The reconditioning or refurbishing of electronic devices is booming .
And the best proof of this is that some of the big brands and commercial chains already offer it to their customers: Apple, Amazon or Pc components are good examples of stores that offer a large number of reconditioned products.
But do you know what this concept means? In these lines I explain what a refurbished product is and if it is really worth buying .
What is a refurbished product?
A refurbished product is halfway between a new one and a second-hand one . On the one hand, it is not exactly a new item, since it has already had a previous use, however fleeting that use may have been.
And on the other hand, it is not what is usually considered a second-hand item for a fundamental reason: before being put up for sale again, that product is reviewed by specialist technicians who assess and certify that the device is in good condition.
And if it is not, they proceed to repair or change the components that require it.
Making a brief balance, it can be said that a reconditioned product has:
- Price, as they are cheaper models
- Good gesture for the environment, as it means recycling an appliance
- Greater possibilities that, despite everything, problems arise in its operation
- Its external appearance is usually not 100% perfect (in many cases it is usually just the packaging)
Warranty and withdrawal of reconditioned products
Warranty is another big difference between refurbished and second-hand products. At least, the guarantee that the law establishes for repaired devices is applied to the reconditioned ones: 1 year.
And if the seller wishes , he can extend this guarantee a little more, normally up to 2 years . But never less than 1 year.
Let us remember that, until recently, the law established a 6-month guarantee for repairs, and that second-hand products sold between individuals are covered precisely with that period, although in practice this is difficult to carry out unless there is a document signed by both parties.
New devices, on the other hand, have a 3-year warranty, which can be extended by the manufacturer or vendor.
Something similar occurs with the right of withdrawal , that is, the right of the consumer to return a product free of charge (except for the shipping costs involved in the return) during the first 14 days after the purchase, without the need to justify their decision: You may return it because it wasn’t what you expected or because you simply changed your mind.
Well then: the right of withdrawal exists when buying new products and also reconditioned products, but in the case of second-hand products the question is more diffuse: the stores that are dedicated to it should guarantee it, but in operations between individuals it is much more difficult to fulfill if there is no express agreement in this regard.
What categories of refurbished products are there?
There are different categories of refurbished products. They are not standardized and each store can use a different terminology, according to its own company policy. In general terms, one can talk about:
- Like new : when the device has hardly been used and is as it was when it left the factory, even with its original packaging intact
- In excellent condition : the device has been used previously but its external condition is immaculate and its operation is optimal , with the battery practically full to its capacity
- With correct operation and some small external faults in non-critical parts of the device. These are devices that have often received more in-depth intervention in the revision phase, for example with a change of components or a repair
- With more visible faults , even in critical parts of the device. For this reason, they are the ones with a much lower price, although many stores choose not to sell these products because they do not pass their quality filter, in the case of stores such as Amazon or Pc components, these types of products are not in their catalog
Recommendations before buying a refurbished product
With the vast amount of information available to us these days, any buyer should take a deep look at any product before purchasing.
But if it is refurbished, all the more reason, since the drawbacks could become more important than the advantages. Specifically, I recommend you to emphasize the following aspects and place them in your own balance of priorities.
As I was saying, refurbished products are cheaper.
In some stores it is even said that up to 70% cheaper, but it all depends on each model.
So you will have to make a small comparison to find out what the real discount is .
Sometimes, that reduction is only a few tens of euros, so for that saving it may not be worth giving up a completely new product. Discounts are usually more worthwhile on high-priced products.
Another aspect to assess is the difference in guarantees. A manufacturer or a store may offer you a new product with the 3-year legal guarantee plus 1 or 2 additional ones.
On the other hand, if you only find as an alternative a seller that offers you a 1-year warranty for its refurbished model, do you really want to take the risk of dispensing with 3 or 4 more years of warranty?
Compatibility with current technologies
Sometimes a device can be like new and work as scheduled in its design and manufacturing phase.
But sometimes, that’s not enough for today’s world, as technology advances so fast . In other words: it may be becoming outdated due to lack of compatibility, be it because of your old operating system, your version of Bluetooth, or for other reasons.
An especially sensitive component in refurbished products is the battery. And the sellers know it.
Therefore, take a good look at whether in their sales conditions they guarantee a minimum percentage of load capacity , and what that percentage is.
80%-90% may be an acceptable value, but if it is less than this, you may have autonomy problems shortly after purchase.
What refurbished products that may be interesting… and for whom
If a device is electronic, you can have its refurbished version. But the truth is that this concept tends to have more experience among the most sophisticated and complex articles, especially:
- desktop computers
But just as important as the “what” is the “who”. These are some user profiles that might welcome a refurbished device:
- Users not particularly interested in the latest news and not too demanding with the external appearance of the device
- Very old people, even seniors , who are content with a limited use of technology
- Children and adolescents who will enjoy an electronic device of this type for the first time, for whom a refurbished item can be a good introduction to the subject
Refurbished products on Amazon or Pc Components
As I have told you, the products that tend to be sold refurbished are technological and electronic products and for these products there are two online stores that stand out from the rest: Amazon and Pc Componentes.
These two online stores usually offer refurbished products in a wide range of products.
The great advantage of these two online stores lies in the great after-sales service they have , assuring the customer that they will solve any problems they may have regarding the product.
As for the withdrawal guarantee , they comply perfectly with it and normally they do not even charge the cost of the return, so they are a very good option if you want to try buying a reconditioned product, since you can return it without problem if you do not You are convinced of his condition when you arrive at your house.
On the other hand, these types of stores apply very demanding filters to the products they put up for sale, which is an extra guarantee compared to, for example, a second-hand product.
Does this mean that the refurbished product will not give you any problems?
Actually NO, the fact that a product is reconditioned always increases, even if it is little, the possibility that there is a fault related to the problem that could have originated.
But having said that, it is true that you can obtain good savings when buying a reconditioned product and by doing so in this type of store you make sure that they have passed a good filter and that if you have problems with the product they will be solved effectively.
Now it is a personal matter to decide on a new or refurbished product.