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Tips on buying refurbished tablets

ByinTips & Guides | February 18, 2014

Refurbished TabletsOne of the best way to save money while shopping for a tablet is choosing a refurbished or reconditioned device. While the term “refurbished” may have a negative feeling about the item, there is no need to avoid this type of products. In fact, in most cases refurbished tablets are as good as brand new, but priced much lower, what makes them very popular on market. As with any purchase, buying refurbished tablets may have downsides, which you can however reduce and avoid if you follow a few simple tips.

Why tablets got refurbished?

Tablets & iPadTo begin with, it is important to understand why the offered tablet is labeled as refurbished. You probably won’t be able to learn full detailed history of the slate, but you can always do research and ask merchant a few additional questions to get a better picture. Here are a few scenarios explaining why the tablet is sold as refurbished.

Often a tablet is sold as refurbished when it has a minor cosmetic defect, for instance a scratch or tiny dent which won’t influence slate’s performance in the least but nevertheless will bring the price down significantly. Moreover, demos, store returns and merchandise in opened boxes are also sold as refurbished. Such devices shouldn’t have any performance issues but since they were taken out of their boxes, retailers are not allowed to sell them as brand new. Finally, the device might have had some functional defects which were repaired and the item returns to the retailer for the resale.

Manufacturer reconditioned tablets and others

Since in many cases you won’t be able to find out why the particular tablet you have picked is sold as refurbished, you should choose the seller carefully. Many tablet manufacturers recondition their devices and resell them directly through their stores or ship them to reputable dealers such as Amazon, eBay, Newegg, etc. Tablets refurbished by manufacturers usually come with certification which assures that the device was thoroughly tested and is in good physical condition, fully functional and comes with limited warranty.

Shopping OnlineYou should be extra careful if you choose to purchase a tablet refurbished by non-authorized companies located abroad, such as China or India. They usually don’t offer any guarantees and refurbished products are fixed and assembled with non-original parts which may affect tablet performance and durability. Here is a higher risk that you may end up with a tablet that doesn’t work the way it should.

Warranty and Seller Reputation

Before you buy a refurbished tablet, make sure it comes with a warranty. The warranty will typically range from 30 to 90 days; however, depending on which manufacturer you choose, you may get as long as one year. In some cases it is also possible to buy extended warranty from third party services, such as Square Trade at a reasonable price, which is approximately 10% value of the device. If the tablet you are interested in comes with manufacturer’s warranty, keep the receipt or proof of purchase for the record, as the document establishes when the coverage begins.

A reputable seller will offer some sort of return policy which assures that you will get your money back in case you return the tablet. However, different retailers and manufacturers have different rules regarding returns. For example, Target allows returns within 90 days of purchase, while Apple has only a 14-day refund policy. Find out beforehand how much time you will have to return the tablet if you encounter any issues.

Finally, before purchasing check if the refurbished tablet will ship with all the accessories that are necessary for a ordinary usage, including chargers, USB cables, software, drivers, manuals, etc. Note that in many cases refurbished products are shipped without original retail packaging you can find in brand new products.

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