New Versus Refurbished: Which One Is The Better Deal?

Exercise caution when thinking about buying a refurbished item

New Versus Refurbished: Which One Is The Better Deal?
Image: Pexels

Electronics items are hot sellers when it comes to the refurbished merchandise. But many consumers have questions about whether this type of product is truly worth the often significantly lower price tag.

Refurbished, sometimes referred to as reconditioned or remanufactured, typically means that a product has been returned to the retailer or manufacturer and returned to like-new condition before being resold at low prices. It can mean rebuilt, or might simply mean open-box returned. Refurbished does not guarantee functionality.

Are these types of products truly worth the money? About ninety percent of those companies who refurbish electronics test the products. Still, that number leaves some companies who do NOT test returned products. Consumers still run the possibility of purchasing items listed as refurbished that have not been tested.

If you make the choice to buy a refurbished product, take the following steps to make it as likely as possible that your device will be worthwhile.

  1. Buy from a reputable company with a vested interest in the product.
  2. If you are purchasing a refurbished Sony product from a Sony retailer, chances are good that the product will work fine since the company does not want to tarnish its image.

  3. Always check the return policy.
  4. Some retailers offer ninety days to return a product, some offer thirty days, some only fourteen days and some companies will not accept returns of refurbished items. Be skeptical of items that cannot be returned or advertise that 'all sales are final.'

  5. As with any product, check the warranty coverage.
  6. Some products only carry a ninety day warranty while others allow a full year. In some cases, refurbished products have no warranty at all and are purchased 'as-is.'

    If you do buy a refurbished product, seriously consider an extended warranty, especially for larger, high dollar items such as televisions. NCCC generally recommends against extended warranties, but you made wish to consider one in the case of refurbished goods. While having a $12 refurbished item break outside of its warranty period won't necessarily break the bank, you might be kicking yourself if that $2400 television loses its picture one day after the warranty expires.