What Does Refurbished Mean?

Deals on refurbished goods may seem too good to be true, but that isn't always the case. However, buying refurbished items does call for prudence. What you need to know to avoid buying a lemon instead of a deal if you've been wondering what exactly refurbished means and what refurbs are all about.

Although there seems to be an unending supply of electronics in our lives nowadays, few of us can truly afford to purchase every piece of technology that catches our eye. New technology's price tags are rarely realistic. However, if you look into the refurbished market, you can find some of those devices at fair prices, and if you're diligent, they'll be identical to brand-new models. What does refurbished mean, though? We'll discuss that shortly.

The point is that you can obtain all kinds of fantastic devices for less if you stick to particular categories and only purchase from reliable vendors. A refurbished iPhone 11 (with 256GB) is currently available for $640 from the Apple Store's refurbished section, a $110 savings. Additionally, you might save $80 on a 13.3-inch MacBook Air or an iPhone XR (128GB). There are more benefits besides only the decreased price. Refurbished products frequently go through more rigorous testing than brand-new products, so you're less likely to get a lemon.

What does refurbished mean?

It might be challenging to shop for refurbished products because different sellers may define refurbished differently. Although the phrase always refers to a piece that has undergone inspection and repair, the scope of the work can vary greatly.

Refurbished describes a product that has undergone inspection and repair.

The terminology most frequently used to describe refurbished goods are as follows:

  • Refurbished: The best refurbished products are probably those that have been factory or manufacturer refurbished, but they are also the most expensive. It's possible that third-party repaired items received little more than a cursory inspection before being offered for sale.

  • Certified: Products that have been certified as being in good functioning order have undergone testing, yet they are rarely repaired. The phrase "good operating order" has several meanings depending on who you ask.

  • Pre-owned: Some refurbished items are returned goods or broken things that have been fixed, but some are just plain used. This isn't necessarily a terrible thing, provided they've been properly renovated.

As an illustration, let's take a look at the refurbished iPhones that Apple sells. Refurbished iPhones not only go through an inspection and repair process, but also get a new battery and outer casing. When purchasing reconditioned electronics, these updates are crucial because equipment naturally ages and gets scratched with use. There is no distinguishable difference between purchasing a new iPhone and one that has been refurbished; refurbished iPhones from Apple even come in a brand-new box with all attachments and cables, and have the same 1-year warranty that new products receive.

However, you'll notice that Samsung sells its refurbished models as "certified pre-owned" if you're looking for a Samsung Galaxy smartphone. We would classify these phones as reconditioned even though "certified" often refers to a product that has just undergone an inspection.

These devices are totally rebuilt by Samsung, with any damaged parts being replaced. The phones the company sells are often in good condition, despite the fact that it provides no explicit guarantees about a fresh battery or outer shell. They contain a 1-year guarantee, a new charger, and accessories, similar to Apple's reconditioned devices.

What to buy

Some products that have been refurbished are just as good as brand-new ones, if not better. These products, however, are unable to be sold as new for some reason; they may have been floor models, returned within the allotted time period, had packaging issues, or were otherwise flawed. While you might be concerned about the last option, all refurbished items have been fixed and checked to make sure they're in like-new condition, so they should work just as well as a brand-new item. The cost can be the sole distinction.

You'll never receive the newest, best stuff if you purchase refurbished items, which is their major drawback. You will, at most, receive things that are a few months old, but after a product has been available for roughly a year, you may anticipate seeing more reconditioned stock. (This is particularly true with smartphones, as the market will be inundated with refurbished, used models after a new model is released.)

You probably don't care about the newest model of the vacuum cleaner as long as it operates. But when buying older models of devices like laptops and cellphones, you need to be aware that they probably won't work as effectively as the newest models. You shouldn't buy devices that are too old, even though a model that is one or two years old would work perfectly for most people. No amount of renovation can make them as quick as the most recent versions.

Battery life is also another thing to think about. Any product with a lithium-ion battery will eventually lose battery life, making buying older models a bit risky. This is particularly true of smartphones, in part because we frequently mistakenly believe that newly purchased phones don't have adequate battery life. Although the battery should be replaced if it has significantly deteriorated, there is no assurance. Only Apple is a store that guarantees that the batteries in its tablets or smartphones are brand-new.

Where to buy

You should start your search for refurbished items with the manufacturers, as we just indicated. Here are several to consider:

  • Apple: All of its refurbished products have a one-year warranty and many have new batteries and casings. Although occasionally you might find new product sales at Best Buy or Target that outperform these prices, this is frequently the best way to purchase Apple products.

  • Samsung: All of its mobile devices have a one-year guarantee.

  • Dell offers a 100-day limited warranty on several of its refurbished products.

  • Lenovo: The majority of its refurbished products have a one-year warranty.

A third-party store can be the best option if you're seeking reduced costs or greater choice. Just keep in mind that with most third-party shops, it's unclear who refurbished a product or what was done to it. As a result, pay close attention to the product description and double-check that the item you receive matches that description. Check warranty details carefully because warranty coverage can also differ from product to product.

  • Amazon Refurbished: Like Amazon.com, it sells a variety of products, all of which have at least a 90-day warranty.

  • Best buy: Electronics are available on Newegg in a range of styles.

  • Walmart: It offers many electronics in reconditioned models.

Remember that these aren't complete lists. Most manufacturers and shops provide some kind of refurbished selection. Search for the item of your choosing if you don't see it listed here. By purchasing refurbished, you might find a deal!

What reconditioned goods experiences have you had, readers? Would you advise others to buy refurbished items? Post your ideas in the comments section below.

Refurbished vs. renewed

On Amazon, you can see the word "renewed," which is similar to "refurbished." Products sold by Amazon Renewed are essentially the same as those found elsewhere that have been restored. Although they might not have gotten formal certification from the corresponding manufacturers, "Amazon-qualified" suppliers have professionally inspected, tested, and cleaned them.

You can be sure that "renewed" goods ought to appear brand-new and perform flawlessly. According to Amazon, all renewed goods "have no noticeable visual defects when held 12 inches away." In fact, Amazon offers an Amazon Renewed Guarantee that gives you the option of a replacement or refund if you receive a product that doesn't live up to your expectations within 90 days of purchase.

What to check

Regardless of whether the equipment is new or reconditioned, you should investigate any gadget you plan to purchase. Verify what you'll receive with the vendor before you buy rather than assuming it would include the customary extras. Through reading reviews and forum discussions, look for prevalent issues. Making a list of the problems users have had with your selected product can be a good idea. You can use the information from this research to make wise decisions and to check for any potential weaknesses.

Make sure to give the equipment a thorough test when it comes. Examine the item for visual defects and look for any recurring problems. If you purchased it from a merchant with a limited warranty or return policy, you should decide if you want to keep it.

Refurbished devices can be very affordable if you purchase them straight from well-known brands like the ones we've highlighted. Your results may differ if you purchase items from independent sellers or somewhere else.

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Lucy Taylor
Lucy Taylor
Lucy is a mother of three and a graduate of California State University with a major in media and communication. She's basically an excellent writer with extensive experience in various fields, including kitchen appliances. Using her own experience as a mother and a wife as well as her knowledge, she's been able to write hundreds of articles related to home and kitchen products with in-depth information. Readers often find her information extremely useful, especially when they go shopping and have to decide among thousands of products on the market. Lucy's currently living in New York with her husband and three beautiful kids.