Lily Katz / Android Authority
Tech can get expensive these days. It’s always good to save some money, and you may have noticed plenty of retailers offering renewed or refurbished products. But what’s the difference between renewed vs refurbished devices?
In this guide, we will tell you what both terms mean, and walk you through the process of finding a good option for your next gadget acquisition.
Renewed vs refurbished: What’s the difference?
Jared Wilder / Android Authority
After looking for deals all over the web, you may be wondering what the difference between renewed vs refurbished is. Retailers seem to throw around both terms and often forget to tell you what they are all about. The words “renewed” and “refurbished” actually refer to the same thing.
Renewed or refurbished products are pre-owned items that have been fixed and optimized back to working condition. A customer may have returned the product because it wasn’t working, or it could have been sent in for an insurance claim. Whatever the case, the seller brought it back to life and it should work perfectly, but it may have some cosmetic blemishes, lack the official accessories, or have no official box.
The words renewed and refurbished actually refer to the same thing.
As a result, the device will cost significantly cheaper than a new one. And it can often cost less than pre-owned or open-box products.
The only real difference between renewed vs refurbished items is the connotation of the words. “Renewed” sounds much nicer than “refurbished,” but they mean the same.
Some retailers do separate renewed vs refurbished products. For example, a refurbished phone may have been fixed, while a renewed one may be an open-box product without the original packaging, or an item returned with little to no use. It may even include devices returned due to guilty spending, which means it might be in near-perfect condition.
Things differ from retailer to retailer, so it’s always good to investigate how each company or seller labels its own offerings.
What are certified refurbished products?
“Certified refurbished” is another term you may find when looking for renewed vs refurbished products. Similar to other related terminology, sometimes sellers take some freedom when using this term. Most agree that a certified refurbished product is fixed by a professional technician, commissioned by a renowned company. Usually, this company is the manufacturer that made the product, or one of its official authorized service providers.
For example, Apple sells its own certified refurbished devices. This ensures that the technicians who refurbish the product have ample training and know the ins and outs of the device. Additionally, buying certified refurbished gives you extra peace of mind, knowing that all parts are genuine and not third-party replacements.
This makes certified refurbished products a better bet, but they also tend to cost more than third-party refurbished items. You will, however, usually get better customer service, a better return window, and an improved warranty, shall anything go wrong.
Do renewed or refurbished products have a warranty?
Scott Scrivens / Android Authority
Talking about warranties, this is a significant factor to consider when purchasing a renewed or refurbished device. A word of warning: not all refurbished devices will have a warranty, especially if they are smaller independent stores or websites. That said, most refurbished products do come with a warranty. The only important factor to consider is that some offer a longer warranty than others.
Whether a renewed or refurbished gadget gets a warranty, and for how long, depends a lot on the item’s condition, the retailer, and what you’re getting. You may have to do some research to find more details about how other retailers operate. We’ll discuss the best places to buy refurbished products later in the post.
Should you buy a renewed or refurbished product?
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
Unwrapping a brand-new smartphone, tablet, computer, or anything else, feels amazing. A new device will always be free of cosmetic damage, and the battery will be brand new, which means it will last longer better. Not to mention it will always come backed by a full manufacturer warranty, which typically lasts a year.
All that said, buying renewed or refurbished tech has its advantages. For starters, the price will definitely be lower, and saving some cash is always nice. Not only that, but these devices often come with a great warranty and return policy, so there might be no difference in peace of mind, at least in terms of your device working. The seller may also offer insurance for the device, adding a second layer of protection.
Buying renewed or refurbished is better for the environment
Another argument is that buying renewed or refurbished is better for the environment, as you’re giving a device a second life instead of letting it go directly to a landfill.
If you like any of the advantages renewed or refurbished products offer, it’s a great idea to go this route. Just be sure to get it from a trusted source that will have your back.
Where can I buy refurbished devices?
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
If you’ve made up your mind about going refurbished. We recommend a few retailers. Let’s go over them.
- Apple: Of course, this option is only suitable for those who want to buy Apple products. Apple is famous for its excellent customer service, and it offers a one-year warranty on all its refurbished products.
- Amazon: Amazon offers a wide selection of refurbished devices, from phones to tablets and many other electronics. These also come with a 90-day warranty period, and you can even return the device for a full refund within this period. What’s best, if you get a Premium Condition device, it will come with a one-year warranty.
- Best Buy: Best Buy also refurbished products and offers a 90-day warranty, unless otherwise noted. The good thing about Best Buy is that there are physical stores all over the USA, so you can just go to your local store for any help.
- eBay: This online marketplace has a large following, a wide variety of sellers, and options to throw around. Its refurbished products also come with a one-year warranty, and Certified Refurbished ones extend that to two years.
- Walmart: The retailer giant has its own Walmart Restored program, which a bunch of device options at great prices. It also has a 90-day warranty and return window.
- Newegg: This is an excellent option to find a variety of renewed and refurbished devices, but you must be more careful. Figuring out the warranty and return details can be trickier, as it’s based on a mixture of Newegg policies and the seller’s choices. Just check the product page when buying.
Technically speaking, yes, renewed and refurbished means the same thing. These devices were used, returned, or didn’t work. Then, a company can fix it and sell it at a lower price.
Because these are no longer new, renewed or refurbished products cost less than their brand-new counterparts. They are also more affordable if they have more cosmetic wear, or lack certain accessories.
Refurbished and renewed devices usually come with a warranty, but there are some exceptions. Not to mention some retailers offer better warranties than others.
There are many places where you can buy refurbished phones and other products from, but we tend to recommend only the most trustworthy. These include Apple, Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, and Walmart.
If your refurbished device doesn’t work, you can usually return it within the specified return window, which varies by retailer. Additionally, you can make a warranty claim, as long as you’re within the warranty period.