Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Refurbished with new life?


What do you think about refurbished items?

This question was posed to me last week by a colleague. I can say that I have never purchased a refurbished item. It's not that I have anything against them per se, I just never had the opportunity to purchase anything I wanted as a refurbished item. I've had friends purchase ipods, macs, tvs, and even pc's refurbished but I don't know if I would purchase high end equipment that way.

Refurbished just conjures up ideas of electronics who have spent much of their short life abused and then shipped away where electronics wizards spend their whole day putting these devices back together. Maybe that is not the reality of most refurbs but I can't change that vision from being one of my first that comes to mind. Folks have said that refurbished most likely means that these electronic devices were purchased and then because their owners didn't agree with them, they were returned but they couldn't just be restocked as open boxed so they ended up back at their factory of origin waiting to be shipped out again but that didn't happen. For the most part, nothing bad ever happened to them but because they were returned they needed to go through a check process where they were deeemed perfect or very close to it, that equals “refurbished.”

So would you get a refurbished mac? These machines run 1800 to 2000 dollars for well equipped models and actually refurbs don't go for much less. I guess if those who say nothing terribly wrong happens to refurbs and they go through a stringent checklist of quality control, that is not too bad. How realistic is that though? Most stores I would imagine try to resell their returns that are ok rather than paying for shipping costs to get the item back to the company. They probably make more by selling it to someone as an open box, it's better for them. So, if it actually gets returned to the company, something very detrimental must have happened to it. Perhaps it was returned a few times. Something was wrong where it “needed” to go back for “inside” or “body work.” Now that that work is done, it can go right back out to the market. With computers though, I would suspect that sometimes internal problems aren't even remedied before it goes out again.

So once again, I have never had the opportunity to purchase a refurbished item and I guess it would be just fine if it was a cheaper product or not high tech but I just have a very ill feeling when I think about putting my hard earned money down for something classified as refurbished. I guess that is unlikely to change.

I'm just curious, have you bought refurbished and what was that item? What was the quality and how long did it last? Maybe refurbished is the greatest thing next to brand new but I for one need to see the evidence. Also for high tech, don't you think that high tech should be half price at least? By the time it's for sale again after refurb, it may be outdated so just a 10% off price doesn't cut it for me.

Let me know, maybe I should be a believer in refurbishing but I need to see the evidence.


Randolph said...
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Randolph said...

I've only purchased one refurbished computer. It was a Pentium III 3GHz machine with a really nice internal setup. It came with a tool free case, 160GB HDD, full featured motherboard, DVD/CD-RW combo drive and this keyboard that just wouldn't die. It cost me $200.00 when the same setup was going for $800.00. It had obviously been repaired at least once and I ran it for a year straight before the processor burned out.

Everything else still works actually, and I've stuffed that tool free case with hard drives (1.9TB worth) and a used mobo/processor combo. It's been renamed "Sharebot" and slings files between my room mate and I. My DVD's stay on the shelf while "Sharebot" hosts all the rips.

Do I plan on buying a black Macbook when I finally get around to picking one up? Hell no. Hey, isn't that what they call a double standard?

cheap computers said...

Refurbished just conjures up ideas of electronics who have spent much of their short life abused and then shipped away where electronics wizards spend their whole day putting these devices back together.