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3 things to keep in mind while buying Refurbished devices

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  • 6 min read

If you have ever considered buying gadgets but have been put off by their high price tags, you are bound to have gone scouring the internet for the best deal possible. While doing this, people often end up coming across the terms refurbished or renewed and are usually unsure if they want to purchase such a device.

If you’re looking for a refurbished iPhone, MacBook, Android, iPad, AirPods or any other gadgets, read the article to find out about my experience buying refurbished devices and the things you should keep in mind should you buy a refurbished device.

What are refurbished devices?

In July, we published an article talking about specific types of devices that are available in the market, namely, refurbished, used and certified pre-owned, which you can read about over here.

To bring you up to speed, refurbished devices are those defective devices which have been restored to an acceptable working condition.

Whenever a customer returns a device due to a manufacturing defect or some accidental damage, the company generally provides them with a new one at a predetermined cost depending on their warranty regulations. The defective or damaged product, on the other hand, if usable, is sent for restoration. This allows the company to sell the said product at a cost which is beneficial to them while being attractive to a certain type of customer.

The generic boxes that refurbished devices come in

Popular device manufacturers like Apple, Dell and several others are known to sell refurbished devices on their websites whereas Amazon runs a service known as Amazon Renewed.

Below, I’ve talked about my experience of buying refurbished devices from Amazon and Headphone Zone.

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My Experience buying refurbished devices

Talking about my experience, both the devices I purchased were related to audio consumption, one pair of earphones and the other, a pair of headphones. The earphones I bought were the MA390 Universal by RHA, and the headphones are the Siberia P100 by Steelseries.

The RHA’s retailed for INR 2,299 whereas the over-head Steelseries was INR 2,999. Since I picked up the refurbished versions of these devices and not brand new pieces, I got them both for a sum of INR 2598 — 999 for the MA390 and 1,599 for the Siberia.

Headphone Zone

HeadphoneZone, which was started in 2010 by Raghav Somani, is a website that solely focusses upon audio products. They have a vast catalogue that has devices ranging from those for beginner audiophiles to those with more seasoned taste.

The RHA MA-390’s came in a generic box with extra silicone tips sealed in a plastic bag, a clip and a carrying pouch. Anyone who would have bought a brand new pair would have received the same accessories.

The contents of the RHA package

The earphones had incredible sound and a fantastic fit, but they were not without any faults. One of the earbuds had been damaged alongwith the chamfer, while this was not a bother, the next thing that I noticed pushed me to send in my device for a replacement. The in-line microphone on this model has a button present for answering calls or performing the general play, pause and skip track function, in my case this button was not only extraordinarily mushy but also unresponsive most of the times.

The entire process from the point of raising a claim to its conclusion was a very smooth affair, the customer service from HeadphoneZone set up a pick up from my address which made the process a lot more easier and offered me a full refund that was very pleasing.

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Amazon Renewed

I’m happy to tell you that my experience with Amazon Renewed was not different in any way when compared to a typical purchase on the website.

The renewed tag did not affect the delivery or the post-sales service. The device came in its own box rather than a generic brown cardboard one — like the one the RHA’s came in — and contained all of its paperwork.

Coming to how they sound, in the one year of having owned them not once have they disappointed me. But they did have a minor defect, but this, I was easily able to overlook as the savings I made were substantial — at least to my wallet.

The slightly damaged ear cup

Amazon being the large corporations that it is, has a lot of third-party sellers on its platform. Thus a renewed product comes with information concerning the warranty provider and its duration, making the process of raising claims or dealing with a situation, if one comes up, easier for both parties.

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Things to keep in mind while buying refurbished products

Following are some points which you must absolutely consider or keep in mind while purchasing a refurbished product:

  • Verify the source of the product by visiting a trusted site or by reviewing the retailer on popular e-commerce platforms.
  • Make sure to read all the terms and conditions that come up while purchasing the refurbished product, because although these devices have been restored, they were defective in the first place. Being aware of these terms will also help while claiming any returns or refunds; being well informed has never hurt anyone.
  • Pay great attention to the warranty services that your device will come bundled with to make the most of your purchase.

Refurbished devices are worth it provided your research is good

If you have read this far you may have realised that the experiences I have had are on the positive side of the spectrum, and that is true, but it is only so because I made sure to follow the guidelines mentioned above. I only bought products from trusted sellers and in turn, received satisfactory services.

Coming to the question of how I feel about refurbished devices. Buying such products is a great way to get value for your money if you can put in the time and effort required before making a purchase I believe refurbished devices can go a long way. If need be, I will continue to buy refurbished products if they meet my criteria.

Also read: How to restore iPhone and iPad from backup?

Aryan Surendranath

Aryan Surendranath

Has an interest in technology and video games. When not doing anything related to either of these you will find him with his books, educational or not.