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2023-03-23 15:00:28| Engadget

Yes, Ill probably want the iPhone 15 when it comes out. But as I consider a tablet for my six-year-old (so hell stop stealing mine), I dont think a brand new device is necessary. Both economically and environmentally, refurbished tech might be a better bet if you dont need the latest edition. Sometimes called renewed, refurbished has no legal definition, but typically refers to an item thats not new but has undergone cleaning and diagnostics tests at the minimum, and includes replacement components when necessary. A refurbished device should operate and perform as if it were a new version of itself, with the only drawbacks being possible cosmetic imperfections.In addition to being more budget-friendly, buying refurbished keeps electronics out of landfills and cuts down on the overall carbon footprint, since the majority of a devices environmental impact comes from manufacturing. Its also better than recycling in terms of keeping rare earth elements in circulation. But since the refurbished trade isnt regulated, there are things to watch out for. We cover the salient points below, along with our recommendations on where you can safely buy refurbished tech and where you can browse renewed tech offerings.What to consider when buying refurbished devicesRefurbished vs usedRefurbished is not the same as used. Used items tend to be sold as-is,'' which means youre simply inheriting whatever mileage and quirks a device had when the previous owner said goodbye to it. Its true that most refurbished items were previously owned, and many are a result of the growing trend of trading in your old device when you upgrade. But others were hardly used at all and are one of the millions of returns generated each year. Either way, a properly refurbished item has undergone testing to verify that it works, along with cleaning, repairs and parts replacement as needed.Since there are no government regulations for renewed items, its up to the sellers to define what steps they take to ready a device for sale. And its up to the buyer to find out what those steps are before taking the plunge. The processes for refurbishing devices from Apple, Bose, Microsoft and Samsung, for example, include cleaning, inspection, parts replacement as needed and shipment in a new box with the originally supplied accessories. They also all provide a one-year warranty.Warranties and returnsA refurbished device should perform as well as its new counterpart, but the only way to guarantee thats the case is to make sure it comes with a warranty. All of the sites we recommend below include a warranty with the products they sell. If you see something labeled as refurbished, but doesnt include some sort of guarantee as to its reliability shop elsewhere.Also, a good return policy will let you send the item back (preferably with the same free shipping a new item gets) for any reason including that you just changed your mind. That way if a refurbished poduct doesnt look as good as you thought it would, you can send it back without having to prove theres something wrong with it.SanitationMost refurbished tech was used before it made its way back on the market. And while renewed items are cleaned, youll still need to consider your comfort with sanitation issues when buying things like headphones and earbuds.Polina Lebed via Getty ImagesWhere to buy refurbished techWe recommend going directly to the manufacturer whenever possible, especially for more technical items like smartphones and laptops. If you need a new MacBook, check out Apples refurbished stock first; if you want a new Galaxy phone, hit up Samsung before anyone else. Repairs will be handled using genuine parts and youre far more likely to get items that were properly unpaired from the original owner and all data wiped.Retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy are decent options if youre on a tighter budget or if youre looking for gadgets from a manufacturer that may not have its own refurbished outlet. Refurbished marketplaces like Decluttr and BackMarket can be useful if youre looking for older, more specific items, or if price is the number one factor for your purchase.AppleThey may offer less than they once did for trade-ins but Apple is still pulling in a decent inventory of refurbished MacBooks, iPads and other devices. Each refurbished piece undergoes an inspection and repairs using original Apple parts, with refurbished iPhones and iPads getting new batteries and outer shells. In addition to phones and tablets, Apple sells refurbished MacBooks, Watches, Apple TVs and accessories like the Apple Pencil. Everything is shipped in a new box with whatever cables, accessories and operating systems a new item would get. Items get the same one-year warranty and 14-day returns window that Apple offers on new products as well.Shop Apple RefurbishedSamsungWhile they accept just about any device as a trade-in, Samsung only regularly offers refurbished smartphones on its site youll have to look elsewhere for a renewed Samsung tablet or smartwatch. That said, a refurbished Galaxy phone can sell for as much as 30 percent off the standard price. The phones come with a new battery, are tested and repaired with Samsung parts and get new packaging, cables and the latest software. One-year warranties come standard, too.Shop Samsung RenewedBose&nsp;On a given day, youll find between three and 30 refurbished Bose items on the companys site, including speakers, headphones, soundbars and almost always a few pairs of Bose Frames. Savings range from 10 percent to 45 percent and each item undergoes measures similar to Apple and Samsung, with testing, repairs and cables in a new box, plus internal cleaning and replacement parts like earcups. Bose also includes a 90-day, free returns policy and a one-year warranty to make sure the device works as it should.Shop Bose RefurbishedSonosSonos devices dont often go on sale, which makes the brands refurbished program even more enticing. Youll typically only find a handful of the companys renewed speakers and soundbars available at one time, so it pays to keep checking the site. Each refurbished device undergoes testing and gets repaired with Sonos parts as needed. They ship in new boxes and include all accessories and the same 45-day returns policy and one-year warranty as a new device.Shop Sonos RefurbishedRazer Like Bose and Sonos, youll typically only find a few refurbished Razer laptops available at a time. The savings can be pretty significant on the order of a few hundred dollars off the list price. The refurbishment process involves full data wipes and a new OS installation, along with cleaning, testing and repairs as needed. Each device gets a 14-day returns policy, a one-year warranty and tech support.Shop Razer RefurbishedMicrosoftYoull mostly find Surface tablets and laptops on Microsofts refurbished page. If youre looking for an Xbox, renewed Series X and Series S consoles have their own destinations (and could be something to look into when the Series X goes in and out of stock). All refurbished Microsoft products get tested, repaired and cleaned and come in new packaging along with the usual accessories plus a 30-day returns policy and year-long warranty.Shop Microsoft RefurbishedOther retailersSome smaller manufacturers like Dyson, Vitamix, Nintendo and JBL offer their own refurbished products, but for many other brands, you may need to head to a retailer.AmazonAmazon Renewed is different from Amazon Warehouse, which sells used items that have been tested and graded, but havent undergone any refurbishment. Items under the Renewed designation have been cleaned and professionally inspected and come with replacement accessories as needed.Refurbishment isnt always conducted by an in-house team, as Amazon mostly lists items sold by third-party refurbishers. The exception to that is with Amazon devices like Kindles, Ring doorbells and Echos, which are tested, shipped and sold by Amazon. Find those items on the certified refurbished Amazon device page, formerly called Kindle Refurbished.The guarantee on all refurbished items sold on the site only extends for 90 days, but thats a combined warranty and returns policy, which includes sending the device back because it simply wasnt what you expected, regardless of whether theres something wrong with it.Theres a wider allowance for condition ratings with Amazons refurb program, allowing for the minor cosmetic imperfections of premium and excellent" ratings, along with visible marks and scratches at the good and acceptable condition levels.That said, Amazon Renewed offers a wide selection of products you might not be able to get directly from a manufacturer, including kitchen equipment, tools and gaming accessories.Shop Amazon RenewedWalmartLike Amazons program, Walmart Restored uses third party sellers and refurbishers and also grants a 90-day combined return and warranty period. The products are rated as having no cosmetic defects when viewed from one foot away, unless otherwise noted in the listing. Products include tools, tablets, kitchen appliances, TVs and video game consoles.Shop Walmart RestoredTargetUnfortunately, the warranties for Targets refurbished program varies by item. Depending on the listing, youll see warranties that extend six months, one year or have no warranty at all. However, all items we checked did include a return period ranging from 15 to 30 days though youll need to bring the item back to a Target store. Obviously we dont recommend going for any tech device (refurbished or not) without a warranty, but like Amazon and Walmart, Targets program may offer a way to find deals on a wider selection of tech than going through a manufacturer. Just be sure to scroll down to the warranty details in the About This Item section on the product page.Shop Target RefurbishedBest BuyBest Buy combines open box, clearance and refurbished items under the Best Buy Outlet umbrella. They even run a few brick and mortar Outlet stores that sell clearance, open-box and returned items. For the most part, however, those dont include items that have undergone the refurbishment process. For that, youll want to look at items marked Geek Squad Certified Refurbished online. These are products that have been spruced up either by Best Buy's own repair centers, by the manufacturers or by third-party refurbishers. The devices come with a 90-day warranty, which covers defects, in addition to Best Buys standard 15-day return policy.Shop Geek Squad Certified RefurbishedThis article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/where-to-buy-refurbished-tech-140028700html?src=rss

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