Consumers are often wary about buying refurbished products. They assume that if an item is refurbished, it must be because it’s faulty in some way. Otherwise, why would someone reject it? When it comes to electronics, though, purchasing refurbished items is a great way to get what you want while saving a lot of money. Here are five tips to help you make a smart purchasing decision when shopping for refurbished electronics.
1. Understand What the Word “Refurbished” Means
A refurbished product isn’t necessarily one that was broken and has been repaired,according to Life Hacker. There are a lot of different kinds of electronics that may be considered refurbished, including items that were opened but never even used. Opened items cannot be sold as new, so they have to be offered as refurbished.
2. Know Where to Shop for Refurbished Items
The best place to get a refurbished item is from the manufacturer. Not only will they likely offer you the same warranty you’d get if you bought the product new, but you can also rest assured that they’ve tested the item to make sure it works perfectly. Companies don’t want to risk their reputation by selling shoddy refurbished items. If you end up purchasing an item from a third-party vendor, make sure that it says the item is factory-certified, meaning that the manufacturer will extend their normal warranty.
3. Check Out the Return Policy
No electronic comes with a guarantee of working perfectly, whether you purchase a new item or a refurbished one. Make sure to always look at the return policy before buying something that’s been refurbished – a lot of stores won’t take the item back like they would with a new item, according to Consumer Reports.
4. Make Sure Accessories Are Included
If you save money by buying a refurbished iPhone but then you have to spend money to get a new charger, it may not be worth the savings. Make sure that any refurbished electronic you purchase comes with accessories, chargers, cords, cables, software and manuals. If you find an electronic device that you have your heart set on, but it doesn’t come with the necessary add-ons, find out how much they’ll be to purchase separately before you make any buying decisions.
5. Read the Fine Print on Your Credit Card Protection Document
Yes, a lot of credit cards offer purchase protection for certain items, like cameras and laptops. You may think you’re covered so long as you use your credit card. However, a lot of cards will not extend that protection if you purchase a refurbished item. Read the fine print or call your credit card company to find out exactly what protection you’re offered, if any.