Why buying refurbished technology is not such a bad idea

phoneLooking to save money on electronics? The smartest way to do this would probably be to wait all-year for a good discount or you could simply buy a refurbished product. The refurbished buy-and-sell business has grown exponentially over years, thanks to e-commerce giants like Flipkart, OLX and Snapdeal. More times than often, buyers assume refurbished technology to be the same as second-hand but that may not always be the case.

Refurbished does not always mean second-hand

More times than often, customers don’t know the reason why the product is labelled refurbished. The term “refurbished” does not simply indicate that the item has been used by someone before. Many-a-times, a customer returns the product for a refund even without opening the box. Minor scratches during shipment could force retailers to sell the products off to manufacturers. In such cases, the products are branded refurbished. Other times, demonstration units used at exhibitions, retail stores or by product reviewers are also labelled as refurbished. In other words, if the box is opened then the product automatically falls in this category. In reality, you’re probably getting your hands on a brand-new product at a much cheaper price.

It’s natural for buyers to assume that the product must be riddled with problems for it is being offered at a cheaper price. It’s interesting however, to note how only a small number of refurbished gadgets (5 per cent according to Accenture) turn out to be defective. Imagine this: You’ve got your eyes on the latest MacBook Pro which typically costs an exorbitant $1,200. As you surf online, you come across several deals that offer the product for as cheap as $250. Tempting, isn’t it? Here’s why it’s a good idea to give into your tempt.

Cheap: The most obvious factor is that refurbished tech is significantly cheaper. Most products that fall under this category are usually offered at a 25 per cent drop in cost. If you’re lucky then you might even land up a deal that cost you half the product’s original price.

Facilitates the needs: Growing out of the “need” to own the latest tech will make you realise how it hardly serves any purpose. After a point, most users are simply looking for products that facilitate their basic requirements like sending emails, reading reports, checking Facebook and watching Netflix. For photography-lovers, a camera that functions normally suffices their needs regardless of whether it is used before or not.

Does not cause waste: Millions of tech-products get disposed off each year, thereby greatly increasing the chances of harmful chemicals causing problems to the environment. Hence, when you’re buying a new product, think about: What are you going to use it for, is it necessary that you buy the newest one in the market and if it is worth the price. Make an informed decision!

Best if it’s an Apple product: When it comes to Apple products, there is literally no downside. The firm offers a great refurbishment process and policy. In other words, you’re probably buying an old product with a new outer shell, new battery and the same one-year warranty that the new hardware comes with.

Comes with warranty: The length of the warranty cannot be determined but many refurbished products do come with a guarantee that suggests that it will last for at least a year. Some manufacturers even offer tech support.

Tips to follow if you’re opting for refurbished tech:

1) Keep an eye on the return policies of the products offered by the manufacturers.

2) Look for purchase protections for products like laptops or cameras.

3) Opt for a longer warranty period on the product.

4) Don’t miss out on the fine-print to see all the exceptions of the product.

5) Choose manufacturers that you trust, for example: Amazon, Best Buy, Apple among others.

6) Do your research well before purchasing the product.

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