I’m Never Buying New Again: The Ultimate Guide To Buying Refurbished Electronics And Appliances

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Call me cheap if you want, but I don’t like paying full price for anything. A major lesson I learned after becoming financially independent and moving into my own place, is that not everything I buy needs to be brand new. “Like new” and in “restored condition” is good enough, especially if you’re living on a budget and have bigger financial goals you’re trying to prioritize.

That’s why I’ve become such a big fan of eBay’s Certified Refurbished products, and if you’re anything like me, you probably will be too.

What Exactly Is Refurbished?

A lot of people confuse “refurbished” with “used.” While they are similar, they’re not exactly the same. Used refers to products that were bought, used, and then sold. However, refurbished specifically refers to products that were purchased and returned for whatever reason. When they are returned, in order to sell them again, they are thoroughly tested, and defective parts, if any, are replaced. They are also cleaned and repackaged. Generally speaking, it’s a much safer purchase than buying used.

Why Buy Refurbished?

Brand new can mean buying things for a small fortune. At least, that’s been my experience. When I look back on some of the things I bought for full price when I first moved into my new place (because new apartment, new me, new things, right?) — like a $150 vacuum, a $100 blender, and a $200 air fryer — all of which I’ve since found Certified Refurbished on eBay selling for 30% or more off, I could scream. Let my mistakes be your lesson. Certified Refurbished is like new, so if you want to save money and still buy something in pristine condition, refurbished is your best bet.

4 Tips To Follow When Buying Refurbished

Buying refurbished over brand new or used has its advantages, but of course, there are always things you should keep in mind when you shop.

1. What To Buy Refurbished

For the most part, the items that you find being sold as “refurbished” are electronics, appliances, and certain homeware items. eBay has deals for these kinds of products from top brands — think Acer, DEWALT, iRobot, Lenovo, Milwaukee, Sennheiser, SkullCandy and so much more — that have been certified to look, feel and work as if they’re brand new and for a fraction of the cost that their original retailers sell them for.

How much are discounts on eBay when you buy refurbished?

  • On the Acer website, its Chromebook Spin 713 13.5″ is priced at $629.99. eBay is selling it refurbished for $539.99.
  • The iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot, which is only available at select retailers, is being sold for as much as $723 and as low as $489 from different sellers via Walmart. eBay is selling it refurbished for $289.99.
  • On Sony’s website, its WH-1000XM4 Wireless Noise-Cancelling Over-the-Ear Headphones are priced at $279.99. eBay is selling them for $228.

2. Make Sure To Check What The Retailer Defines As Refurbished

While there is a universal definition for refurbished, a product manufacturer’s refurbished criteria may be different than the retailer doing the actual selling.

Luckily, all of the Certified Refurbished products that eBay sells have been professionally inspected, sanitized, and refurbished to the original manufacturer or manufacturer-approved vendor specifications. They are also shipped in manufacturer-sealed packaging with original or new accessories and user manuals.

3. Check For Retailer Guarantees

No matter what retailer you choose to buy refurbished from, make sure to check its product guarantees, return policy, and warranties. Different retailers and manufacturers have different policies, so read them before you buy.

eBay’s Certified Refurbished products come with the following guarantees:

  • A two-year warranty that includes protection against breakdowns and malfunctions, access to item repairs and 24/7 customer support from Allstate
  • Items in their original condition can be returned to eBay within 30 days
  • If an item doesn’t arrive or is faulty, damaged, or doesn’t match the product listing, you will get a full refund
  • Products are shipped with everything you’d get with a new purchase, including, manufacturer-sealed packaging, new or original accessories, and new manuals

Oftentimes, when you buy something from places like Amazon, Apple, or Best Buy, they try and squeeze an extra couple of bucks out of you for a guaranteed warranty, so it’s a huge plus that eBay offers this for free with your purchase.

4. Take Advantage Of Extra Sales

Buying refurbished doesn’t mean don’t look for other ways to save. I’m always on the hunt for deals I can stack on top of the savings I get buying refurbished. And right now, eBay is offering a Certified Refurbished Spring Cleaning coupon until March 22, 2021. Use the code PREP4SPRING20 to get 20% off when you spend anywhere between $75 to $150. Products in the following categories are eligible:

  • Power Tools
  • Vacuums
  • Outdoor Power Equipment
  • Lawn Mowers Air Tools & Air Compressors
  • Carpet Cleaners
  • Steam Mops

While we all may love the feeling we get when you’re holding a brand new, in pristine condition product from a retailer you’ve been dying to get your hands on, I’m telling you the feeling you get when you buy that same thing like-new at a discounted price feels even better (and your wallet will thank you).

Buy refurbished on eBay today. The deals are incredible!