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When Buying A Refurbished Device, Do You Get What You Pay For?

(credit: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)

Ian Bush Ian Bush
Ian Bush is an anchor, reporter, news editor, and technology editor&nb...
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By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When budget doesn’t match appetite for electronics shoppers, some choose refurbished devices. But are you getting what you pay for?

Apple offers a refurbished Macbook for $200 cheaper than new. NewEgg shaves a few hundred off the cost of a PC.

“There’s a huge value in trying to bring a product that’s either lightly used, someone didn’t like, and they return it, but bringing it back to the market to be reused.”

Todd Peters, the vice chairman at the Pittsburgh-based logistics company GENCO ATC, says it also cuts down on electronic waste when they refurbish a device like a smartphone.

“We remove all the privacy information if the customer hasn’t done it prior. Against very strict criteria of technical requirements, we’ll reassemble that phone, replace any parts, re-flash it with new software.”

Making it, in some cases, better than new. Peters says the biggest caveat for a refurb is where you buy.

“Is it from someone reputable and someone who will stand behind the product?”

So, check manufacturers’ websites first, then retailers like TigerDirect or Micro Center. Look for “factory refurbished” and “manufacturer’s warranty” for best peace-of-mind.

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