My current laptop that I am using to write this post is an open box or refurbished Macbook that i bought at Apple.ca web site in 2012.
I work as an IT contractor and I make more than 100.000$ per year in It contracting revenue using exclusively this laptop for remote work, programming,System Administration, blogging, emailing, working, etc..
This is the best laptop that I ever had. Not a single issue since I bought it.
I therefore decided to help the consumer by sharing my experience.
What are the Pros and Cons of Open box refurbished Computers and electronics in general (laptop, PC, Mac, Camera, Xbox, etc.)?
First let’s explain what an open box refurbished computer or electronic means:
Typically, open-box items are goods returned by customers, inspected by the retailer, found to be in working order, and re-sold at a discount, rather than returned to the manufacturer.
Refurbished items usually mean they were returned for a defect and were fixed either by the original retailer or the factory.
Most customers are well intentioned people and usually return item when they are defective, but we all know that are some of fellow customers that can be jerk sometimes and will return equipment to the store for meaningless things.
Those defects or what the customers thought it is a defect are sometimes quickly resolved by the retailer or manufacturer and re-sold at discount price as open box or refurbished item.
Here are the pros of open box or refurbished items:
Price, price, price, significant discount: Almost brand new high quality product at a big discounted price.
I saved about $200 on this laptop above and it is still working fine and still looks new after 4 good years of almost daily use.
- At stores like Best buy, every computer or tablet returned is wiped to factory settings entirely. All returned items are screened, some are sent back to manufacturers, the other go through Geek squad team to be inspected and reset.
- Most of the time, you also get full warranty on the open box product.
- The retailer or manufacturer test the product thoroughly to make sure that whatever the returnee didn’t like is the only issue.
- The Operating system is freshly installed. The hard drives are wiped clean. The keyboard and touch-pad are tested thoroughly.
- Sometimes you end up with the latest technology for the price of an old one.
I am tempted to say that there are no cons at all because you can always return it but there are indeed some potential inconvenients for buying open box or refurbished computers/electronics:
- Less than 10% of the time, the open box products can have some software glitch that the retailer/manufacturer couldn’t find.
- Limited warranty usually comes with open box products.
- If the refurbished is old, there you are really getting an old laptop. Always try to get new refurbished laptop that are the same version or closer to the latest version available.
- Top quality brand like refurbished Apple macbook are hard to find because they are usually sold out to people like me very quickly. So if you want to wait, you might wait for a long time.