Guest blog by Everrett from Macs4u
The most common place you've probably come across the term "refurbished" are in electronics stores. Without fully understanding what it means, a lot of people make judgments as soon as they see that label on a product. Some of the things that come into mind upon reading or hearing “refurbished” are that the item is either defective, used, or repaired, and therefore, low quality.
For these negative connotations alone, many people stay away from refurbished items — even if there's a significant slash on the price tag or there's no proof that corroborates the stereotype. These assumptions deter customers from looking at the specs sheet more carefully, and they end up missing out on scoring a good deal for a quality refurbished laptop.
Below are more reasons why people avoid refurbished laptops as well as more insight on why they should consider these items more when they shop for gadgets.
1. There is no clear definition of what is 'refurbished'
There are many reasons why a product can be tagged as refurbished, and it's not always clear on the packaging. Most of the time, items marked as such often have its components replaced with original parts from the manufacturer due to previous minor or repair defects. It would be too wasteful to throw or completely separate the product, so they get a second chance at being sold with the refurbished tag.
Another reason could be overstock. Sometimes, an item is about to be phased out and the manufacturers have ways to sell the remaining units. They can get a refurbished tag just for that. In such cases, the items you'll be getting new and are now being sold for a fraction of the price.
In situations like these, the solution is simple: Ask the retailer about the current status of the item you're eyeing. Even if the product is second-hand, there is a refurbishment process that assures the buyer that they are still receiving quality products that are under warranty.
2. Some items have minor cosmetic defects
In the case of second-hand refurbishments, the body of the gadget could've acquired dents from its previous owner. Some buyers are not comfortable purchasing a “damaged” product, no matter how minor and irrelevant it is to the performance of the item.
However, it is important to note that stores will rarely sell products with huge dents that are too off-putting for the customer. Often, these blemishes are minor or hidden, with the potential to be cleaned off. What's more important for manufacturers and repair technicians is the internal performance of the device — so don't be derailed too easily!
If you're not too bothered with a small scratch or unnoticeable dent on your product, as long as you're aware that you'll be buying it in that condition, you'll be better off with the refurbished product. In most cases, owners tend to damage their gadgets from everyday use, no matter how minor. It won't make much difference once the device has gone through regular wear and tear.
3. The item has had internal defects before
Now, this is where things get a bit trickier for buyers. If you see an item marked as repaired due to internal malfunctions in the past, would you still be brave enough to buy it? The assurance of purchasing brand new products lies in the fact that it has never been used, and so the assumption is, things will run without a hitch, and you can use it without problems.
This is why you need to scout trusted stores that sell refurbished products, as well as manufacturers that have your seal of approval. This will remove some of the anxiety from you as you know how to perform their products. Read reviews online, contact friends who have experience with the same refurbished item you're eyeing, and learn about their experience. Read the fine print as well about warranty periods and subsequent repairs.
4. Refurbished items have short warranty periods
While on the topic of warranties, it's worthy to note that refurbished items typically have shorter warranty periods than their brand-new counterparts. Again, before buying, make sure you're aware of the duration awarded to the device you want to buy. There are still some that offer warranties for six months to a year, which is a great deal, considering a year is standard in the electronics world.
If your refurbished product only has cosmetic defects, it will be easier to forgo this. Be more scrutinizing if you're buying something that has had internal issues before. Remember: No warranty period that your device will be up and running for years to come, even if you buy your electronics brand new. It still pays to take proper care of your gadgets and make sure you know when it's time to take them for checkups or routine maintenance repairs.
Refurbished Items: Are They Worth It?
The answer to this question depends on what type of buyer you are. The short answer is yes, or course, they're worth looking into! The long answer is found below:
If you're the type of person who likes to buy everything sealed and brand new from the manufacturer, then perhaps no matter how many benefits or refurbished gadgets are presented to you, you won't go for it.
However, if you're looking to score great deals on some of the latest gizmos in the market, don't mind a few cosmetic blemishes, and are willing to conduct a thorough inspection of the products you want to get, then refurbished the route to go! The extra effort you'll be putting in will be worth it if you see the financial returns this will give you.
Besides, refurbished products still go through quality checks. Retailers wouldn't be cleared to sell something in the mall if the product is defective. As long as you agree with the terms and coverage of the warranty, everything should be relatively smooth for you.
If you're curious, start searching around reputable companies that sell refurbished items and compare their price tags from brand new counterparts to see the difference.