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  • Are Refurbished Electronics Smart for Your Business?

    Electronics can be one of the most expensive parts of running a business. Because you need to have up-to-date technology for your employees to use, you can quickly rack up a lot of debt just buying computers and other electronics for your office. Is it really necessary to buy brand new computers and phones?

    In many ways, refurbished electronics can be just as good as brand new items. However, buying a laptop for personal use is much different than buying a computer for business use. If a refurbished electronic is good enough for you, is it good enough for your employees?

    If you’re considering buying refurbished electronics for your workspace, here are a few things you need to know.

    What Are Refurbished Electronics?

    When an electronic is refurbished, it has been previously owned by someone else. In most cases, the laptop, desktop or phone has been used and later exchanged for a new item, but in some cases the electronics are returned almost immediately because the original owner didn’t like them or wanted something else.

    The returned item is then wiped clean and repaired to be as good as new. They are then resold to new customers for a discounted price.

    Depending on the item, these discounts can be pretty substantial. For older items or items that may have had a defect that was repaired, buyers can get a really great deal. Electronics that were quickly returned may not have the same size discount.

    When Should You Buy a Refurbished Electronic?

    Buying refurbished items can save you a few hundred dollars when looking to buy new electronics, but it isn’t always the best deal. When you buy refurbished, you may run into more problems than buying brand new. Return policies, warranties and other forms of protection may not be available when buying a refurbished electronic.

    You’ll typically get the best deal on your product if you buy from a discount store, but purchasing from someone other than the manufacturer may present you with more headaches than you’re ready for. When you purchase from a company you don’t fully trust, you may find that the electronic wasn’t fully repaired or that it doesn’t meet your expectations.

    If you’re going to purchase a refurbished item, buying directly from the manufacturer is your best bet. Because they have the most credibility and expertise in repairing and restoring the item, you have the highest chance of getting a used product that actually performs like new. They will also be more likely to help you with any future problems you may experience after purchase. Other stores, like Best Buy and GameStop, can also provide high-quality refurbished electronics.

    What Should You Know About Buying Refurbished?

    Buying refurbished can be a great way to save your company money, but if you purchase the wrong item, you may find yourself spending more money than you would have on new equipment. You should always be careful about what refurbished items you purchase.

    Before you buy anything, know what the return policy is. You want to be sure you have time to get the item set up and running before you make a final decision. For refurbished items, your return period may only be a week or two. Be sure you know how much time you have to look for problems and make a return if necessary.

    You will also want to know the warranty on the product. Again, most companies offer shorter warranties on refurbished electronics than on new ones. For some retailers, the warranty might be as low as 30 days, but others may offer up to one year.

    Refurbished electronics labeled factory certified have gone through additional tests to be brought up to original manufacturer standards. This means you will get the best product possible if it is factory certified, but you may need to spend a bit more on one of these items.

    Finally, double check that all cords, plugs, manuals and other accessories are included in the package. You may think you’re getting a really great deal on an expensive product, only to find that one of the most crucial parts is missing.

    If you’re looking for a way to save money on your office equipment, buying refurbished items can be one of the best ways to do so. However, if you’re considering buying a product that has already been owned or used, you want to ensure you’re selecting a product that will last. Doing your research, knowing your information and talking with professionals will be the best way to do that.

    Always make smart decisions about the electronics you purchase. If it seems like the deal is too good to be true, it probably is. However, if you find the right item for the right price, you could save your business hundreds of dollars.

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    Sarah Landrum is a freelance writer and Digital Marketing Specialist. She is also the founder of Punched Clocks, a site dedicated to sharing advice on navigating the work world. Passionate about helping others find happiness and success in their careers, she shares advice on everything from the job search and entrepreneurship to professional development, and more! Follow her for more great tips @SarahLandrum

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