The Truth About Refurbished Electronics

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We all prefer to purchase new when it comes to, well, just about everything. Unfortunately, though, the luxury of buying a brand new item is something that we are simply not afforded at all times. There are a variety of reasons why, in some instances, we are resigned to purchase “used” rather than new; money and accessibility being the most obvious points. However, there can be a positive avenue to this, which is, of course, the ability to save money by purchasing a less than new product. And, the benefits of purchasing “refurbished” items are no more prevalent than they are in the field of refurbished electronics.

It is important to note, right off the bat, which refurbished – when it comes to electronic goods – does not mean used, old or previously enjoyed. As a matter of fact, the definition of what constitutes a refurbished electronic item has a variety of meanings. A refurbished electronic item can be, for example:

•    An overstock item that is no longer being produced by the manufacturer

•    An item whose packaging has been damaged during transport, even though the item itself has not been affected at all and remains in perfect working condition

•    A product that has only featured in a store for display purposes only

•    Items that have cosmetic defects (i.e. incorrect color scheme) only, with no issues with quality

When it comes to refurbished electronic goods, such as an iPod, Xbox, Playstation or camcorder, anything that isn’t “new” is considered refurbished, and must be sold as such. Because of this, the shopper can easily save hundreds of dollars when purchasing a refurbished item versus buying a new item. In many cases, the refurbished electronic item in question is in just as good of working condition as a brand new electronic item. But, because of certain circumstances, that item is no longer identified as new.

Before some of you thumb your nose at the thought of purchasing a refurbished item, consider this scenario: you are purchasing a used Xbox 360 from a friend of yours. There are stains on the console, you’re getting the item in a plastic bag, and your friend has a reputation of not being so delicate with his belongings.

Would you purchase that Xbox 360, or one that has never been used or opened, but one whose box has a tear in it because it caught on someone’s watch during handling? Or would you purchase your friend’s coffee stained version over one whose box was opened because someone simply wanted to see what was inside, and that’s all?

And another caveat for purchasing refurbished; while your friend is a stand-up person, he probably won’t offer you a manufacturer warranty on the game. Most refurbished electronics still have their warranties intact, so, as a consumer, you are protected.

More and more people, companies and retailers are capitalizing on the value of refurbished electronics. For manufacturers and retailers, it’s a great way of moving out excess stock and items. And for consumers, refurbished electronics are a fantastic way of getting a high-quality item at an exceptionally low cost.

As with any purchase, due diligence and research is paramount to locating a respectable retailer who can give you the best deal possible when it comes to refurbished electronics. It is no different than, say, purchasing a used car or a pre-owned home. You would never think buying a used car or home is a bad idea, and you would never do it blindly either. The same principle applies to purchasing refurbished electronics. A good idea, when, combined with research, can prove to be a great benefit to the consumer.

With video game consoles becoming more and more expensive, and with more competition to choose from, there needs to be an outlet for people to get what they want without having to exceed their financial considerations. Everyone wants the hottest video game system, MP3 player or video camera out there, but not everyone can afford to purchase them either. For those who can’t, there is an option, and that is to purchase a refurbished version of the product. Again, in many cases refurbished does not mean opened, used, enjoyed, repaired or rebuilt. It just means that the item can not – by law – be defined and sold as a brand new product.

It also means that savvy customers, who don’t mind paying a little less, will end up with an exceptional electronic item at an exceptionally low cost.

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