Are Refurbished Electronics Worth Buying?

The price tag on electronics may see high in today’s economy, which is why many consumers are turning to refurbished devices to alleviate some of their financial burden. While it may be cheaper to upgrade your technology by purchasing an item that has been previously used, do refurbished electronics really hold up against their in-the-box counterparts?


Understanding Refurbishment

For many, the decision to buy refurbished electronics is a difficult one to make. First things first, you should know exactly what refurbished means. You have probably scrolled through the website of your wireless provider and seen several refurbished cell phones available to buy. These are generally offered at lower prices and occasionally even free depending on whether you sign a new two year contract.

Essentially, when a smartphone or any other electronics device is deemed as refurbished, it means that it was previously owned and returned to the manufacturer or company selling it, usually due to a defect. The device is then tested at the factory to ensure they are in top condition. The defect found in these items is usually minor, so much so that they are virtually undetectable. At the same time, there may be some sort of flaw found within them, whether it was due to the manufacturer or if it sustained damage when the person received it as a shipment in the mail. If there are any damages found during this testing stage, it will be repaired to the original standard and then repackaged. When they are re-sold, they hit the shelves with a new price tag, one that is much more affordable than when the device was brand new.

One Buyer’s Remorse is Another Buyer’s Bargain

In some instances, an electronics device that is referred to as “refurbished” may not actually be refurbished at all. A portion of items that are sold as such have never even been used or even removed from their original boxes. Sometimes, a consumer will make a purchase and then experience what is known as “buyer’s remorse” and return it. Of course, if you buy a refurbished device, you have no way of knowing its history prior to getting it in your hands.

The Deal

Most refurbished electronics are in as good condition as those that are purchased brand new. The chances that you will not notice any difference from an item that was new when you bought it is quite slim. At the same time, you should always remember that buying refurbished products means you are buy them “as is.”

All in all, it is worth buying refurbished electronics devices because you will save money. The odds that you will notice a manufacturing flaw or other defect are generally slim to none and you will have the satisfaction of enjoying your devices while knowing you got a bargain on them.

Peter Wendt is a writer and researcher working out of the great state of Texas. He has been writing about quality electronics refurbishment for several years.