Pre-order issue - note conditions of ordering

If you pre-order Librem 14” from, and change your mind about your purchase, you cannot get a refund until shipping - between 60-180 days later.

This policy applies:

“In short: if your order haven’t been shipped, you can get a full refund if it is an existing product, ready to ship — you can not get a refund on order for products that are being crowdfunded or are in pre-order status. For such orders, you can get a refund once the product has completed shipping.”

EDITED: As per comments below, these terms are displayed at time of sale, and applicable to all customers.

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Hi gbennett71

Were you not informed of this by Purism?

Or was there not information given regarding purchasing crowdfunded items somewhere else?

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This is not a new policy. It is also being applied to the Librem 5.

Whether it is “reasonable” or not, well, that could be a lengthy debate.

You are not the only customer to complain about this. So in that sense it is controversial.

Out of curiosity, why did you change your mind? The Librem 14 seems a good unit. It improves on the Librem 13 in many ways.


it’s not bad that you thought to bring this to the attention of readers and potential buyers. that being said if the world ends or some other disaster befalls planet earth what good would it do to me getting my money back ? if i’m in then i want to see it through …

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It is just part of how they have to operate. They need to pay for manufacturing orders up front. They do not have the clout of large companies.

I sympathize with your plight, but don’t really feel the raising of the alarm is all that warranted. On these forums and in the terms spelled out on the website this policy is known.

Welcome to dealing with a small company. With any luck this wont always be the case.


Agreed. Alarm and commentary not warranted. Have edited issue above.


@2disbetter’s comment is worth highlighting for people who don’t understand. When Purism wants to release a new laptop model, it has to pay out quite a bit. For example, Intel charges for its laptop reference design which Purism needs to modify to add its kill switches, TPM and set fuses on the board so it can boot without a signed BIOS/UEFI. For some parts, OEMs and ODMs charge an upfront fee that Purism has to pay, even if Purism never ends up using the part and then there is the cost of designing the laptop to use that part.

For example, Purism posted in August 2016 about its extra costs to offer 4K screens in the Librem 15:

We made heavy investments trying to make this happen, and have spent sums that we cannot recoup: approximately $75,000 in assembly line retooling and deposits for 4K screens to Samsung and LG for orders that will, it seems, never materialize. We are trying to negotiate and recover some of the supplier deposits, but at this point we have to consider this money a net loss. On the other hand, we’ve made other investments early in our campaign that were worth it (for example: $50k to place an initial order for rarer Intel CPUs requested by some backers, $25k to retool the motherboard to 6 layers to support 32GB of RAM, progressively growing our team…).

When Purism asks an EOM, ODM or electronics assembler to do a manufacturing batch, it has to pay all the money upfront. Big companies like Apple, HP, Dell and Lenovo can negotiate special deals to pay later and to pay less per unit, but a small company like Purism can’t get those special deals. Banks are also reluctant to loan money to companies like Purism, so Purism has to raise money to release a new model through pre-orders and by raising money through, which is costly compared to getting a normal bank loan. Purism has raised money 8 times on kickfurther since 2016.

After Purism places its orders to manufacture the Librem 14 and hands your money over to the manufacturer, you cause a problem for the company when you demand a refund. It has to have enough liquidity on hand to cover refunds, which is difficult, especially in the current economic recession. For these reasons, Purism decided to change its policy in early March 2020, and only pay refunds after it ships the device.

The risk to the consumer is pretty small when preordering the Librem 13/14/15/Mini/Server, since they arrive within a couple months, but it is a bigger risk for a product like the Librem 5 that requires years of development.

There are only three Linux companies that do custom manufacturing of Linux laptops (PINE64, Star Labs and Purism), and there are only two that maintain their own distro (System76 and Purism) and only two do firmware development (System76 and Purism).

If you want unique Linux devices that require custom manufacturing and software development, there is no way to get them without accepting the higher costs and the higher risks that entails.


let’s see 5 BILLION people stop buying BIG-TECH products and then we’ll see where the risk REALLY originated from in the first place …