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Refurbished VS Used VS Certified Pre-Owned Devices

Refurbished VS Used VS Certified Pre-Owned Devices

Buying used electronics or products, in general, is going to save you a lot of money with near to the same quality as the brand-new product. Here, we are going to discuss multiple differences between refurbished and pre-owned.

Every year, technology is being promoted. Every year, new gadgets like smartphones, TVs, laptops, or other devices are released. You might be concerned about the environmental or financial cost of upgrading regularly.

You could consider purchasing a little old technology if you’re in need of a piece of hardware. These items can be presumed to be pre-owned in one form or another. Many terms describe these items: certified pre-owned, pre-owned, refurbished, and used.

Refurbished items are items that have been used, returned, and repaired if necessary. They often come with a warranty though not as extensive as the warranty of a new product. Used products are products that have been used and have a slight damage. These do not come with a warranty. Pre-owned falls between Used and Refurbished in which it could come in great shape depending on who owned it first.

Let’s get into the details of each term.

What Is Refurbished Tech Hardware?

Refurbished items are likely to have been used and returned as such. After diagnostic testing, the device will be repaired if necessary. The item is then cleaned thoroughly and repackaged before being sold.

A warranty is often added to encourage you to purchase refurbished items. Although the warranty may not be as extensive as for new items, it will give you peace of mind if something goes wrong. You should verify the terms and length of the warranty because they will vary from one retailer to the next.

There are two types of refurbished items on eBay: seller refurbished and manufacturer refurbished. The device should be restored to near-new specifications in both styles, but the manufacturer has not approved the seller’s refurbished item. This may sound confusing. They offer a Condition Look-Up Table that will help you determine the condition of a product.

Check out the video for more details:

Refurbished Vs. New Electronics Explained

Have a look at the table below to get a general idea of the differences between New, Second Hand and Refurbished Electronics:

 NewSecond HandRefurbished
Life Expectancy10+ YearsDepends on the Product’s condition2+ Years
WarrantyYesNoYes
PartsNewUsedChecked
AccessoriesYesSometimes, UsedYes, New
Differences Considered for Electronic Products

Shopping Refurbished Goods

It’s worth researching the seller before buying a refurbished item from eBay. It’s worth looking into their ratings, the number of products sold, and how their refurbishment process works. Ask the seller if you don’t find what you are looking for.

Many manufacturers also have certified refurbished devices available for purchase, often at a substantial discount. You can purchase a used or refurbished iPhone from a few shops, such as Apple’s website. Amazon also has a Certified refurbished storefront where you can browse all the available devices.

Amazon allows seller and manufacturer refurbishment. If a seller’s refurbishment is imperfect, Amazon can remove the Certified Refurbished label. These items are covered under the Amazon Renewed Guarantee. It provides a 90-day warranty for the US and 12 months in Europe.

Although refurbished items may be available from smaller retailers, they often have less protection in the event of an error. If you decide to buy a refurbished item from a smaller retailer, make sure you have the terms of sale in writing before paying and have a return or warranty.

Refurbishing Tech Hardware
Refurbishing Tech Hardware

What Are Used Devices?

There will be different definitions depending on the source of the item. 

It is defined by eBay as an item that may show cosmetic wear but still functions properly and is fully functional. This means that the item must work as expected, but it could have scratches or a damaged screen.

The term may have many meanings, even if not used on a site like Amazon or eBay. Although websites like Craigslist offer a great way to sell and buy used stuff online, there are no regulations regarding how items should be described. You and the seller are responsible for any sale. This makes it difficult to handle complaints.

Many people will accept the risk of purchasing a used device. This is especially true if they offer discounts over pre-owned or refurbished devices. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of fixing a broken item or are out of money, you might consider passing on used items.

Used Devices
Used Devices Do Have Some Market-value

What Are Pre-Owned Devices?

Pre-owned is generally considered a grey area. Although it can be used to refer to any second-hand product it is usually a well-taken-cared-of item. This device falls between Used and Refurbished, meaning it is in a good but not new condition.

It’s similar to clothing being labeled vintage. Pre-loved is another term that you will often see mixed in with pre-owned. These terms indicate that the items are generally in good condition despite being used. They should be in good condition, with the exception of minor cosmetic damage.

It’s best to avoid terms such as pre-owned, vintage, or pre-loved. These terms instill a sense of security, but they don’t guarantee that. It is not a standard definition and can vary between sellers, stores, and sites.

Like all second-hand items, be aware of the potential risks of purchasing used electronics. Be sure to check the return policy of the seller and any warranties before you commit.

Pre-Owned Devices
Pre-Owned Devices Are Not Always Useless

What Is Certified Pre-Owned?

Pre-owned is used primarily as marketing language, but Certified Pre-Owned or CPO means something entirely different. 

CPO refers to a used vehicle that has been returned to its original specifications after being inspected by an automaker or dealer. It is very similar in this sense to a certified refurbished piece.

A used car is checked, and any faults are repaired or replaced if necessary. The mileage, original warranty duration, or parts warranty are usually used to extend the warranty. As with Certified Refurbished, there are no set rules, and details can vary among dealers.

Which Second-hand Device Is Right for You?

Refurbished is the best option for most second-hand products. It is returned in a similar condition to the original and will cost less than buying a new product. 

The manufacturer’s warranty is added to Certified Refurbished products. A second-hand computer is a better option than buying a new one.

You might decide, however, that a used product is not right for you. This doesn’t mean you must spend a lot of money next time you invest. Many deals are available if you’re willing to shop for cheap electronics.

You can find a lot of second-hand products on these websites:

  • eBay
  • Craigslist
  • Amazon

Final Thoughts

a bunch of broken pencils
Make Your Purchase Decision Wisely
  • Refurbished devices have been used, returned, and repaired if necessary. They often have a warranty that might not be as extensive as a new product.
  • Used products are pre-owned and may have minor cosmetic wear or damage. They are typically without a warranty.
  • Pre-owned devices fall between used and refurbished. They are often in good but have yet to be new. The terms like “pre-loved” may be used for them. 
  • Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) refers to used items, such as vehicles or electronics. They are the ones that have been restored to their original specifications and inspected. They are often with extended warranties.
  • Refurbished products are usually the best choice for the most like-new condition and cost savings.
  • New products offer the best performance, warranty, and support but come at a higher price.
  • Open-box products offer nearly the same quality as new products at a slightly lower cost.
  • Used products, while the most affordable, may not offer warranties or professional repairs. And they are suitable for those on very tight budgets.

Ultimately, your choice depends on your budget and how much risk you’re willing to accept.

Also, check out our article on What is the Difference Between an IPS Monitor and a LED Monitor (Detailed Comparison).

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