Your business deserves the most functional, well-tested tools to get the job done. While some electronics retailers claim that buying brand-new is necessary to get the results you want, in many cases, opting for refurbished devices is a great way to get your hands on equally effective products without breaking the bank.
Working with the right vendor can increase your chances of finding like-new, perfectly functional products at the steep discounts you desire. This guide will show you how and provide the best tips when buying refurbished products.
What Does Refurbished Mean and What Are Refurbished Products?
First, what does the word “refurbished” mean, exactly? While there isn’t a standard definition for the phrase among manufacturers and retailers, refurbished products tend to share a few characteristics, the most prominent of which is that the item has been returned.
Of course, there are a variety of reasons why a buyer may decide to return a product. Sometimes they find a defect, anything from a significant problem to a cosmetic irregularity. Other times, they change their minds after making the purchase. In either of these cases, even if the defect is discovered and fixed, leaving the product is as good as new, most retailers are no longer able to put it back on the regular shelf.
Instead, the product will often get inspected, tested, re-labeled and sold at a discount as refurbished merchandise.
One of the best ways to understand what refurbished means is by defining what it doesn’t. For example, “refurbished” and “used” may be similar in meaning, but assuming they are the same can be problematic. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between these terms.
The Difference Between “Used,” “Refurbished” and “Not-New”
A product doesn’t have to have had an owner to lose its newness. In the same way, just because an item was returned, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is defective. Refurbished products haven’t always been pre-owned, and most previously used items don’t receive repairs before being they are re-sold. That’s why it’s important to clarify the following types of “not-new” products.
1. Used Products
When an item is “used,” it usually means that it at one point had an owner for a while. As long as that owner treated it with care, you can expect the used item to be acceptable, but potentially lower in functionality, battery life and other categories due to previous use. Most used products are sold “as-is,” so there is no guarantee to protect your investment if you find that the product damaged or defective after you purchase it.
2. Refurbished Products
These devices have been cleaned, inspected, repaired and approved to ensure they are in like-new condition. You can find a myriad of specifications for what “like-new” implies, and who performed the refurbishing may also determine the quality of the repairs. If the original manufacturer fixed and tested the product, you may receive a much lower discount when all is said and done. If you find that a reasonably priced product was refurbished by a third-party, make sure to check out their testing process and quality assurance.
3. Other Products That Aren’t New
Items that have an ambiguous “not-new” history are often grouped under the “used product” umbrella. The problem with this label is many scenarios may result in a product is being sold as anything other than brand-new. Some examples you may find include:
- Returned electronic products that were taken out of the store, so can no longer be reshelved as “new”
- Boxes that were opened and returned, even if the product inside remains unused
- Items that were mishandled and damaged somehow
- Display products that were once set up as a floor model in a store or for a product demo at a special event
- Devices that are for sale after being reviewed, rented or leased
While none of these products can be called new, they are not necessarily synonymous with used or refurbished either, although they might be labeled as such. In most cases, refurbished products are perfectly functional. Sometimes, if you dig a little deeper, you may find that the item has never even left its box or that it has been thoroughly fixed and tested, working now better than ever.
For this reason and more, it’s helpful to do a little research on the manufacturer, the retailer and the product before writing off a good deal just because the term “refurbished” is on the sticker.
The Difference Betweeen “Certified” and “Certified Refurbished”
Another important distinction to make is the one between products that have been certified, those that have been refurbished and those that have undergone both processes, known as “certified refurbished” devices.
1. Certified Products
A manufacturer or third-party seller approves these products, declaring them to be in working order. Certified products differ from refurbished products in that they have not undergone any repair process to achieve these results.
2. Certified Refurbished Products
If a product is refurbished, having it meet high certification standards takes it the extra mile. Not only will any potential defects have been eliminated, but you can rest assured that quality is at the forefront of your retailer’s mind. Without an additional seal of approval on your refurbished items, you may not be getting the service and functionality you deserve.
The intensive, detailed process of refurbishing and certifying legacy products is one reason to look for these types of products, but a reliable certification isn’t the only benefit you can reap.
What Are the Advantages of Buying Certfied Refurbished Products?
The primary benefits of refurbished products are financial savings. A lower initial purchasing cost is one of the more obvious reasons that buying refurbished items can help minimize expenses. When looking at the whole lifespan of electronic hardware, however, you will realize that certified refurbished items save you money in many additional ways in the long run.
1. Reputable and reliable equipment
Not only does a certifying program grant you a buffer of security, but the seasoned equipment itself, having withstood the tests of time and new product releases may be more effective at getting the job done than the latest shiny edition. Bugs have been corrected, reviews and spare parts are readily available, and there may even be a chance you can get your hands on high quantities of legacy items for less because of their age.
2. Compatibility across the board
If you’re trying to fulfill the technology needs of a large group of employees, it will be necessary for all of them to have the same equipment, meeting the same standards. If you’re relying on being able to buy new, recently released products for everyone, it could be an expensive endeavor, but with refurbished products that have been well-tested, you can make sure you maintain compatibility while keeping costs low.
3. E-Waste Control
Companies these days are looking for more sustainable approaches to technology and other business operations. Working with companies that refurbish electronics can help you be a part of the movement of recycling old devices, giving you an eco-friendly way of disposing of your old equipment and allowing you to purchase retired goods that have been revamped and certified for another round of functionality.
4. Affordable switching
Looking to upgrade from laptops to tablets? Not only is this switch a smart move to keep your people on their feet, but with certified refurbished products, you’ll be able to make incremental changes or even entire overhauls without running the risks of brand-new materials that no one knows how to use. Instead, you can buy enough pieces to get everyone on board while having money left over to invest in the necessary training and smooth software transitioning.
5. Protection from losses
If you have a team of mobile computer and barcode scanner users, the last thing you need is to suffer losses from slippery fingers in intense situations. Refurbished tools can offer you some peace of mind, knowing that replacing dropped items is affordable and that the initial cost was manageable in the first place.
Overall, you can expect a much higher return on your investment with certified refurbished products. You can protect the wiggle-room you have in your budget from being compromised by getting more bang for your buck. Rather than using all of that money on trendy, untested exteriors, you can trust refurbished products to offer higher processing power, more memory and more reliable hardware for the same price or lower. These savings are mostly thanks to the vigorous testing process.
The Benefits of a Thorough Testing Process
Along with these monetary reasons to buy refurbished products, there are the aspects of testing and certifying to consider as well. As we have mentioned, when a product is certified refurbished, like the products available here at DBK Concepts, you can almost guarantee that rigorous testing has worked out any kinks that may have been present originally. Sometimes refurbished products are tested even more thoroughly than brand new ones!
At DBK, for example, we put our products through numerous tests to make sure every one of the device’s features is 100 percent functional. We take great pride in our certified refurbished products, which never fail to meet our radically high standards for guaranteeing perfectly functional, like-new hardware. Our certification seal represents the length of our efforts through which we test keyboards, displays, memory, battery, processors, ports and more, paying exceptional attention to the smallest details.
This precision is one of the things to watch for when you’re considering a place to buy refurbished goods. Let’s take a look at some other smart tips to guide your purchasing process.
What Are the Best Practices of Buying Refurbished Products
Investing in your business is an important decision, and nothing can seem more daunting than figuring out how to go about replacing equipment. Buying refurbished products is an excellent solution to help you save money, but it can take a few extra steps to make sure you get the quality and features that your operations require. Fortunately, most of the challenges you may face come down to the following five tips:
1. Know the best time to buy refurbished
At DBK, we highly recommend our certified refurbished products for those who want to add hardware to their current platform without breaking the bank. Our solutions are also beneficial if your existing base is aging rapidly and you want to ease into the process of upgrading to newer trends. As long as your industry is well-suited for tested technology, even if the equipment is a few years old, refurbished products may be the wisest choice for you
2. Research who is refurbishing the product
The condition of “like-new” products across the market can vary significantly. That’s why you want to find a retailer who is trustworthy, has an excellent reputation in the industry and has high-quality standards for their refurbished products. Look for companies who certify their refurbished products to make sure you don’t end up with a poorly repaired lemon. The company you buy from should be an open book, providing full disclosure on their process, pricing, and policies.
3. Check that you’re getting the whole gamut of product features
Refurbished products may have specified disclaimers or compatible parts that offer an array of features not present in the original. As long as you can cover the bases for your business operations with what the product provides, you should be good to go, but it never hurts to confirm it with your seller a time or two.
4. Ensure there is a reliable guarantee on your purchase
Warranties are everything when it comes to testing out new electronics for your operations. Ninety-day warranties are a typical ballpark for manufacturers, and only the most reliable retailers offer extended warranties. Don’t buy a refurbished product if the company refuses to stand behind their refurbishment and certification process by providing a suitable guarantee.
5. Don’t settle for less
The drastically reduced price of used items may sound appealing, but don’t resort to un-refurbished goods for that reason alone. Your productivity deserves highly functional materials, which only the rigorous testing process of quality refurbishing can even get close to guaranteeing. If you have particular needs, find a retailer who will work with you to meet them and won’t oversell.
As with every purchase you make for your business, there is a slight gamble involved in selecting refurbished hardware. But it can be just as risky to spend all of your hard-earned investments on over-priced, frilly devices merely because they’re new.
You shouldn’t have to choose between high functionality and affordability. Fortunately, here with DBK Concepts, you can have the best of both worlds.
Learn More About Certified Refurbished Hardware at DBK Concepts
We make sure you get high-quality devices at a reasonable price. As one of the most reputable certified refurbished providers in the nation, we are the favorite one-stop shop for a wide base of Fortune 500 companies.
Want to see where our DBK Certified refurbished devices could take your business? Contact us today to get started on your journey to custom solutions and quality you can trust.