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!