Much has been said about the fast turnover of devices on the market and how this is contributing significantly to the garbage disposal problems around the world. It’s no wonder there’s a growing number of consumers who are always on the lookout for alternative ways to buy what they need without contributing to those problems.
Among the alternative solutions that a lot of conscientious consumers are turning to is buying refurbished devices for sale. Research shows that opting for refurbished electronics has proven to be one effective strategy in reducing the number of incinerated devices that make their way to waste management centers and produce toxic ash, which pollutes the air, water, and land.
Besides that, choosing to buy refurbished devices offers other benefits such as allowing you to acquire a top-quality product at a significantly lower price.
For example, certified refurbished Apple devices typically sell anywhere between 15 and 25 percent less than the original price. Plus, most refurbished iPhones are open to all networks, which will make it easier for you to choose a mobile service that fits your budget.
That being said, whether you’re a financially conservative consumer or one who extends the virtue of environmental-responsibility to shopping, indeed, you should be buying more refurbished items. However, it’s worthy to note that care must be exercised when opting to buy refurbished devices. To help you with this, here are tips you can follow:
1. Find a trusted distributor or supplier of refurbished devices.
With a growing market for refurbs, you’ll find that more sellers of electronic devices are carrying these products. Not all of them can provide you with a fantastic deal or product, though. Therefore, take your time in looking for a trusted supplier.
Scour the Internet for vendor or supplier reviews, ratings, and recommendations. At the same time, check the vendors’ website to see the range of products they offer.
Typically, vendors that specialize in refurbished devices share their process and have trust seals or stamps to prove the authenticity and quality of their products, as well as the validity of their refurbishment process.
Do pay attention to the brand of customer service the vendors offer as well. Should something happen to a newly purchased refurb, you want to be ensured of a best-case scenario wherein the vendor or distributor has an efficient customer service department to address your concerns right away.
2. Check the warranty policy.
Vendors offer varying warranty policies. For refurbished devices, an extensive warranty coverage can truly make a world of difference with your confidence in the device you’ll be purchasing.
The best warranty usually includes the following:
- Free repairs for damages or defects independent of your use at the vendor’s own repair center
- Replacement, or a full refund for irreparable units if a replacement is not available
- One full year warranty service (some vendors’ warranty policy is only for 90 days, which is quite short)
3. Use a grade guide.
A grade guide provides information on the physical quality of the refurbished products (with refurbished devices, they are all always restored to their 100 percent functionality).
For example, one of the most reputable suppliers of refurbished electronics in the UAE grades their devices this way:
- Platinum for all devices that are practically new and have zero damage to the body and screen display.
- Gold for those with minimal scuffs or blemishes on the device exterior.
- Silver for devices with visible damage to the body or screen.
Other vendors grade their products A, B, and C. But, basically, they share the same qualifications discussed above.
You can trust this grading guide to be entirely accurate because reputable vendors have a quality control system that consists of a cosmetic check, a technical check, and tests.
4. Inspect the product thoroughly.
Once you’ve set your mind on a particular product, inspect it thoroughly so you can to see if the grading is correct.
Also, if you are working with a tight budget, the inspection and grading can better guide you toward the best deal available. You may find a grade C or silver-graded product that only has minimal physical which you won’t have any issue with. You can save more money opting for this product instead of a grade B or gold-graded one.
5. Inquire about accessories.
Most gadgets these days come with a variety of accessories. For instance, a Macbook comes with different chargers, stickers, and cables for the power supply. Meanwhile, mobile phones come with earphones, chargers, and even different cases.
Find out if these mobile accessories will be included when you purchase a refurbished device. Although it’s common practice for refurb vendors to package products with all the accessories they originally come with, some offer the accessories separately for a profit.
6. Always read the fine print.
When ordering a refurbished electronic product, take the time to read the fine print in the contract and manuals. You’ll usually find these details in the warranty and product return policy pages.
Make sure you understand what these are and if they’re a little challenging to comprehend, seek clarification from a customer service representative. Doing this will help you avoid wrong practices that can make your product ineligible for warranty services.
7. Request a breakdown of the selling price.
Vendors should be able to explain the selling price of their refurbished products. At times, some vendors offer upgrades or additional services, which you may not be keen on taking as a buyer.
If you like the offered product, you can use the breakdown of what the selling price includes as an opportunity for negotiation. See if you can opt-out of built-in package upgrades and get the product at the best last price.
So, if you are looking to purchase a high-quality device at a more affordable price, choosing a refurbished version is undoubtedly a valid consideration. Just make sure to not purchase in haste. Research, compare, inquire, inspect, and look for good deals — all these are worth doing in ensuring the value of your purchase.
Mirza Saqib Habib is the Business Manager at Dubai-based Teckzu, the perfect one-stop shop to discover, browse, and buy new and refurbished electronics such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and accessories. Mirza comes from a strong E-commerce background with over 6 years of regional experience. He has helped kick-start many startups in the past and is passionate about using technology to facilitate a seamless digital user experience.