I used to be apprehensive about buying refurbished, but over the past year I have completely reversed my views. Here’s why: buying refurbished is simply smarter. Don’t get me wrong, new products are great, but refurbished products are often better. When you are buying something that has been refurbished, it has gone through extra scrutiny from the manufacturer to ensure that the product is perfect.
Many refurbished products are opened and then returned. Most of the time these items have either been used for an extremely short amount of time or were only opened then returned. Often the only thing that is “refurbished” is the packaging. It is usually difficult to find anything distinguishing the refurbished product from the new one. If a product has been heavily used and would require a lot of reworking, the manufacturer simply will not bother with refurbishing it. It would be a waste of their time, and a waste of yours.
Another factor in labeling a product as refurbished is store demo units. A store demo product is taken out of the package for display purposes, so it is forced to be labeled as refurbished when repackaging. Of course, a demo product does have to be double checked for quality and cleanliness before it can be resold, so the item that the buyer receives is as good as new.
When manufacturing products, things don’t always go as planned. Most of the items come out great, but a handful are always wrong. This is usually as simple as a slight blemish or a missing screw, but it is serious enough that it cannot be sold as new. With a refurbished product, the scratch is repainted, or the missing screw is simply screwed in. For the consumer purchasing the item, these differences are scarcely noticeable, and often completely invisible! For example, I recently purchased a white board for 40% off because it had a slight scratch in the bottom left corner. Who writes in the very bottom corner of a whiteboard? Nobody! It changes nothing about the product or its performance, so I ended up with a great price without having to sacrifice quality.
The single most important factor in buying refurbished is the price. Tiny flaws that have usually been fixed can lower prices anywhere from 10% to 80%! This is a win-win situation, both for the manufacturer and your wallet. A product that could have been thrown out is getting a buyer, and the customer is receiving the item they want at a great discount! Now that I have discovered the world of refurbished items, I try to find a refurbished version of everything I buy. It saves me money, and it helps to stop the waste that comes from unwanted items.