Trying to keep up with the latest in technology can do a lot of harm on your pocketbook, so sometimes you have to make a few sacrifices so that you can still pay the bills, put food on the table, and toss a roof over your head. Afterall, not everyone is a Campus Baller. Shopping for deals online is one way to save money, but there is another strategy that can save you a heck of a lot of money. How about looking into refurbished products?
Naturally, when you start looking at refurbished products in the marketplace, you automatically eschew the absolute newest stuff. For example, it's pretty unlikely that you'll be able to find a refurbished fourth-generation iPod nano, considering that Apple just announced the new music player a very short while ago. That said, it's not hard to score a wicked deal on a third-gen nano. It's not that old and it provides much of the same functionality. Not to mention, there are tons of accessories for it.
That said, are there other sacrifices to be made when you take the refurbished route? We here at Futurelooks decided to bite the bullet and give you a real life example of buying refurbished, offering both the pros and the cons of doing so. Read on to find out if going for refurbished stuff is the right choice for you.
Is Refurbished the Same as Used?
Some folks are a little confused as to what "refurbished" really means. How is that retailers and manufacturers are able to sell you these seemingly new products for a reduced price? Do they smell bad? Are they scratched to hell? Just what does one get when they go for that "refurb" deal?
Well, while there are certainly some exceptions, the typical tale of a refurbished product goes as thus:
- Purchased new from any number of retailers
- Experiences a warranty issue of some kind
- Gets repaired by a certified technician
- Brought back to near-new condition
- Inspected and certified as being close to factory fresh
- Repackaged and sold as factory refurbished
For a lot of companies, when a customer sends in something for a warranty repair, he or she does not receive the original item back. Instead, a suitable replacement (refurbished) is sent to the customer so that he or she can have as little time away from the product as possible. There may also be some defective units sent back from a retail outlet, for instance.
In this way, refurbished products -- like the Apple iPods shown above -- are technically used, but they have been properly repaired and the original manufacturer (or a suitable representative) has inspected the product to ensure that it is in proper working condition. Items sold as refurbished typically do not have much in terms of cosmetic blemishes or other damage. In the case of Apple, many users have reported that the products are nearly indistinguishable from new, except for the downgraded brown box packaging.
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