What to Expect with Refurbished Products
Your experience will vary somewhat from manufacturer to manufacturer when it comes to buying refurbished products. Sometimes, you can hardly tell the difference between a refurbished product and a brand new one. Other times, the original packaging may be missing, replaced by a generic-looking box instead.
One brick and mortar retail outlet that specializes in refurbished products and overstocks of all genres is XS Cargo. Many of the electronics sold through this store are factory refurbished, giving you an opportunity to pick up things like DVD players and Bluetooth headsets on the cheap. Don’t expect the most powerful units on the market, but you can expect adequate functionality and a reasonably reliable product.
By and large, the products sold at XS Cargo retain some form of official packaging, though I did buy a Motorola Bluetooth headset there once that was just in a small ziploc bag. It still worked and I got it for about $10, a far cry from full retail. It’s also far greener than wrapping a product with layers of plastic so there’s a eco-friendly aspect to buying refurbished.
What if your interests lie beyond simple trinkets offered at places like XS Cargo? What if you want to save some real money on something far more substantial like a laptop computer, a motherboard, or a printer? Well, there happens to be a pretty cool online store called Geeks.com that handles all that kind of stuff and they’ve got quite the impressive inventory.
Based out of California, Geeks.com specializes in “computer-related excess inventory, manufacturer closeouts, high-demand and unusual components, and peripherals at highly-discounted prices.” Among those heavily discount products are a number of factory refurbished items and these are all clearly marked as such on their respective product pages.
For the purposes of our look into refurbs, Geeks.com voluntarily supplied us with two of their most popular cheap digital cameras to sample. These cameras were not pre-inspected, nor were they cherry picked so the experience we get should be similar to what you’ll get if you shop their vast inventory and pick out something for yourself. The cheapness does not refer to the quality of the cameras; instead, it refers to the fact that both the Samsung S850 and the Kodak Z885 can be had for under $100.
Samsung S850 and Kodak Z885 Digital Cameras
The Samsung S850 and the Kodak Z885 have rather similar features and give us a good idea of how things look on the refurbished end of the stick from two large digital camera manufactureres.
Both digital cameras offer an impressive 8.1 megapixel resolution and a powerful 5x optical zoom lens. Keeping in mind that most consumer cameras only pull off 3x optical these days, that extra zoom can be a major plus. They both take on regular SD and SDHC memory and come powered by a couple of AA batteries. The Samsung S850 shows off a good-sized 2.5-inch color LCD, as does the Kodak Z885.
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