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Refurbished items and used items have several key differences. Firstly, refurbished items typically come with a warranty, similar to new products from the original manufacturer, whereas used items often do not include a warranty. Refurbished items undergo a process to restore them to a like-new condition, including the replacement of parts and components, resulting in a product that looks and functions similar to new. On the other hand, used items retain any wear and damage they have acquired over time without any changes made to them.
When it comes to vendors, it is rare for OEMs to sell used products directly. They may sell off-lease items, which are products returned by corporate customers after their lease expires. However, OEMs do sell refurbished items. Used items are typically sold by third-party vendors or private individuals. It's important to be cautious, as some vendors may mislabel used items as refurbished.
The age of the item also plays a role. Refurbished items are generally available for current-model products that are still supported by the OEM. However, items that are too old to be supported are typically not refurbished and instead sold through other channels. If an item is discontinued but still available as new from the OEM, refurbished versions may be found. In contrast, used versions of discontinued items are more common and usually come without a warranty.
Support is another significant difference. Refurbished items from OEMs or reputable third-party vendors often come with support options, allowing customers to seek assistance if any issues arise. In contrast, used items typically have no support or rely on third-party sources for any necessary assistance.
In summary, refurbished items offer a warranty, undergo a restoration process, are sold by OEMs and reputable vendors, and have support options available. Used items often lack a warranty, retain their original condition, are usually sold by third-party vendors or private parties, and have limited or no support options. Understanding these differences can help consumers make informed decisions when considering refurbished or used products.
Are refurb items better now compared to in previous years?
Yes. When refurbished items first appeared years ago they were often pretty crappy. This soured a lot of people on the idea of buying anything other than new and to some extent is responsible for the belief that used = refurbished.
Today OEMs understand that there is legitimate profit to be made by selling refurbished items. As such, refurbished products now are a whole lot better than they used to be. These items are good enough that the manufacturer can offer the same warranty as you would get with a new product. OEMs are not in the business of giving out charity warranties; if they warranty a product, it means that their data show the product is reliable.
Refurbished products are a great way to save lots of money on your tech needs without compromising on quality or value. If the refurbished item has all the features you want, comes with everything the same new product would and is supported by the OEM (which it is,) you can buy with confidence. There are some product families where the product has a certain lifespan which can’t be extended no matter what you do to the components and for those products a refurbished or recertified item might not make sense, but you have to look at the individual situation.
Most of the time the refurbished items you buy will serve you just as well as new products would.