. Yes, there's a 'free return' policy through Amazon and that's good - but, you have to put everything together and be sure all is good under 30 days?

Edit: Wait, you guys were approved RMAs even though they are open box? Confused.
 

Nobu

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
8,360
You guys that buy the Warehouse deals openbox boards don't care that you have no warranty? 'Used' boards - no (manufacturer) warranty, right? I found a board at a good price on Warehouse Deals - but, got 'scared' :) I hesitated and it was sold. I just wasn't sure about picking a board with no warranty. Yes, there's a 'free return' policy through Amazon and that's good - but, you have to put everything together and be sure all is good under 30 days?

Edit: Wait, you guys were approved RMAs even though they are open box? Confused.
I've not had to return a motherboard, other than one I thought supported my CPU but didn't, and that was in the amazon return window. All the other ones worked, although one came in the factory bag in a box they rigged up to fit, with standard packing material, a couple accessories, and the book.
 

pavel

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
372
I've not had to return a motherboard, other than one I thought supported my CPU but didn't, and that was in the amazon return window. All the other ones worked, although one came in the factory bag in a box they rigged up to fit, with standard packing material, a couple accessories, and the book.
Well, I am also worried about damage and the Amazon employees don't know how to notice that, perhaps? Like a bent pin in the cpu socket or something. It will still work, though, right? But, I don't want to spend $300 for something damaged but still working. Maybe, I'm just paranoid. It's also something that one should catch - hopefully, when proceeding with the build?
 

Nobu

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 7, 2007
Messages
8,360
Well, I am also worried about damage and the Amazon employees don't know how to notice that, perhaps? Like a bent pin in the cpu socket or something. It will still work, though, right? But, I don't want to spend $300 for something damaged but still working. Maybe, I'm just paranoid. It's also something that one should catch - hopefully, when proceeding with the build?
Well yeah, but amd boards (which I got) don't have exposed pins in the socket, and anyway they accept pretty much any returns for almost any reason -- although they may ask you to pay return shipping for some returns. In my experience, most awd items are in very good condition, with a damaged or missing box, and maybe missing some accessories. I did have a space heater arrive damaged, but the shipping container was so damaged it was hard to say whether it was already like that. Amazon refunded me after I shipped the old and busted back.
 

Andrew_Carr

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
2,588
I bought about 15-20 open box motherboards from microcenter this year and two had issues. Returns process was as easy as anything else. They opened it up, made sure nothing was majorly damaged, and accepted both. I did this all in store though, YMMV online.

[Edit: Oh yeah, one was missing the bracket so check for that and missing screws. They may also be missing manuals, SATA cables, and similar accessory items.]
 

ss88

Weaksauce
Joined
Dec 1, 2019
Messages
87
OP here, picked up an open box MSI Z690-A Pro DDR4 for $154. The discount off new was large enough to give it a try. Will try to build/test this weekend.
 

pavel

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
372
I bought about 15-20 open box motherboards from microcenter this year and two had issues. Returns process was as easy as anything else. They opened it up, made sure nothing was majorly damaged, and accepted both. I did this all in store though, YMMV online.

[Edit: Oh yeah, one was missing the bracket so check for that and missing screws. They may also be missing manuals, SATA cables, and similar accessory items.]
Wow! :) What bracket?
OP here, picked up an open box MSI Z690-A Pro DDR4 for $154. The discount off new was large enough to give it a try. Will try to build/test this weekend.
Geez, the same board here, open box (Like new; Used - Amazon Warehouse Deals) is $100 more than that. I am tempted, also, because that's $55 cheaper than the new - although, I can buy it locally. Supposedly, the only thing wrong with it is damaged packaging. I've been contemplating either this board or the Tuf Gaming for an additional $50 ($100 more over the 'used' board) more - but, really, I tell myself that's too much $$$ - I need a case and ssd, still.

Edit: it's the wifi verson.
 

Andrew_Carr

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
2,588
Thoughts on ebay??? :)
The bracket for the CPU heatsink on the bottom. For some reason people loose these, screws, or the plastic bits that OEM coolers hook into. I wouldn't worry too much as long as those are present, but I'd avoid ebay motherboards unless they're sold as new/used. Avoid parts only motherboards because people find interesting ways to screw them up (scratches with screwdrivers, knives, or whatever that destroy traces, etc.) I've also bought tons of used motherboards and haven't had an issue with a single one, and if it's new/used you can always return it if there is a problem.
 

wra18th

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 11, 2009
Messages
8,280
I've bought Open Box at Microcenter a couple of times. I get the "warranty". All but one worked flawlessly. I returned the bad one and they returned the money. Not really a risk.
 

pavel

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
372
I would buy an Amazon warehouse board over an eBay one any day because you can always return it.

Unless there is a specific board you are looking for that isn't available for older CPUs or something.

The bracket for the CPU heatsink on the bottom. For some reason people loose these, screws, or the plastic bits that OEM coolers hook into. I wouldn't worry too much as long as those are present, but I'd avoid ebay motherboards unless they're sold as new/used. Avoid parts only motherboards because people find interesting ways to screw them up (scratches with screwdrivers, knives, or whatever that destroy traces, etc.) I've also bought tons of used motherboards and haven't had an issue with a single one, and if it's new/used you can always return it if there is a problem.
Hi. It's an 'open box' and the specifics that the seller uses: "“Pristine condition never used open box."
I guess I am going down the rabbit hole trying to get a 'good deal' on one of the more mid-tier yet expensive motherboards. It's an Asus Z690 Tuf Gaming DDR4, which is priced $90 less than retail. The shipping is $15 and the seller has a 99.5% positive rating with mostly positive reviews. Otherwise, I wouldn't think twice.

Edit: I definitely prefer Amazon Warehouse Deals for the ease of return - totally, agree there. I was just browsing to see what was there (on ebay).
 

Odigo

Gawd
Joined
Apr 22, 2002
Messages
734
I had a friend who purchased open box ram from Microcenter and it was defective. In the long run it is really worth saving $20-$30? I'd rather pay extra for it being new and with a longer warranty. Edit: If it's $90+ less maybe I'd consider it.. assuming I had a good return policy.
 

Andrew_Carr

2[H]4U
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
2,588
Microcenter sometimes discounts open box motherboards as much as 50-75%, so yes, it can definitely be worth it.
 

DanNeely

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 26, 2005
Messages
4,253
I had a friend who purchased open box ram from Microcenter and it was defective. In the long run it is really worth saving $20-$30? I'd rather pay extra for it being new and with a longer warranty. Edit: If it's $90+ less maybe I'd consider it.. assuming I had a good return policy.

When I was younger and more cash constrained yes. Now that I'm older and more financially comfortable I'll normally pass not just on open box, but also factory refurbished on account of the minimal warranty it normally includes.
 

D-EJ915

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
1,664
I'll buy used boards from ebay or forums because people post actual pictures but a bit leery of doing it from big stores, amazon has sent me used motherboards when I purchased new ones so I am also not likely to buy from them lol. I bought a refurbished asus dual 1366 board from newegg like 10 years ago and never had any issues, it's been running 24/7 since then as my file server too so decent luck there. Oh, I did buy my 2nd c621 aorus xtreme as open box from newegg since new sold out everywhere and it was fine though the socket cover was not attached and it wasn't properly put back into the box so it was miraculous it was still working but not had any issues besides the crappy reboxing.

I think I've bought maybe 30 boards on ebay and the only ones that I had issues with were 1 I dropped the heatsink into the socket because I had it on the vrm heatsink lol so that was my fault, 2nd was a cpu mobo combo but the guy refunded me a bit because he didn't check the board and was selling for a friend and the 3rd was a new board which just didn't work which I got screwed there because I was being nice so lesson learned.
 

philb2

Gawd
Joined
May 26, 2021
Messages
730
I'll buy used boards from ebay or forums because people post actual pictures but a bit leery of doing it from big stores, amazon has sent me used motherboards when I purchased new ones so I am also not likely to buy from them lol. I bought a refurbished asus dual 1366 board from newegg like 10 years ago and never had any issues, it's been running 24/7 since then as my file server too so decent luck there. Oh, I did buy my 2nd c621 aorus xtreme as open box from newegg since new sold out everywhere and it was fine though the socket cover was not attached and it wasn't properly put back into the box so it was miraculous it was still working but not had any issues besides the crappy reboxing.

I think I've bought maybe 30 boards on ebay and the only ones that I had issues with were 1 I dropped the heatsink into the socket because I had it on the vrm heatsink lol so that was my fault, 2nd was a cpu mobo combo but the guy refunded me a bit because he didn't check the board and was selling for a friend and the 3rd was a new board which just didn't work which I got screwed there because I was being nice so lesson learned.
D-EJ915

Wowzers.

Do you build systems for other people or for resale?
 

D-EJ915

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 31, 2003
Messages
1,664
D-EJ915

Wowzers.

Do you build systems for other people or for resale?
Nope, I was just buying some old overclocker boards for x58, x79, etc. to have some fun with. I also just spend entirely too much money on my hobbies but I'm not a person to subscribe to save up until you're old either lol.
 

pavel

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 8, 2014
Messages
372
I'll buy used boards from ebay or forums because people post actual pictures but a bit leery of doing it from big stores, amazon has sent me used motherboards when I purchased new ones so I am also not likely to buy from them lol. I bought a refurbished asus dual 1366 board from newegg like 10 years ago and never had any issues, it's been running 24/7 since then as my file server too so decent luck there. Oh, I did buy my 2nd c621 aorus xtreme as open box from newegg since new sold out everywhere and it was fine though the socket cover was not attached and it wasn't properly put back into the box so it was miraculous it was still working but not had any issues besides the crappy reboxing.

I think I've bought maybe 30 boards on ebay and the only ones that I had issues with were 1 I dropped the heatsink into the socket because I had it on the vrm heatsink lol so that was my fault, 2nd was a cpu mobo combo but the guy refunded me a bit because he didn't check the board and was selling for a friend and the 3rd was a new board which just didn't work which I got screwed there because I was being nice so lesson learned.
The one I am looking at - is from an ebay store and he's sold other motherboards - mostly Intel Z490, Z590, a few Z690 boards. There's a picture of the box, of it in the box - and claim that it was tested - posted fine (and is in excellent condition) and then put back in the anti-static bag (& taped up). I just wonder why they didn't take pics of it while it was out of the box. Also, they state 'no returns' - but, ebay has buyer protection? So, ebay would cover me?
This particular board is pretty good, imho - Z690 Tuf gaming DDR4 wifi - and is $90 cheaper than the retail. I'm on the fence because I still have concerns. Also, after taxes - it comes to around the same price as a new MSI Pro Z690-A D4 Wifi - before taxes - so, I think it's a good deal if the board is in good condition (the seller is genuine and everything is good). Otherwise.... ummmmm....
 
Top