What does refurbished mean?

When you’re on the hunt for your next phone, laptop, or tablet it can be overwhelming trying to navigate everything that is out there. Especially when you’re trying to decide between something brand new and refurbished technology. It is a huge hit to our wallets to buy brand new technology every time a new upgrade is released, but what exactly is refurbished and what does it mean?

The words refurbished, re-certified, renewed, and reconditioned are synonymous and basically mean the same thing.

A lot of people are put off by the term refurbished but it really just means that it was returned.

This could be for a number of reasons, it could have been returned because the packaging was damaged or the buyer may have changed their mind. More often than not there was nothing even wrong with it! Often, refurbished devices are sourced from devices that were submitted for trade-ins or laptops that come from school districts when it’s time for an upgrade. Don’t let the word refurbished scare you off, the device could be as good as new.

The manufacturer or seller (in this case us) will fully test the product and make any repairs that we deem necessary. Then we clean the product up, reset the software to factory conditions where appropriate, and repackage it. In many cases, you’ll get a device that is as good as new. You can also expect it to work every bit as well, and last as long as a brand new product. The lower price point isn’t the only advantage.

Refurbished devices have often undergone stricter testing than devices fresh off the production line, and so you’re less likely to encounter any problems.

Used vs Refurbished

Used items are...well, used and they will usually come with some wear and tear. Also something to note is that used items are not repaired or checked for defects, so it’s always up to you to check the used item and make sure it’s working perfectly before buying.

Alternatively, refurbished items are carefully checked, repaired, and cleaned before going up for sale. That doesn’t mean that all refurbished devices will be in perfect condition: most manufacturers will have clear cosmetic conditions listed for the refurbished item. For example, we have our products categorized into Excellent, Very Good, and Good conditions.

So the difference between used and refurbished is not necessarily how it looks but more that refurbished devices have been through a process to make sure that you’re getting the best possible product.

Refurbished vs. Renewed

If you’re an Amazon shopper you may see the term “Renewed” being thrown around. For all intents and purposes, Amazon Renewed products are the same as refurbished devices in other places. They have undergone professional inspection, testing, and cleaning by “Amazon Qualified” suppliers (like us).

Amazon renewed products should work and look like new, Amazon even states that their renewed products have “no visible cosmetic imperfections when held 12 inches away.”

Basically, Amazon Renewed products are the same as our Excellent Grade Refurbished devices.

What to look for when buying a refurbished item?

There are a few important things you should keep in mind when purchasing any refurbished device. First, verify what your device comes with. Since you’re not buying something brand new it might not come with original packaging, chargers, or any extra accessories. Make sure you’re always reading all the details and fine print so you know exactly what you’re getting.

Secondly, check the warranty information on your product. You never want to buy a device without a warranty and most manufacturers (including us) offer 1-Year Warranties on their refurbished items.

Last but not least, always check the return policy on refurbished products. If you do happen to get a product with a defect, you want to be able to return it. You can check out our return policy here.

When the device arrives make sure that you test it thoroughly. Look for cosmetic flaws and check for the common issues that others have encountered. You need to quickly decide whether you want to keep it, particularly if there is a limited warranty or returns policy.

If you’re weighing the pros and cons of buying new and buying refurbished, buying refurbished definitely has more pros. It’s better for the environment and your wallet. As long as you take a few careful steps to ensure that you're getting exactly what you’re looking for, buying refurbished technology is the way to go. Luckily, we know just the place for you to start looking. 

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