Tech 101: When and Why You Should Buy Refurbished Electronics

Some people see stuff they like and ask, '"Why buy refurbished when you can buy brand new?" I see the same things and ask, "Why not?"

That's obviously a play on one of George Bernard Shaw's most famous quotes, but I thought it was strangely appropriate for today's post on refurbished electronics. A lot of people shake their heads and say that refurbished goods aren't for them even before they tried looking in marketplaces that offered such products.


Misconceptions on Refurbished Electronics

The reason for that is many people have misconceptions on the quality, durability, and functionality of refurbished items. But the fact of the matter is this: just because it's been 'fixed up' or 'repaired' doesn't mean that it won't last long.

If you buy a brand new iPad, drop it a couple of times, and don't use it like it was meant to be used, then obviously you'll end up with a busted tablet before the end of the year. Or you could buy a refurbished iPad, carry it in a sturdy sleeve and use it as instructed, and end up having a fully-functional and working tablet that you can use for the rest of the decade.

Why Buy Refurbished?

This brings us to one important question: so why should you buy refurbished? The thing here is, you really don't 'have to.' But you could, and by doing so, you can reap a whole heap of benefits along the way.

Refurbishment is a means of recycling old goods and fixing them up so they'll be as good as new. They won't exactly be delivered to you as if they were just put together in the factory, but you can be assured that they're fully functional and ready to go. If you've seen the statistics on electronic waste, then you'll understand the urgency to start recycling electronics that still have a couple more years left in them.

But the biggest advantage to buying refurbished electronics are the savings you'll be able to get. For example, an 32-GB iPad 2 would normally retail for around $729. But you can get a refurbished one for as low as $365. That's practically half off while you will still get the gadget that you set out to buy in the first place.


When You Should Buy Refurbished Electronics

Regardless, refurbished goods aren't for all people. If you know that you'll be happier with a brand new gadget, then buy brand new. But if you're after the product for its functionality and don't really care about its newness, then refurbished goods are for you.

So when should you buy refurbished? It all depends on what you need, your preferences, and your financials. If you're a student with a lot of school loans, then don't add to your debt by buying a brand new laptop for school. Get a refurbished one to save some cash that you can use to pay off your loans in the future. The key here is to balance practicality with usefulness. If you can get it for cheap and it still works great, then go for it.

Where to Buy Refurbished Electronics

There are a lot of outlets nowadays where you can check out the electronics you want to buy so you can try them out before making your purchase. Or you could skip the trip and browse through online refurbished marketplaces like to find the electronics you're looking to buy.

Make sure that you only purchase from verified and reliable vendors who won't try to trick you into buying something that doesn't work or worse. Of course, you should be vigilant at all times when you shop online, and buying from the refurbished goods market should be no exception.