Say you’re in the market to buy a new office copier. The one you’ve got your eye on is the new Canon Technology, but you can’t find a new one for less than $10,000, which is out of your budget. As you hunt online for a better price, you come across several offers for used copiers – some for as little as $2000.
This sounds like a fantastic deal, but you hesitate. You suspect that if someone else is getting rid of this copier, there must be something wrong with it. You worry that the copier won’t perform at all or will break down within a week or two, leaving you out your investment with nothing to show for it.
Fortunately for you, there’s a third option. You can buy a refurbished Copiers from a reputable site and get a models in like-new condition for around $3000. Refurbished copier systems can be the best of both worlds, with lower prices than new equipment and lower risks than used – as long as you know how to shop wisely.
Refurbished vs. Used
“Refurbished” isn’t just another word for “used,” but the two terms are related. Used goods, also known as secondhand or pre-owned goods, are products that another person has bought, used, and sold. Refurbished goods, also known as reconditioned or remanufactured goods, are products that another person has bought and then, for some reason, decided to return. Generally, prior to resale, an item is checked by the retailer or manufacturer for functionality, and minor adjustments or fixes may be made – perhaps it is given fresh packaging, or a new battery is placed in the product.
Basically, all refurbished electronics are used – but not all used electronics are refurbished.
Just because an item was returned doesn’t necessarily mean it was damaged. Sometimes people return products because the packaging is damaged, or because of minor blemishes that only affect the product’s looks. In other cases, they simply have “buyer’s remorse,” meaning they change their minds about a product after buying it. In cases like these, buying refurbished can get you a product that hasn’t been used at all for a bargain price.
In other cases, refurbished products have been returned because of malfunctions – some minor, some major. When you buy a refurbished item, there’s no way to tell what was wrong with it before it was returned. It shouldn’t matter, though, since all problems with a returned item are supposed to be fixed before resale.
Items listed as “refurbished” have several advantages over those sold as “used” or “secondhand”:
- Like-New Condition. Sellers of refurbished items repair everything that’s damaged, then test the item to make sure it’s working properly. They also clean it and, in many cases, replace worn exterior parts, such as the face plate or buttons. This means that when you buy a refurbished product, it should both look and run like new.
- Warranties. Many refurbished products come with a warranty, though the length of the warranty depends on who did the refurbishing. If the original manufacturer fixes up and resells a product, the warranty is likely to be at least a full year. Products refurbished by a store, on the other hand, have shorter warranties of 30 to 90 days.
- Support. In many cases, buying a refurbished product from the original manufacturer gives you access to the same tech support you’d get with a new product. That means if you have any problems with your new equipment, you can call the manufacturer for help. However, this feature is often available only for current models. If you buy a recently discontinued product, you shouldn’t count on getting support from the manufacturer unless that benefit is specifically mentioned in the sale listing.
Refurbished vs. New
The biggest advantage of buying refurbished office electronics rather than new ones is the price. According to Digital Trends, you can buy nearly any kind of electronic item refurbished – including copiers, printers,PCs, laptops, tablets, smartphones, TVs, and digital cameras – at prices up to 50% less than you’d pay new.
Buying refurbished goods can allow you to get older models that are no longer sold in stores. That’s what I did when I bought my last computer, a Mac mini. I originally ordered a new Mac mini that was running OS X Lion, but this new operating system turned out to have a lot of problems. So I returned the new computer and bought a refurbished one with Snow Leopard, the previous version of OS X.
Shopping Smart for Refurbished Electronics
Buying refurbished electronics can be a way to find reliable products at bargain prices – but it can also be a way to get burned if you’re not careful. It’s certainly worth looking for deals on refurbished goods, but it’s also worth taking some common-sense steps to protect yourself. These include shopping at reliable websites, choosing products that are worth the money, and reading the fine print before you click the buy button.
In general, technology experts are enthusiastic about refurbished office electronics. They say that as long as you buy from a reputable source, you can get a product that works just like new for a fraction of the cost.
However, they also stress that it’s important to do your homework first. The more you can learn about both the product itself and the seller, the better your chances are of avoiding an unpleasant surprise when your package arrives.
Have you ever bought refurbished electronics? If so, would you recommend them?