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What does "Refurbished" mean?

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Talal Itani, Aug 20, 2007.

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  1. Talal Itani

    Talal Itani Guest


    Some stores, including Fry's, sell Refurbished items. In general, what does
    refurbished mean? Does it mean that the item was repaired? Does it mean a
    customer returned it to the store? Thanks.

  2. Yes Baby

    Yes Baby Guest

    Refurbished.........returned to as new condition. Sometimes with the full 12
    months warranty sometimes less. Could be customer return via store or direct
    either way it will get the same overhaul.
  3. Radiosrfun

    Radiosrfun Guest

    In some cases - it "might" still be a good idea - in many - I doubt it - due
    to cost of labor and parts - as oppsed to buying "new". Years ago - it made
    "more" sense.

    Just my 2 cents!
  4. Bob Day

    Bob Day Guest

    It means whatever the seller says it means, and it doesn't
    have to mean much of anything. Ask the seller to put his
    definition of 'refurbished' in writing.

    -- Bob Day
  5. sparky

    sparky Guest

    If you purchased the item as NEW and discovered it is refurbished then
    you got scammed very badly. Many ebay sellers are scamming buyers by
    selling refurbished items as new.
  6. Bob Masta

    Bob Masta Guest

    The item could have been returned by an individual customer, or
    (commonly for computer stuff) by a big corporation that had a contract
    for many units that are replaced on a schedule. The item could even
    be unused surplus (but don't get your hopes up). I suspect the
    "refurbished" part means that it passed some standardized checkout
    protocol. One problem with this is that many times thngs get returned
    for intermittent problems that are missed by such tests, so make sure
    you have a warranty.

    Best regards,

    Bob Masta

    D A Q A R T A
    Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
    Scope, Spectrum, Spectrogram, Signal Generator
    Science with your sound card!
  7. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    At Fry's, it means that one or more people bought it and returned it,
    and they resealed the box, hoping that eventually somebody will buy it
    and fly off to Singapore, where it will be impossible for them to
    return it yet again.

  8. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Guest

    The classic description of a 'field fix' from Fry's perspective.

    I bought an Antec case an power supply from them but after building
    the system, the power supply was not always able to start up. I
    returned it only to be presented with their $7.00 power supply tester
    that called me a liar. The tester indicated the supply was good and
    their light duty test motherboard operated well. I got a swap from
    another case and this one has worked well for just over a year now.
  9. John Larkin

    John Larkin Guest

    In one visit to Fry's in Mountain View, I bought an HP inkjet printer
    and a box of floppies. The ink cartrige was installed in the printer
    and there was ink splattered all over everything. The floppies had
    Windows for Workgroups on them, all neatly labeled. On inspection,
    both had been opened and resealed.

    If you buy from Fry's, inspect things carefully before you leave the
    parking lot.

    And what's with the gorilla at the door who searches your bags as you
    leave? What happens if you just keep walking? Does he tackle you? Does
    he shoot you?

  10. kony

    kony Guest

    Always check to see if the store clearly defines what they
    mean by refurbised, including whether warranties apply or
    what the return policy is, including whether there is a
    restocking fee (and in which scenarios it would apply) or if
    you have the option of partial or full refund or are instead
    only allowed to exchange for the same thing (less likely
    with refurbished goods as many are in short enough supply it
    can't be assumed a direct replacement refurbished product
    would be available).

    The definition is one each store has developed for their own
    needs to distinguish any goods that (for whatever reason)
    are not new, from factory (or supplier, more likely),
    unmolested by anyone for any reason other than repacking
    when this is necessary (for example OEM tray processors are
    repacked in individual containers of some sort, but are
    still new not refurbished for the manditory initial
    prepacking pre-delivery to a customer).

    It could mean something was repaired, returned due to user
    inable to get it to work (for whatever reason, user
    ineptitude, user didn't "like" it, user found it cheaper
    elsewhere later or a different product was cheaper, or
    system malfunctioning or missing parts or too many other
    reasons to mention), repair, manufacturer overruns where the
    manufacturer does not wish to sell "OEM" whitebox parts that
    devalue their retail offerings, very small supply that is
    not going to be listed as a regular retail product since
    there are only a few available which is better accomdated by
    the "refurbished" stock system where no new stock is

    It could mean the product was taken out of a box for a
    product picture, opened by an employee to show to a
    customer, or really almost anything, but essentially the
    purpose is to signify the item may have a higher probability
    of problems and need returned if you can't accept whatever
    difference there might be. If each part designated as
    refurbished were individually processed with extensive
    testing and checking of all parts, this cost alone would
    make the refurbished parts end up more expensive than the
    brand new retail offering in many cases, so it "might" be
    left up to you to do some of this work.

    Also consider the reputation of the seller, and seek some
    comments of others who buy the goods in web forums,
    particularly those forums offering "Hot Deals" types of
    categories as many in these forums will have experience
    trying to save a buck on refurbished goods for better or
    worse, so you can get some idea of the percentage who were
    satisfied, real world examples of how the seller handled the
    return, and whether that gamble is worth the savings. Just
    keep in mind that typically someone having a problem with a
    refurbished product is a lot more likely to make a stink
    about it than others who had no problems and thus, went on
    about their lives without stopping to seek some remedy.
  11. DaveW

    DaveW Guest

    "Refurbished" means that it was returned to the manufacturer, either because
    the customer did not want it or because it was defective and needed to be
    repaired, and then sold to someone else.
  12. John Fields

    John Fields Guest

  13. Lord Garth

    Lord Garth Guest

    Before you get in the check out lane!
    The 'Door Nazi' is not allowed to touch you. I have bypassed them on
    several occasions rather than wait in yet another line. I just ignore
    them and keep walking. They are not legally able to search the bag

    The only door nazi that ever followed me was a rent a cop that worked
    at a Computer City here in Dallas. I was in line behind a handicapped
    individual that was in much the same condition as Christopher Reeves
    in that he had a wheelchair with a portable iron lung. The man was signing
    the check with his toes while I patiently waited some 30 minutes. The
    store never opened a second lane. Finally, when he was finished and
    driving his chair out, the door nazi, who was 6 feet away and watching the
    whole thing, challenged him to show his receipt. The man complied.
    I made my purchase, filed my receipt in my case and proceeded to the
    door when the door nazi asked to see my receipt. Seeing as how he
    had again been right there watching the whole transaction and it had
    now taken the better part of 45 minutes to buy one VGA extension cable,
    I answered him with, "What receipt? I have many in this case so be
    mean while, I kept walking to my car. He followed me but never laid hands
    upon me.
  14. neon


    Oct 21, 2006
    Regardind FRY'S their policy that they will take back anything in its original box un-altered form. BUT you could find a missing manual screw whatever the original purchaser forgot to put in there . it is a risk. i have returned many things to them and i must admit i forgot to put everything back in the box, so what is the risk if it say as is forget it otherwise buy it and return it great savings. it just cost too much to ship back better discounted, some other items are returned to the manufacture and they refurbish as new check it out and resale it at a discount like printers and stuff. if that is the case then you are entitle to warranties as new by the manufacture. and besides whay don't you ask a salesman they do not keeps this secret.
  15. johns

    johns Guest

    It means "DON'T BUY IT!" Nobody out there actually
    repairs PC parts. All they do is put it in a box and
    see if it works at all. They don't test it. They don't
    care. AND ... !!!!!! .... they will rebox it and put it right
    back out the door as new. The way these creeps
    cover themselves, is twofold: 1) they make you
    purchase a warranty after 15 days. And they don't
    give an "in house" warranty. 2) they let you believe
    that the manufacturers warranty is good, and you
    will have to "call the manufacturer" for an RMA.
    Then, you will discover that you are dealing with
    a non-warranty item from the original designer
    ..... like ATI, or nVidia ... that was custom built
    for an OFFSHORE RETAILER. The worst products
    for this are made by ASUS. And if you want a
    guaranteed refurb, buy a video card from XFX.
    There are a few resellers who are reputable ( so
    far ), and will try to help you with claims if you
    get a bad product. Mwave is very good. NewEgg
    is OK. TigerDirect will scam you any way it
    can. Dell can be hard to work with or contact
    but they are fair eventually. HP acts like they
    are insulted if you try to do business with them
    at all.

  16. kony

    kony Guest

    Really? If I need a higher degree of certainty the part I
    ordered is right and ready to deploy immediately, I avoid
    refurbs, but on several occasions I've ordered refurbed
    parts (hard to peg an exact number, but a few dozens of time
    is a rough guess) and have had a roughly 80% success rate.
    Occasionally there were missing parts, like when a
    motherboard comes in an big kit with lots of fancy extras,
    some of those were missing, or sometimes just the
    motherboard I/O plate, or the mounting screws for an Alpha
    Pal heatsink. Sometimes there's damage but it didn't really
    matter (part still worked) like a video card with one of the
    surface mount ceramic decoupling caps knocked off. Other
    times it might be a card with a capacitor bent at an angle
    which I thought prudent to remove and replace with another
    cap. Sometimes refurbs are just the result of a
    manufacturer making more of the main component (like a video
    capture card) but not all the misc cables that go with it,
    so if you just needed the vidcap card with it's tuner and
    S-Video input, you didn't need the cables.

    Actually, yes some video cards and motherboards are either
    returned to the manufactuer or subcontracted out to someone
    in the same region for repair. Certainly not all things
    are, but remember that a large % of parts returned by
    customers aren't even damaged, the customer simply didn't
    have the ability to get the part working for any number of
    reasons. Other times the return is for a more shady reason,
    like a kid buying a CPU or video card then finding out it
    didn't overclock as high as they'd hoped, and unfortunately
    these kinds of customers end up changing policies and
    causing more and more sellers to implement restocking fees.

    Some may test it, some might not even do that much, but
    remember these parts do usually cost less. You save money
    by taking on a potential problem and only through putting in
    an amount of time it wouldn't be cost effective for the
    seller to put forth, will you determine if you saved money
    or have a product that must be returned. I suspect many
    sellers do keep a record of whether an item was refurbished,
    so it doesn't just keep getting set back out again and again
    to different customers if it has been rejected more than

    ?? You must be taking about some specific sellers as this
    is not typically the case at all at an *average* seller of
    refurb'd goods.
    A warranty is good for high priced items, but frankly I've
    pretty much ignored warranties over the years and seldom did
    it matter, if the refurb'd part arrived intact, working as
    demonstrated by some functionality or stress tests, it
    continued working. One exception might be hard drives, but
    they are such a lottery anyway that a random sample can't be
    presumed as bulletproof even if brand new/un-refurb'd.

    It depends on what you're buying. Also if you buy something
    listed as a refurb'd retail, name brand part, it's not some
    custom built offshore retailer (whatever you're trying to
    imply). Normally there's no point in trying to refurb
    something that isn't in demand, it has such a lot value it
    ends up diverted to some surplus seller. The quality of the
    seller, their reputation means a lot, especially how they
    handle problems. Check out seller ratings at , but ignore the positive
    reviews as any seller gets things right once in a while.
    Instead focus on the negative reviews, whether they seem
    credible and what (if any) hoops the seller made the
    customer jump through and whether the customer's problem was
    ever resolved.

    I've bought several refurb'd Asus motherboards over the
    years, and one of them acts flaky with a certain CPU
    installed (which it wasn't meant to originally support) but
    otherwise all were fine, except a couple didn't come with
    the proprietary configuration, rear I/O shield. Annoyingly
    at the time I contacted Asus to see about getting a matching
    shield, they said they'd send it and took down my address
    for shipping it but it never showed up. This was a free
    part they offered though, nothing lost but I now look at the
    rear ports and through a stack of I/O shields I have here
    just to see if I have something suitable or adaptable if the
    need arises. IIRC, they do sell the IO shields still, thing
    it's about $5 for one, or around $25 for a whole motherboard
    kit- but this was back when kits didn't have all the crazy
    extras that some do today, the fanciest board kits might
    cost more.

    I agree with your assessment of the above companies, though
    I've never had a problem with HP except they have a little
    less friendly CSR policies IMO.
  17. Guest

    "Refurbished" means anything:

    1. Brand new, possibly returned from dealer overstock.

    2. Returned, either used or unused, and either not inspected, lightly
    inspected, or thoroughly inspected.

    3. Repaired, barely, possibly not to full original functionality.

    4. Repaired, thoroughly

    5. Repaired, thoroughly, and refurbished, meaning not only are obvious
    defects fixed but also known high-failure parts are replaced
    (typically capacitors or power electronics that are driven hard), even
    if still in good operating condition, and any upgrades installed.

    Not all refurbishiment is performed by the manufacturer or its
    authorized service company. There are also companies that buy
    salvaged products and take them to repair sweat shops that perform
    bare minimum repairs, at best.
  18. Guest

    Every refurbished item I've seen at Fry's had been refurbished by the
    manufacturer or its approved service company, while returned items
    were always clearly marked as having been returned, except for CPUs
    and memory modules..
  19. Rich Grise

    Rich Grise Guest

    Actually, I had a very pleasant experience at Fry's, when one of the
    motherboards I'd bought there didn't work. I went in and asked, "What
    do I do"? and they sent some tech over, who let me tag along to her bench
    (which was right out there where everybody can see, along with about 4
    others) and she showed me what was wrong and how to fix it.

    Turned out I had to buy a new power supply. I'm using that MB and PS
    right now, as a matter of fact. ;-)

    FWIW, it's this one:

  20. Linux Geek

    Linux Geek Guest

    It means 'Junk that didn't work properly the first time around' and hasn't
    improved with age.


    Linux Geek

    Saying that XP is the most stable MS OS is like saying that
    asparagus is the most articulate vegetable. (Dave Barry)
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