If you’re looking for a deal on a computer, tv, digital camera, MP3 player, or any other type of electronic gizmo or gadget, have you considered buying a refurb? Refurbished (aka “reconditioned” or “remanufactured”) goods can be your best option for getting a great deal on an item that may or may not go on sale very often, or even when it does, it just doesn’t fit into your budget. Below, I will reveal the best websites for finding refurbished (refurbs) products.
Refurbished items are goods that have been returned and have supposedly been restored to good-as-new condition. Refurbs are a cause for concern and rightly so. Are you buying someone else’s headache? Apparently not according to Accenture, a techology consulting firm, that found more than two-thirds of returned electronics meet manufacturers specs but just don’t meet customer expectations. Their report says it may be because buyers just couldn’t get the item to work in 20 minutes or less!
The refurbished product market has come a long way. No longer do you have to worry about the “fly by night” operation that’s here today and gone tomorrow. Now, some of the largest retailers and manufacturers have their own “pre-owned” electronics department or website. This is good news for those of us that love electronics but don’t want to spend money on all the latest and greatest gadgets that become outdated in a matter of months.
Below are some websites you should check out before you throw your money at a brand new electronic item priced at retail, and also be sure to enter my contest for a new, refurbished Garmin Streetpilot c330 GPS System!
Crutchfield: I found the easiest way to navigate this site to look for refurbished products was to use the search box. Just enter the product such as “MP3 refurbished” to see what comes up. They also have an outlet department you might want to check out. Crutchfield offers a full refund guarantee on refurbs returned within 30 days.
Warehouse Deals: This site is run by Amazon.com. Here you will find open-box, refurbished, and slightly damaged merchandise at reduced prices with the benefits of Amazon.com’s fulfillment and customer service. This website offers discounted electronics, books, tools, toys, sporting goods, home & garden, home and personal care items, and music. If you are an eBay seller, you may even find some things here that you can resell on eBay! Like Crutchfield, Amazon offers a full refund guarantee on refurbs returned within 30 days.
Apple: Apple tests and certifies all Apple refurbished products AND includes a 1-year warranty. One deal I saw was a refurbished 16GB ipod touch for $219 plus free shipping. This product retails for $399. I also found a 32GB ipod touch for $319–a $60 savings. You can get refurbished ipod touch’s on eBay for about the same amount as you’ll find on the Apple deal site, but they most likely won’t be Apple certified or come with a 1-year warranty. In addition, Apple offers free shipping. Apple allows returns within 14 days, however, they charge a 10 percent restocking fee if the item is opened.
Dfsdirectsales: This website is Dell’s premium grade refurbished computers and accessories outlet website. You can shop this website to purchase off lease dell computer products. They often run “free shipping” specials and throw in “extras” like free software. Customer testimonials point to great customer service. In addition, customers seem to come back to shop for additional computers after being satisfied with their first one.
Sony: Sony refurbished products have been inspected by Sony technicians. Sony warns its’ buyers that refurbished products may have minor cosmetic blemishes that do not impact their performance. Sony’s factory certified refurbs come with a 90-day limited warranty covering parts and labor. The refurbished VAIO PCs now come with a free one year service plan option. In addition, Extended Service Plans and installation options are available on all eligible refurbished and clearance products. Plus, there is a 30-day return policy on all factory certified refurbs. One thing to keep in mind when buying a refurbished product, don’t rely on your credit card for extra protection; many don’t cover refurbs. That’s why shopping from a reputable retailer like the ones listed above is a safer option than buying from a website that you never heard of before. Again, don’t forget to enter my contest for a new, refurbished Garmin Streetpilot c330 GPS System!
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