Post Covid IT Equipment | Top 5 tips for buying refurb tech
We all know by now the importance of our electronic devices. We at Refurbo have definitely had a renewed appreciation for our tech after having to accommodate for many of the regulations introduced in the UK. As many other companies, we have had staff work from home, using refurb devices we worked on in house. We were also happy to supply many new and existing customers with much needed IT equipment over the last 12 months. Being a Microsoft Authorized refurbisher, DELL and HP partner and part of our parent company Global Resale has allowed us to supply a record number of customers in the past year with high quality refurbished tech. However, not everyone has discovered the great benefits and value that the refurb market holds. This is a post Covid guide to buying refurb tech we hope helps you to make informed choices on your IT equipment.
1. Refurbished vs Used – Know the difference
One frequently answered question we get from customers is, “does refurbished mean used”. Not to be cliché, but this is a “yes and no” kind of answer. Refurbished tech has been used at some point in its life cycle. This can range from retail returns to corporate tech used in businesses. It depends on the particular product and company. When it comes to our products, we source directly from corporates or large authorized re-sellers of tech. Through our parent company Global we are able to leverage relationships with the manufacturers and main re-sellers such as Best Buy for their tech. This means that they have been used within a professional business environment by a company and its employees. They are generally kept in much better condition than consumer goods as most companies tend to keep their IT hardware on site (most of the time). Of course, there are exceptions where consumer goods are sourced. For example, iPhones are typically sourced as retail returns or open boxed units that are then refurbished. The key difference for you to remember is, refurbished equipment is always tested, quality checked and repaired by professional engineers so that they are certified refurbished. What makes Refurbo so great is, all our engineers are in house. We even do the same work for some of the UK’s biggest Refurb sellers through our trade arm CFA Trading.
Used products are often not professionally refurbished, not brought up to better cosmetic grading and may not even be tested. What’s more is the used market tends to have much less consumer protection. Used sellers wont provide extended hardware warranties, may not provide the basic accessories like chargers and might not offer a good returns policy. We suggest you always look out for companies who are transparent about their tech and practices, like us. Any blogs, articles or social media posts about the refurbished items is always a good place to start.
2. Review the cosmetic grading
The refurbished market can get a little confusing when it comes to cosmetic grading. The truth is, cosmetic grading is always going to be subjective. Every customer is different, so we try to make our grading as clear as possible. You can see this on our cosmetic grading table. Different companies will use a different grading system, so wherever you find yourself looking you should familiarise yourself with the terms and descriptions of the grades. Ours ranges from Pristine, Very Good, Good and Pass grades. Keep in mind the term “Pristine” is a refurbished pristine, meaning the device is not perfect but in the context of refurbished it is “like new” with only minor, non-prominent cosmetic issues. Once you know the grading process you can then be more confident in what to expect from your device. One of the great things about buying a lower grade item is, they perform exactly the same as Pristine ones! All you are sacrificing is cosmetics, as the devices otherwise run like a new machine. They are all tested and assessed by our engineers regardless of cosmetics, so they are running as they should when they leave our warehouse.
3. The Credentials
Not all refurbishing companies have the same credentials. After 17 years in operation within the refurbishment industry, we are confident in our credentials. The best thing a refurbisher can have is the Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher status or Microsoft Gold Partner status. Why is this good? It is a badge of honour in our industry. It means we have a direct relationship with Microsoft. It’s important because you can trust that refurbishers with this badge supply 100% genuine Windows 10 licenses on their products. Unfortunately, some refurbishers generate unofficial fake licenses to cut costs. This is technically fraudulent and can lead to issues with the OS down the line. We also have HP and Dell re-seller partnerships which are gained through years of good practices within our industry. Because of these credentials we are able to buy from top re-sellers and corporates, meaning we get the best stock. We also have great relationships with 3M, who supply the vinyl we use to refurb our devices. This allows us to buy stock at lower prices and pass the savings on to our customers.
4. Terms and conditions of refurbishers
Not to sound like your grandparents, but always read the terms and conditions. The fine print is important. Not all sellers or refurbished vendors offer the same benefits and protections as businesses you may be used to purchasing from. One thing we do here at refurbo is provide as much transparency as possible. Our product listings are designed to give you the information you need about our hardware warranty, returns policy and purchasing info. Of course, should you ever need our help you just need to email or call. But there are aspects of the terms and conditions of sale you will need to scan to make sure you know the deal before purchasing from any refurbisher. We for example offer a 30 day guarantee, with the option to provide free returns IF the product is faulty or cosmetically the wrong grade. We also provide a 12 month return to base warranty on all hardware and technical faults. This means you can send the item in to us if you have any hardware issue and we can repair or replace the item. Its these important factors that we use to add to the value of our products and ensure customers can purchase with confidence. Be sure you are aware of the returns and warranty policies when purchasing your refurbished device.
5. Always check whats in the box
We try to make it clear to our customers that all laptops are sent in a recycled, non-branded box complete with the laptop charger and our Guidance Documents. This is so the device is ready to be used as soon as a customer receives it. It is important that you check that wherever you buy from, you know what you are going to get. It saves time if for example you need to purchase the charger separately, as you can purchase both items to arrive around the same time. Most well established refurbishers such as us will include everything you need to get going. It is important to review the product listing you are purchasing from, as not all accessories are essential for the operation of the device. For example earphones, stylus pens, laptop cases, Bluetooth accessories etc are not included in many purchases because they are not important to the functionality of the device.
Look out for the badges:
Have you got any issues with your refurb unit? Always contact the vendor. At Refurbo, we pride ourselves in our customer services and ability to treat every customer query on a case by case basis. You wont be met with bots sending you generic emails or deal with automated phones systems with 100 steps to get to a person. We are a small but hard working team and we try to be as flexible and responsive as possible when customers have issues with their items. In the first instance, you should always call or email us if you have an issue and we will be able to help right away. Please refrain from leaving negative feedback right away. Some customers leave poor feedback when something goes wrong down the line and it takes us longer to respond and act on these because we prioritise incoming emails and calls. Even on Amazon or eBay, contacting the seller first is the best and fastest solution. We always do our best to fix issues with devices. They can and do go wrong so we like to act fast. If you ever have an issue with an item purchased from us, please do not hesitate to contact us directly.
Here is a little thank you
Like the blog? As you made it this far here is a coupon code! We like to provide coupon codes for our followers on social media so we thought we would give our dedicated blog readers one too.
Use Code: REFURBLOG-10 (all caps)
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