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Refurbished electronics - good or bad

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  • Jul 7th, 2015 8:13 pm
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[OP]
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Jun 12, 2015
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Refurbished electronics - good or bad

Just wondering what is the thought on electronics (TVs, computers, gaming system, kitchen electronics) that are sold as refurbished?

Are they good quality afterwards? If the manufacturer takes a broken item, changes a internal part, and resells it, is it not like any new item? All it had was a faulty part changed no?

Just wondering if this is the case or should you just stay away from refurbished items cause they'll just end up doing again.

Any stories or inside knowledge?
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Apr 15, 2011
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Bought two refurbished items before...

HP desktop, couldn't tell the difference and worked for as long as I owned it
Acer laptop, some physical scuffs along the plastic edges of the screen but otherwise still works perfectly

IMO worth it for the discount in price (Laptop was $300 but worth $500 if it was a new unit)
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Sep 19, 2002
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Like buying a new product, it comes down to the manufacturer and what they're willing to spend for customer satisfaction.

Most items that cost less than $150 when new are refurbished in house with minimum testing because of costs.

More expensive items are typically outsourced to a 3PL like Genco who takes care of the refurbishment cycle. Once again, it comes down to how much the manufacturer is willing to pay Genco to test, replace, and refurbish items.
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Oct 17, 2005
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If there is a huge discount go for refurbs. I don't think I have ever had any huge problems with refurbs as long as as you buy from a big store. My main laptop is a refurb and is still working after 4 years.
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Dynasty12345 wrote: Just wondering what is the thought on electronics (TVs, computers, gaming system, kitchen electronics) that are sold as refurbished?

Are they good quality afterwards?
I would say if it's sold by the manufacturer and has full warranty, you've got nothing to worry about. If it's sold by a third party and/or has less than full warranty, then I wouldn't touch it.

I've bought 3 refurbished laptops over the years from Apple and had no problems that weren't addressed by the warranty. I've bought a 'refurbished' car ("Certified pre-owned") and would do that again too.

I wouldn't buy from places such as XS Cargo (may they rest in peace) because the product they sell would be far less reliable on a cost/benefit value.
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I've bought lots of used stuff from craigslist mostly without problems. They were a fraction of the retail price, so they were worth the gamble.
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Jan 7, 2002
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In my experience the quality and reliability of refurbished products depends on who did the refurbishing. If it was done by the manufacturer or under contract to them then likely the product is as good as new.

If it was done by an unaffiliated third party then be very careful. Chances are the "refurbishment" work was done poorly and didn't correct the original problem.

It's often not difficult to distinguish between manufacturer refurbs and third party refurb. For example if you're buying direct from the manufacturer or through a reputable retailer who claims the product was refurbed by the manufacturer then you're probably OK. This includes companies like Apple, Dell, IBM/Lenovo. Also these sources generally provide a decent return and warranty terms.

If you buy from a liquidator or place like Factory Direct you should assume the work was done by a third party unless you're given proof to the contrary. Another red flag is lack of return privilege or very short (e.g. 30 day) warranty.
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I have bought many refurbished products over the years and have not had a problem with any of them. In some instances, I think refurbished is preferable to new particularly when you read a lot of inconsistent reviews on a product. Some think it is great and others complaint it broke in no time. Many times, that indicates it is a quality control issue or has a known defect. By purchasing a refurbished product, the problem has been fixed. As others have indicated, it depends on who is doing the refurbishing. Preferably it is the manufacturer. The items I have purchased came with warranties and looked brand new.

I have a Braun food processor I bought refurbished 20 yrs ago and it is still going strong, same with my vacuum. I bought my desktop computer refurbished, my Galaxy Note tablet refurbished, my DVR, my Zi8 camera... In the case of my Magnavox DVR, there were plenty of refurbished ones to be had because people weren't following instructions properly and returning them thinking they were defective. There was nothing wrong with the unit they just had to go through setup first before the tray would open. In the case of my Kodak Zi8 camera, it had great reviews but seemed to have quality control issues so I purposely bought a refurb hoping the problem was fixed. I haven't had any issues with it. I am a big fan of refurbished products.
[OP]
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Jun 12, 2015
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Very glad to hear some positive reviews on refurbished. I agree, if manufacturer redid it to their own product + regular warranty/returns then should be as safe as buying new.

Now where to find some of these deals...
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Feb 9, 2012
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I think Factory Direct has the best refurbs. They have nothing to hide. Their flyer has a great big red check mark with the words "Certified refurbished" right beside anything that is on sale as a refurbished item.
No fine print and no denying.
They're also great because they only charge 10% of the price for an extended warranty.

On top of that, in Ontario, there is NO ECO FEE on refurbushed electronics, so you save that money as well. (their sales pitch is "you can pour the eco fee money into the warranty if you want...")

I've never had a problem with Factory direct. (as of yet)
Hopefully no one else has because I really love that store.
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playnicee1 wrote: I think Factory Direct has the best refurbs. They have nothing to hide. Their flyer has a great big red check mark with the words "Certified refurbished" right beside anything that is on sale as a refurbished item.
No fine print and no denying.
This issue isn't denial. Reputable stores are quite open about products that are refurbed.

The potential problems with FD:
1. You don't know who did the refurb. I suspect it's usually third parties who have no affiliation with the manufacturer and hence you can't be sure the product meets new product specs.
2. If the product fails soon after you buy it, how readily will FD replace it? A factory store like Apple, Dell, IBM/Lenovo will usually take it back, no questions asked, within a week or two.
3. What happens with returned merchandise? It's tempting to put it back on the shelf on the assumption the customer didn't know how to use the product. (I saw that happen at XS Cargo. I have no direct evidence that FD does this.)
I've never had a problem with Factory direct. (as of yet)
That doesn't mean it can't happen. That's why it's important to know what they'll do in that situation before you find out by experience.
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playnicee1 wrote: I think Factory Direct has the best refurbs. They have nothing to hide. Their flyer has a great big red check mark with the words "Certified refurbished" right beside anything that is on sale as a refurbished item.
No fine print and no denying.
They're also great because they only charge 10% of the price for an extended warranty.

On top of that, in Ontario, there is NO ECO FEE on refurbushed electronics, so you save that money as well. (their sales pitch is "you can pour the eco fee money into the warranty if you want...")

I've never had a problem with Factory direct. (as of yet)
Hopefully no one else has because I really love that store.
Not sure if serious.
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bylo wrote: 2. If the product fails soon after you buy it, how readily will FD replace it? A factory store like Apple, Dell, IBM/Lenovo will usually take it back, no questions asked, within a week or two.
As long as you pay the 10% in store warranty fee (10% of the asking price) there shouldn't be any problem.
I'm planning on buying a TV there soon, so hopefully there won't be any problems.
Maybe I'm just lucky so far, but I have not had any problems with a Blu ray and some other smaller items found @ FD.
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Ottomaddox wrote: Not sure if serious.
So far yes. Hopefully I can still say so if I choose to buy a TV from them some time soon.
Everything else is good news so far.
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playnicee1 wrote: As long as you pay the 10% in store warranty fee (10% of the asking price) there shouldn't be any problem.
Reputable sellers of refurbished products offer at least a 7 day return privilege in case the product is DOA, doesn't perform to original specs, has physical damage, etc.

So basically FD's actual prices are 10% higher than advertised in order to properly compare to those other sellers' prices. Or alternatively FD is saying that they won't stand behind their products unless you pay them 10% extra. That indicates how much confidence they have in what they sell. ;)

Speaking of red flags...
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As I have stated above, I have bought many refurbished products, but none from Factory Direct. Sorry I don't trust them. I have had issues with them standing behind new products that were DOA.
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Oct 22, 2007
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playnicee1 wrote: So far yes. Hopefully I can still say so if I choose to buy a TV from them some time soon.
Everything else is good news so far.
Seriously, you need to do a search on the forums here.
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Jun 23, 2015
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I feel, we shouldn't believe on refurbished electronics, because these products can go stop any time..So we should rather purchase new ones or from friends if they're second hand :)
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RickyLoves wrote: I feel, we shouldn't believe on refurbished electronics, because these products can go stop any time..So we should rather purchase new ones or from friends if they're second hand :)
Which of course can never "go stop at any time." ;)

I've bought new stuff including a Sony TV that died within a month. I've bought second hand stuff that ran fine for years. I suppose based on that experience one should never buy new. Or maybe one should only buy second hand from friends.

BTW how would you feel if you sold a second hand item to a friend, something that had worked flawlessly for years. Then a few days after your friend bought it, the item died. Would you feel responsible in any way or could you look your friend in the eye and tell them that that's the risk they take when they buy second hand. And what's the likelihood that your friend will still remain your friend? There's a strong case to be made that one should never sell second-hand stuff to friends (that one wants to keep.)
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Depends who repairs them and how refurbished are they. I have no problem buying refurbished items only from a reputable company.
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