The purchase of reconditioned products (restored, refurbished, renewed, repaired …) can save us a good amount of money versus the acquisition of new electronic equipment. And incidentally, we prevent a greater number of items from reaching landfills, helping to reduce the serious problem that the planet has with electronic waste.
The current economic industry does not invite to reuse products, much less to repair. Connected with technological obsolescence, any user knows that an electronic device of any kind “does not last as long as it used to.” And it is really curious. When we have the technological capacity to manufacture long-life products and we have a good number of maintenance and repair services, that is when the products last the least.
Technology marketing fulfills its function and the general objective is to sell and sell new items in the shortest period of time possible. The European Parliament promised to take measures to ensure that consumers can enjoy durable products that can be repaired and improved. Those of us who are committed to repairing and not accumulating more pots are still waiting …
It is not easy to classify these types of products, because can include many different types. It could simply be a product that was returned in just a few days from purchase and would pass as brand new or it could be an item with a longer life that had hardware failures and was actually repaired.
Other types include returns of older but working products to buy a new version or others that do not include some of the original accessories or that have some imperfections despite working properly. There is no general classification that we can handle, nor is there a legal definition of “refurbished”, but we do know a series of keys that should be analyzed before buying reconditioned products. Some are:
Is it a true renewal or an open box return?
We are talking about a user who bought a new product and returned it unused because it did not meet their needs or because they received it in damaged packaging. Or just minimally tested it. All these types of products cannot be sold as “new” and there are laws in place to prevent this. In reconditioned products, they are the best bargains that we can find because in practice they are totally new.
Who performed the restoration?
Not all restorations are the same. It may have been done by the original manufacturer, but a third party may have done the work and is reselling it. In general, buying from manufacturers is the best decision, because they have the appropriate technicians, spare parts, accessories or packaging to leave the item as close to new as possible. There are products that are sold as “certified by the manufacturer” or similar that are a good option.
Does it include all the components of a new one?
Probably not. A user who returns or exchanges a smartphone may not return accessories such as headphones (and it is advisable for health reasons), covers, packaging or the charger itself. It is not usually a problem because they are accessories that we will already have and will depend on whether the purchase is made from the original manufacturers, who do usually replace them.
Is there a guarantee?
All reconditioned products must be sold with some guarantee. The time will depend on its state, but if it does not include any type of guarantee, we would be talking about another type of product: used.
In what condition is it?
We already said that there are no rules on how to rate a refurbished product, other than the fact that the seller cannot say that it is new. The “as new” is a slogan that you will come across many times. It is worth being interested in what that “like new” means and what repairs it was subjected to, although we will rarely really know.
What is the return policy?
If they do not offer you any type of return service, even if it is less than the purchase of a new product, you’d better discard the purchase, unless the discount is astronomical and you prefer to risk it. Again here it will depend a lot on the trust you have in the provider. In any case, during the return period, carefully review the product and its operation and the fine print of the sale.
What should not be bought restored?
Ultimately, it will always depend on the buyer, but there are certain products that are best purchased new. Of course all types of headphones (God know what ears they have been in), but also others like keyboards; hard drives or SSDs that can’t really be reset to factory settings and may have bad sectors even though they work; The same with RAM memories that can drive you crazy with random errors or others like projectors where it is impossible to know if your lamp (they cost a lump) has been used for an hour or 1,000.
Are refurbished ones always cheaper?
No. There is no rule here. There are real bargains and others that are really priced quite high, too close to the official one again. Do a good price comparison before you buy and see if the latest refurbished model or a completely new older version is worth buying.
Refurbished product offering
Almost all the big technological They offer this type of product, with a guarantee and generally at moderate prices. We can tape the programs of:
The retailers They are also in business and often offer lower prices than the previous ones. It’s a good place (Amazon is an example) to find deals for returned unused products:
There are also companies specialized in reconditioned products that offer refurbished of all brands at a good price. Just do an internet search to get loads of deals. Taking into account the cited keys, you can find products at a good price that will still offer a long time of use. Good luck with that. It is not always easy.