3 factors to be taken into account when purchasing refurbished electronics

If you love electronics and gadgets but your budget is kind of limited, then refurbished electronics must be a favorite of yours. Offered at extremely low prices, "refurbs" are mainly considered just defective rejects. The reality is different though.

Most refurbished electronics are fixed, fully repaired and tested to make sure they work properly. Still, sometimes doubts regarding its reliability tend to linger. Is there a way to ensure that a “refurb” won’t fail a second time?

The answer is yes, there is a way, but it involves several aspects and accurate knowledge about 3 distinct factors. Let us see them one by one.

1. Understanding what it is you are buying

Misconceptions regarding "refurbished" electronics are widely spread and multiple. An electronic device can be returned for numerous reasons and, ultimately, the buyer cannot be sure about the actual problem.

In extremely rare cases, the first buyer returns the device literally untouched, without even removing the packing. And since returned electronic devices, even the unopened ones, cannot be sold again as brand new, they are labeled as "refurbs".

That’s not the usual scenario though. Most electronics are returned because of:

  • A noticeable defect – in such cases the buyer easily detects a defect on his/her newly bought product, such as discolored screens, or hanging parts, and of course has the right to get a replacement.
  • Breached packaging: any sign that the package has been opened prior to deliverance to the customer entitles the buyer to ask for a replacement.
  • Damaged looks – probably during shipping the device got a scratch or a hard bump and the customer had every right to ask it to be replaced.
  • Recalled devices: in such cases, the manufacturer has detected a defect in a series of products and asks the buyers to return them, replacing them in the meantime with others.

So, a refurbished electronic has been typically one of these cases. The second thing we need to know is what’s in it for us.

2. The gain of purchasing “Refurbs”

Well, benefits and gain can be considerable, if you move cautiously.

First of all, the extremely low price; on average, you can save anywhere from 10% to 30% by deciding to get a refurb instead of a brand new product, and in some rare case, you can even get them by half the original price.

Second, surprisingly enough, a refurb can be even more reliable than a brand new product, because its quality is double checked. Brand new products are produced under the pressure of getting large numbers of them ready in the minimum time possible. But the idea behind refurbished products is totally different. The manufacturer has been ridiculed once and wants to be sure that this time the customer will be 100% happy with their product. So, they check it thoroughly again and again.

3. Decide wisely on the Brands

This is extremely important and often proves the most sensitive issue in the refurbishment market. Confirm your chosen retailer’s reliability. Things are getting better and better in retailer services. According to a Consumer Electronics Association report:

  • 8 out of 10 fix them;
  • 9 out of 10 resellers test returned products prior to reselling;
  • 5 out of 10 upgrade hardware parts or even software.

Still, it is rather important to check diligently the procedure the refurbishment procedure the manufacturer follows and evaluate cautiously the warranty.

True enough, there is always a chance to be a bit disappointed with a refurbished device, but isn’t that true also with brand new products? So, do your homework and make your move. There are good deals out there offered by respectable and reliable retailers.