Seagate Starts Selling Refurbished HDDs On Ebay, But Should You Stick With New?

Two Seagate hard drives, each in a plastic sealed bag, on a gray gradient background.
Seagate announced it has teamed up with eBay to expand its 'Hard Drive Circularity Program' to reduce e-waste and HDD shredding. What this collaboration essentially entails is a new Seagate storefront on eBay to sell recertified storage drives that come factory sealed and backed by a two-year warranty, at discounted prices compared to buying new.

"Tens of millions of hard drives are still being shredded yearly, and we need to reduce the use of destructive sanitization methods," said Jason Feist, Seagate's SVP, Products and Markets. "Seagate builds circularity into the drives we bring to market. The collaboration with eBay will increase the amount of data that can be stored on top quality, recertified hard drives."

Part of Seagate's pitch is that some of the parts in mechanical HDDs contain rare earth metals that cannot be reused. As such, Seagate says shredding HDDs to destroy sensitive data ultimately "harms the environment and is not a sustainable practice." That's where Seagate's Circular Drive Initiative (CDI) comes into play, and now by extensions, its eBay storefront to sell refurbished storage drives.

"eBay is proud to work with Seagate on this exciting partnership," said Renée Morin, eBay’s Chief Sustainability Officer. "Refurbishing items gives them a longer life and generally reduces greenhouse gas emissions. In our efforts to be a responsible, sustainable marketplace, this collaboration shows that we all have a part to play."

According to the eBay listings, these refurbished drives have zero bad sectors and zero power-on time. They also arrive factory sealed.

The listings also state multiple times that the drives come backed by a two-year warranty, though in the product description for at least one of the drives, Seagate appears to erroneously state a five-year warranty. Our best guess is that it's a copy and paste error from a new listing, as the same description states two years in the heading and elsewhere.

Screenshot of Seagate's receritifed storage storefront on eBay.

Here's a look at some of the offerings...
Those are decent prices compared to buying new. For example, a 22TB HDD in new form will generally set you back around $440 or more, depending on the model. That's the lowest price we found, which applies to Segate's 22TB IronWolf on Amazon.

The price gap isn't as wide across the board, though. We found a 10TB Seagate Exos listed for $179 on Amazon. It's not an apples to apples comparison, but it's the same capacity with the same 7,200 RPM and same 256MB of cache for $25 more.

While we like the stated goal(s) behind Seagate's CDI effort, we're not as keen on investing in a refurbished HDD for storage, especially for mission critical applications, given that they're comprised of delicate moving parts. That said, there is a greater level of trust that these are coming direct from Seagate and not a random third-party seller.

If you're looking for cheaper bulk storage, it's worth checking out what's on tap. And whether buying new or refurbished, do yourself a solid and make multiple backups of any super-important data.