Tips On Buying Refurbished Tech

Tips On Buying Refurbished Tech

Are you looking at spending some money but are hesitant, given it is a refurbished unit? Don’t worry; most refurbished units, especially if offered directly by their manufacturer, are in almost brand new condition that comes with a quality you’d also expect from a new unit. In this article, we have collated pitches from professionals on how they’d go about acquiring a refurbished unit.

From Ricci Masero, Digital Marketer of White Rabbit Consultancy:

Refurbished business tech is an under-utilized commodity that can benefit your budget and the environment. Take refurbished telecoms, for example. VoIP telephone handsets and video calling headsets are the most popular refurbished telecoms for businesses to buy at the moment. Buying refurbished over new can save a lot of money; it will also help reduce e-waste and the amount of tech going to landfills. The environmental impact of refurbishing a business telephone is far lower than manufacturing a new one. When buying refurbished business telephony, look for high-quality refurbishment, a long warranty, good reviews from past customers, and fast delivery. These tips can all be recognized when buying refurbished tech from an online retailer like

From Gerrid Smith, CEO of Property Tax Loan Pros:

While some affordable options are, it’s way too simple to spend nearly $1,000 on a new smartphone. When a new model is announced, though, reconditioned smartphones flood the market. It’s a terrific opportunity to save up to 50% off the original retail price on a relatively new phone. I would only look at phones that are a year or two old and no more than three years old. Although older phones will be less expensive, they may not run the most recent versions of Android or iOS. Every phone reaches the point where it can no longer get security upgrades. Because lithium-ion batteries gradually wear out over time, aging phones may have battery issues.

From Ben Taylor, Founder of Home Working Club:

I’d always suggest going directly to the source of refurbished tech. Companies like Apple and Dell have their departments selling reconditioned equipment, often sold “as new” with the same length of the guarantee. 

If you decide to go to a third party instead, you may not have as much help and support to hand in the event of a problem. Be sure to do your “due diligence” on any company you buy from, and confirm that their customers are happy. Also, always look at what warranty you’ll get 

From Eloise Tobler, eCommerce Supervisor of Wisetek Store:

Buying refurbished is the way to go, especially now as the COVID-19 crisis has thrown the global supply chain into disarray. We’ve all been inclined to scrap what is essentially a completely good device for far too long just because a particular part fails. Think of it like this – If a tire blew in your car tomorrow, would you get rid of the car? No, you’d get the tire replaced and keep going because everything else is in perfect working order; it’s time to get into this mindset with our electronics too. There are also fantastic deals to be had, but you need to do your research. 

Firstly, always ensure a warranty covers you. If a product is listed as “as-is”, avoid it, this is usually just a workaround, but some shady dealers remove any rights to a warranty you may want to claim. There’s also a chance that the device won’t work! 

Secondly, check what grade the device has been given. Technically there are no rules on how individuals grade a product; the only thing they cannot do is list the device as brand new. However, units can be graded as “like new” which effectively means they were never used, but these criteria change depending on the vendor. 

Finally, there are a few items you should always avoid buying refurbished. If you ever see a vendor offering refurbished SSDs or Hard drives, stay well away as these devices can never be truly wiped clean and reset to factory settings. We’d also recommend avoiding televisions as it’s very difficult to determine how much use a screen has had. 

From Morshed Alam, Founder & Editor of Savvy Programmer:

Buy from a reputable source. My recommendation is that if you’re going to purchase refurbished, get it from reputable sources who have a guarantee or warranty on their product. Whether they offer a return policy or warranty on what you buy will affect how willing I’d be to go the refurbished route.

Leandro Santorsola, Founder of The Coffee Arsenal:

1. Pay attention to the warranty.

Refurbished products are sometimes not extremely reliable. It is important to consider a good warranty that lasts for a long time to secure our money.

2. Make sure the seller uses high-quality parts

When buying a reconditioned product, a good practice is to pay special attention to the type of parts used to refurbish the product. If low-quality products were used, it could shorten the life of the product we purchased, and it will not be money well spent.

3. Check if a new one has replaced the battery

For devices that use batteries (such as cell phones and notebooks, and small household appliances), it is advisable to check if the battery was replaced at the time of reconditioning. If not, it is essential that the seller estimates its useful life and include this information in the warranty.

4. Buy products from recognized brands

Buying refurbished products from well-known and reliable brands such as HP, DELL, Lenovo, and Apple is a great idea. These companies build their equipment with fairly high quality, ensuring good durability over time.

5. Add the latest technology to your refurbished equipment

Sometimes you can modify the parts you want your product to come with. A good recommendation would be to add the latest generation parts to have acceptable performance in new applications—for example, DDR4 RAM and an SSD or M.2 hard disk.

6. Check the savings you are going to get

Be wary of discounts as they are often calculated on the original price recommended by the manufacturer, which may already be outdated. It is best to compare information from different stores.

7. Buy quickly

Due to their very nature, refurbished products usually have a very limited stock, so opportunities and bargains fly easily. If you find something that fits your needs, shop around and decide quickly.

From Cindy Corpus, CEO of Search People Free:

Refurbished technology is more dependable and suitable for bulk or recurrent purchases, and it usually includes a warranty. Make sure you buy from a company that specializes in refurbishment. When choosing a source, do your homework. Make sure you’re buying from a reliable company by looking at user reviews, rankings, and histories. Always examine policy information about safety and returning/exchanging devices with attention. At the very least, a policy should include a six-month warranty and a 30-day return policy. When purchasing refurbished technology, it’s best to stay with the original manufacturer. They’ll have the proper packaging and equipment to restore the product to its original condition. Look for the words factory-certified or something like that.

Harriet Chan, Co-Founder of CocoFinder:

Before purchasing the refurbished tech products, keep these tips in your mind. The first thing you must look for is to find out who has performed the refurb. Observe whether the product is factory certified and check for its warranty. Analyze the product’s condition and learn about its return policy in detail. You must research the vendors who perform the refurbished product sales and connect with reliable outlets to ensure the quality of the products. 

From Christen Costa, CEO of Gadget Review:

Before agreeing to purchase refurbished tech, determine who performed the restoration. The ideal scenario would be that the original company did because that would ensure that it was performed correctly. If this is the case, the packaging will normally say something like “factory certified.” If a third party performed the restoration, be warier before purchasing it. There isn’t much you can do to determine if tech is functional until you purchase and use it, so it’s largely a judgment call. You can always ask the seller for a warranty for the item.

Stephen Curry, CEO of Coco Sign:

My one important tip on buying refurbished tech is to be sure to do your Research! Compare the specs of the refurbished device with prices, features, and reviews of other devices in its class. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a product that’s lower quality or has lots of complaints about it. In contrast, if you do your research, you have a much better chance of getting a long-lasting device for a low price.

From Aidan Bernard, Haro Responder of The Big Phone Store:

When it comes to buying refurbished technology, I believe the two most important things to look out for are what forms of warranty come with the technology in question and the reviews of the retailer you plan on purchasing from. 

Refurbished technology is wonderful for the environment and your wallet, so what’s most important as a buyer is to make sure you’re getting the best deal from trusted stores. 

A warranty usually comes in a year or two, allowing you to return the device for free repairs. These are essential as refurbished technology is inevitably older than newer products and will likely require repairs sooner. 

Reviews from the retailer you plan to purchase from will provide a great insight into their service. You want to look for organic reviews from real people, saying what they think about specific devices similar to what you’re thinking about buying. This is because refurbished products are second hand you want to be confident the seller is reliable and trustworthy. 

From Gavin Johnson, MD of EV Cable Shop:

Set a High Bar For The Vendor’s Expectations 

Aside from a decent product variety, you’ll want a provider with live customer support and easy-to-understand purchasing and return procedures. Also, keep in mind that some merchants are fences for stolen devices, so your previous investigation will come in helpful. A reliable and respected firm usually has a lot of phone numbers, addresses, positive reviews, news coverage, and testimonials on its website. Discover how a company chooses equipment from various vendors to provide to its consumers. Back Market, for example, has a high-quality standard and only works with refurbishers that pass a rigorous inspection process. They re-check the process regularly to guarantee that the quality level remains consistent.

From Andrew Priobrazhenskyi, CEO of Discount Reactor:

Check any warranties and return policies for the fine print. 

Always examine policy information about protection, returning, and exchanging equipment with attention. At the very least, a policy should include a six-month warranty and a 30-day return policy. Policies should be consistent across the board for the equipment you’re buying to avoid ambiguity and misunderstanding. For example, make sure there’s no difference between iPhones and Android phones or Dell/Apple computers. 

From Haley Gray, Digital Content Writer of Upsie:

Always Purchase a Warranty With Refurbished Tech: Buying refurbished tech is a great way to save money and reuse old electronics. However, refurbished tech always comes with a risk. At Upsie, we are technology experts. And one of the most common mistakes consumers make when buying refurbished tech is that they don’t add on an extended warranty. 

Many warranty companies, including Upsie, offer warranties for refurbished phones. These warranties protect the devices from accidental damage, premature wear, and a myriad of other defects. Upsie offers two and three-year warranties for phones and five-year warranties for TVs and appliances. Consumers looking to purchase refurbished phones should always pair them with an extended warranty that lasts longer than the first year. 

From Jonathan Tian, Co-Founder of Mobitrix:

Know Your Priorities And Budget 

Before buying anything, whether tech or nontech, new or refurbished, one should know his priorities, especially the budget. And in the case of refurbished tech, budget is priorities are critical. If you have a stringent and tight budget and are getting a refurbished tech in that budget, you can consider that. Also, if you are looking to buy tech from a premium brand and their new products are out of reach due to their high prices, you can also consider their refurbished tech. 

Do Proper Research On the Seller

After seeing your budget and priorities, do proper research on the seller providing you with the refurbished tech. You can do it by visiting their reviews or by calling their agent. 

Warranty and Bill 

These two are the most important things that a person should consider when buying any refurbished product. Make sure that the product has an original bill having all details visible. Talking about the warranty, it will be good if the product is in the warranty period. 

From Stefan Ateljevic, founder of cryptoblokes:

Investing in refurbished tech is a great way to save some money while still getting high-performing devices; however, there are some essential tips to follow when doing it, so you don’t get ripped off in the process. 

My number one and most crucial tip when looking to acquire refurbished tech devices is to get them directly from the manufacturer. By definition, refurbished devices are all those that a customer returns due to a specific defect, a defect that the manufacturer repairs and then sells the device again under a ‘refurb’ etiquette. Nonetheless, it could very well be the case that a third-party business fixed the appliance by themselves and replaced certain parts with others that are not certified by the manufacturer, which may result in an inferior quality device, at least in the long run. 

Therefore, if you want to get a good deal when buying refurbished tech, make sure you go directly to the manufacturer and get the devices from them since they’ll have all the original and appropriate parts for the refurb. You will be guaranteeing yourself a device that’s almost as good as new. 

From Monty Montgomery, media contact of KWSM:

Andrews discusses the looseness of the refurbishment stamp, why it’s important to consider an asset’s previous environment, and explains the difference between sourcing an asset from a well-maintained lab versus one that has been stored in a warehouse or sold at an auction as-is. 

Main Advantages of Buying Refurbished Tech 

From the significant budget savings to increased productivity, Andrews points out how the lead time of new manufacturing can often put a project behind in budget. 

He offers an example: “Think about this, you have staff scientists, research analysts, accounting, marketing, etc., all being paid salary. A project gets awarded a budget (CapX, AOP, etc.) for the year, but it takes 10-15 weeks (with today’s supply chain issues, it’s even worse) for one of the most critical instruments to arrive. That 10-15 week is a direct loss on the budget. If it is possible to complete the project with a used or refurbished piece of equipment, then you are not only saving money on the procurement, but you are also shortening lead time since, by nature, used equipment is always in stock. 

From Kyle MacDonald, Director of Operations of Force By Mojio:

Buying refurbished tech gets a bad rap. However, when you do it right, buying a refurb can allow you to save a lot of money and get an almost-just-like-new product. Here’s my advice: 

  • Buy refurb directly from the manufacturer/company, not a third party. It will be more reliable if you get it from the source. 
  • Make sure there’s a return policy in case something goes wrong. 
  • Read reviews to identify any issues others are having with the product. 
  • Start using the product as soon as you get it. Test different features to make sure it works well. 
Editor-in-Chief Larry has worked a decade in finance, for an international bank where he saw before his eyes how his former company invested on almost everything that has something to do with technology and advancement. This inspired him to create the company along with his then newly-formed team of professionals from different fields, different walks of life.