How and where to buy refurbished tech online

In good news for our wallets and the environment as a whole, many electronic devices such as phones and tablets now last longer than ever before. If you’re considering buying a refurbished one, the gadget you’re getting will likely have plenty of life left in it. There are no laws governing the terms, but refurbished or refurbished devices are above the mere “used” level. At the very least, the updated technology had to undergo cleaning and diagnostics, and some vendors also had to replace components such as batteries and screens. Once ready for sale, these devices should work like new, with only minor scratches showing their history.

Refurbished appliances not only save you some money, but most of them have a drastically reduced carbon footprint. environmental impact comes from production. It is more efficient than recycling and helps with conservation e-waste from landfills. But there are better places to buy updated tech than others. We’ve listed a few recommendations below, as well as our tips on what to look for when you start shopping for refurbished appliances.

What to look for when buying refurbished devices

Refurbished vs used

Refurbished is not like used. Used items are usually sold ‘as is’, which means you simply inherit whatever mileage and quirks the previous owner said goodbye to. Granted, most of the refurbished items were pre-owned and many are the result of a growing trend is trading your old device when you upgrade. But the others are very little used and it is one of them millions of returns is created every year. Either way, a properly repaired item is tested to verify that it works, along with cleaning, repairing, and replacing parts as needed.

Since there are no government regulations for refurbished items, it is up to sellers to determine what steps they will take to prepare the device for sale. And it’s up to the buyer to find out what those steps are. Processes for device repair apple, Bose, Microsoft and Samsungfor example, includes cleaning, inspection, replacement of parts as necessary, and shipping in a new box with originally supplied accessories. And they all come with a one-year warranty.

Warranties and returns

A refurbished device should perform the same as its new counterpart, but the only way to guarantee this is to make sure it is backed by warranty. All the sites we recommend below guarantee the products they sell. If you see something that’s labeled as refurbished, but doesn’t include some sort of warranty on its reliability – shop elsewhere.

Also, a good return policy will allow you to send the item back (with the same free shipping that a new item gets) for any reason, including changing your mind. That way, if the repaired product doesn’t look as good as you thought, then you can send it back without having to prove anything is wrong.


Most of the updated technology was used before returning to the market. While refurbished items are sanitized, you’ll still need to consider your comfort with sanitation concerns when purchasing items like headphones and earphones. earphones.

Laptop and smartphone on round wooden table in cozy interior.Laptop and smartphone on round wooden table in cozy interior.

Polina Lebed via Getty Images

Where to buy updated technology

Especially for more technical items like smartphones and laptops, we recommend going directly with the manufacturer whenever possible. If you need a new MacBook, check Apple’s refurbished parts first; If you want a new Galaxy phone, hit Samsung first. Repairs will be carried out using original parts and you are more likely to receive items that have been properly separated and erased from the original owner.

Retailers like Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy are decent options if you’re on a tighter budget or looking for a gadget from a manufacturer that doesn’t have its own refurbished outlet. as refurbished markets Decluttr and BackMarket may be useful if you are looking for older, more specific items or if price is the number one factor in your purchase.


They can offer little However, they once made for trade-ins apple still attracts a decent inventory of refurbished MacBooks, iPads and other devices. Every refurbished piece is inspected and repaired with genuine Apple parts, refurbished iPhones and iPads get new batteries and outer shells. In addition to phones and tablets, Apple sells accessories such as refurbished MacBooks, Watches, Apple TV and Apple Pencil. Everything is shipped in a new box with cables, accessories and operating systems that a new product would get. The products get the one-year warranty and 14-day return window that Apple also offers on new products.

Updated store on Apple


When they receive approx any device like trade Samsung only regularly offers refurbished smartphones on its site – you’ll have to look elsewhere for a refurbished Samsung tablet or smartwatch. However, a refurbished Galaxy phone can be sold for up to 30 percent off the standard price. Phones come with a new battery, are tested and repaired with Samsung parts, and receive new packaging, cables, and the latest firmware. One-year warranties are also standard.

Repair shop in Samsung


You may find between three and 30 on a given day on the company’s website, including speakers, headphones, soundbars and bundles. Savings range from 10 percent to 45 percent, and each product is subject to Apple and Samsung-like measures, testing, repair, and cables in a new box. Bose also includes a 90-day free return policy and a one- or two-year warranty, whichever you would have gotten if the device was new.

Updated store at Bose


Sonos devices don’t go on sale often, which makes the brand’s updated program even more attractive. You can usually only find a few of the company’s updated speakers and soundbars at a time, so it pays to check the site regularly. Each refurbished device is tested and repaired, ships in new boxes and includes all accessories and the same 45-day return policy and one-year warranty as a new device. Plus, in 2023, Sonos began donating a portion of the updated annual sales 1% for the planet.

Refurbished shop at Sonos


You’ll mostly find Surface tablets and laptops . Updated and consoles have their own destinations. All refurbished Microsoft products are tested, repaired and cleaned and come in new packaging with the usual accessories, as well as a 30-day return policy for Surface devices and a one-year warranty and a 90-day warranty on consoles.

Refurbished store at Microsoft

Other retailers

Some small producers like it Dyson, Vitaminix, Nintendo and JBL offer their own refurbished products, but for many other brands you have to go to retail.


Amazon Updated unlike Amazon Warehouse, which sells used items that have been tested and evaluated but have not undergone any repairs. Items under the Refurbished designation have been cleaned and professionally inspected and fitted with replacement accessories as needed.

Repairs aren’t always done by an in-house team, as Amazon mostly lists items sold by third-party repairers. The exception to this are Amazon devices such as Kindles, Ring doorbells, and Echos that are tested, shipped, and sold by Amazon. Find these items verified updated Amazon device pageformerly called Kindle Refurbished.

The warranty on all refurbished items sold on the site is only extended for 90 days, but this is a combined warranty and return policy, which includes sending the device back simply because it is not what you expected, regardless of whether there is any fault or not.

With Amazon’s repair program, there’s more scope for condition grading, which allows minor cosmetic blemishes to be removed from “premium” and “excellent” ratings, along with marks and scratches that appear at the “good” and “acceptable” condition levels.

However, Amazon Renewed offers a wide selection of products that you can’t buy directly from the manufacturer, including kitchen appliances, tools, and gaming accessories.

Updated store on Amazon


Like the Amazon program, Walmart has recovered uses third-party vendors and repairers and also offers a combined 90-day return and warranty period. Unless otherwise stated in the listing, the products are evaluated as having no cosmetic defects when viewed from one leg. Products include appliances, tablets, kitchen appliances, televisions and video game consoles.

Updated store at Walmart


Unfortunately, guarantees Target’s updated program varies by item. Depending on the listing, you’ll see warranties that extend six months, one year, or no warranty at all. However, all of the items we reviewed included a return period that ranged from 15 to 30 days — though you’ll have to return the item to a Target store. Obviously, we don’t recommend going for any tech device (refurbished or not) out of warranty, but like Amazon and Walmart, Target’s program can offer a way to find deals on a wider selection of tech than going through the manufacturer. Just make sure to check the warranty details of the device you want. You can find them in the Specifications drop-down menu in the About This Item section on the product page.

Updated store at Target

Best Buy

Best Buy Best Buy combines open box, clearance and refurbished items under the Outlet umbrella. They even operate a few brick and mortars Outlet stores selling clearance, open box and returned items. In most cases, these do not include items that have undergone a repair process. For this, you may want to look online for items marked “Geek Squad Certified Refurbished”. These are products made by Best Buy’s own repair centers, manufacturers, or third-party repairers. The devices come with a 90-day warranty guaranteeIn addition to Best Buy’s standard 15-day return policy, it covers defects.

Renovated store at Best Buy

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