Save some money buying refurbished electronics

My first refurbished item was an HP desktop computer running Windows 95. The specs were not that far off of the current models of the day. I was pretty nervous about taking a chance on something that had been returned by a customer, but the price was so tempting.

The computer ran fine for a few years, and eventually I replaced it with another.

That good experience taught me an important concept: you sure can save money buying refurbs.

More recently, I have bought 2 refurb’ed Nook Wifi ebook readers as gifts, as well as a Nook Color for me to root and enjoy as a full Android tablet. All have been cosmetically perfect and have performed flawlessly. Many manufacturers report that about 85% of returned items have no detectable defects. Which means, there’s a lot of “operator error” going on. The interesting thing is, by buying a refurb, in many cases you are more certain of getting a known good unit than by buying a new item, since new electronics are rarely tested as thoroughly as refurbs are before being sold!

Refurbs start showing up for sale just a few months after new electronics are launched, so just a wee bit of patience can help you score a great deal!

I have just a couple of guidelines that I follow and recommend to others:

  • Buy from a reputable dealer.
  • Make sure there is a warranty. I personally hold out for a full, same-as-new warranty.
  • Check the item out thoroughly upon receipt.
  • Enjoy. You’ve just saved money that you can use on another shiny new toy!
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