Buying Refurbished Products? Here’s What to Keep in Mind

Below, we've compiled some tips to follow when shopping for refurbished technology. None of these are foolproof, but they make the process much safer - and you end up with great gear for less.

Highlights

  • Purchasing a refurbished product from the original manufacturer is generally much less risky than buying from a third party.
  • In some cases, the product may have visible damage, may be in different packaging, or may only have a 6 month warranty. As long as you know before you buy, you'll be fine.
  • The most important thing to look out for when purchasing a refurbished product is that it has a good warranty in case the unit fails.

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Most people know that buying a refurbished device saves money compared to buying a new one. It also gives the device a second life instead of sending it for recycling. While demand for appliances isn't as high as it was at the pandemic's peak, buying refurbished is sometimes a smart way to find new or hard-to-find products for less.

These are all good things - however, "renewed" is still a loaded word for many people. New means new, a product that no one else has used. On the other hand, buying a refurbished product can be a gamble, even though the product will likely be significantly cheaper.

Buying refurbished raises many questions. Has the product been refurbished by the original manufacturer or by a third party? Was the product returned as new or does it look visibly used when received? Has it been professionally cleaned and disinfected, and does it come with new accessories? Does it have a warranty and who is responsible if it breaks?

Below, we've compiled some tips to follow when shopping for refurbished technology. None of these are foolproof, but they make the process much safer - and you end up with great gear for less.

Things to consider while purchasing Refurbished Products

Purchasing a refurbished product from the original manufacturer is generally much less risky than buying from a third party. But there are also plenty of companies out there who only exist to revamp their products and can do a good job. In other words, it helps to have criteria when buying refurbished goods. Once you get into the habit of looking at regenerated technology, this will quickly become second nature. Here are some questions to get you started:

• What is the condition of those products? Is it in new condition or slightly used?

• Are all original accessories and documents included?

• What warranty does it have, and who gives it?

The answers to these questions are not always obvious. In some cases, the product may have visible damage, may be in different packaging, or may only have a 6-month warranty. As long as you know before you buy, you'll be fine. In fact, resellers may be able to cut costs if the product is not in perfect condition, so this information can often be used to save money. Just decide what you want to solve.

What is an open-box product?

Items may be marked as "opened." The term may have different meanings depending on the retailer. Still, in most cases, it means that the customer who purchased the product has opened the product and returned it to the store in its original packaging with all accessories. In other words, it was assumed that it had never been used or had been used once and then repackaged, so it didn't need to be refurbished.

Is there anything I should not buy refurbished?

The most important thing to look out for when purchasing a refurbished product is that it has a good warranty in case the unit fails. Also, if the retailer says your item will arrive in good packaging, make sure what you receive is representative of their claim.

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