Is It Wise to Buy Refurbished Electronics? Pros and Cons, Explained
Buying new electronics is expensive. For example, new Apple products are rarely on sale. So, to save money on an iPhone or iPad, you may want to consider buying refurbished electronics.
Is it a good idea to buy refurbished electronics? There are definitely pros and cons that you need to weigh before you make a purchase. Here's what we know.
What are refurbished electronics?
Refurbished electronics are used or returned products that have been given new life through getting repaired and cleaned. Any worn-out parts have been replaced. After the product is refurbished, it’s almost like it's brand new.
What are the benefits of buying refurbished electronics?
Cost is the most significant benefit of buying refurbished electronics. You can save as much as 50 percent–70 percent on an electronic when you opt for a refurbished model over one that's brand new.
Say you want to buy an iPhone 13 Pro Max with 256GB. The phone typically retails for $1,099, but Apple will sell you a refurbished model of the same phone for $929, which is $170 off the regular price.
Another advantage of buying refurbished electronics is that it's eco-friendly. Electronics that aren’t refurbished would otherwise be disposed of and end up in a landfill. Some of the components used in electronic products are particularly harmful to the environment, and they aren’t biodegradable.
Is it safe to get refurbished electronics?
Refurbished electronics are just as safe as new ones, provided you purchase them from a reputable reseller. Many manufacturers resell refurbished models of their electronic products or partner with an authorized reseller.
Most refurbished electronics bought directly from the manufacturer or an authorized reseller have undergone testing to check their performance so they can be certified to be resold to consumers.
What are the risks of buying refurbished electronics?
There's a risk that the refurbished electronic you buy won't last as long as you expect or may have parts that aren’t from the original equipment manufacturer (OEM). That’s why it may be better to stick with refurbished products sold by the original manufacturer rather than a third-party reseller.
Also, refurbished electronics typically come with a warranty, but those warranties are usually for just a short-term period like 90 days. Try to find a refurbished product that has at least a one-year warranty.
How can I find the best deals on refurbished electronics?
Here are a few tips to help you find the best deals on refurbished electronics.
Buy from the original manufacturer - The best way to ensure that you won’t run into problems down the road with your refurbished electronics is to buy directly from the manufacturer. Apple, Garmin, Dell, HP, and many others have their own resale departments.
Make sure there’s a return policy - You don’t want to be stuck with a refurbished electronic that stops working a day or two after you start using it.
Ask about the warranty - Many refurbished electronics come with short-term warranties. Try to get one that offers at least a one-year warranty.
Consider buying from reputable retailers - Although it may be best to buy refurbished electronics from the original manufacturer, you’re probably safe purchasing them from large reputable retailers like Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon.