Electrical appliances can often be really expensive, so buying second-hand devices instead can be a great economical solution provided that you know what to look out for. Here are six key tips for buying a refurbished appliance.
With inflation and the cost-of-living skyrocketing, it’s useful to think of every opportunity to save money. Is it worth considering buying a refurbished appliance instead of a new appliance? Are there significant savings? And what risks are involved in buying a refurbished appliance?
What is a refurbished appliance?
A refurbished appliance is a second-hand appliance that has been repaired for resale. There may not have been anything majorly wrong with the appliance in the first place, but if it is being sold as ‘refurbished’, it’s implied that the appliance is working and anything that was wrong with it has been repaired.
Is a refurbished appliance always second-hand?
Generally, yes – a refurbished appliance is normally a second-hand appliance that has been repaired for resale. It might be new to you — but it’s not a new appliance.
Is a refurbished appliance the same as a demo model or floor stock?
No. Demo models and floor stock are appliances that have been used in-store to sell the product. They may have some slight dents or scratches from being on the retail floor but are still in essence new appliances. Store owners will often sell their floor stock at a significant discount.
Buying demo models or floor stock can be a good way to get white goods at a reduced price because although they’ve been on display, they haven’t been used in the store. Be a little more wary of buying demo models of things like laptop computers because you don’t know who has had access to the computer while it’s been instore and what programs may have been loaded onto it. If you’re considering buying a display model laptop, negotiate for the computer to be set back to its factory settings and checked for any malware or spyware.
Is it good to buy second-hand appliances?
There’s lots that’s good about buying second-hand appliances, including a reduced purchase price and the fact that you’re stopping an appliance from going to landfill. But if you’re in the market for second-hand appliances, there are some things you should be aware of.
1) Stick to the big-ticket items
It’s really only worthwhile buying refurbished or second-hand appliances when you’re talking about the big-ticket items such as refrigerators, chest freezers, or washing machines. It’s generally not worth buying a second-hand iron, for example, as irons are relatively inexpensive to buy new and they’re not appliances that have a particularly long lifespan, whereas a good fridge could last you for over 10 years.
2) Check if the product has a warranty
When you buy a new appliance, it comes with a manufacturer’s warranty which guarantees the appliance for a period – generally, one year or more depending on the type of appliance.
When you buy a second-hand appliance, there sometimes isn’t a warranty depending on where you’re buying the appliance from. If you’re buying from a second-hand dealer or retailer who specialises in refurbished or reconditioned appliances, then you should expect a warranty on their product because they are asserting that it has been refurbished to be in working order.
However, if you’re buying a second-hand appliance from a private seller on a forum such as Facebook Marketplace, then you probably won’t get any kind of warranty or guarantee.
Make sure you ask about a warranty or guarantee before you agree to purchase the second-hand appliance.
If you’re buying a new appliance through an outlet store, a ‘scratch and dent’ sale, or even a demo model, then it’s still a new appliance and therefore it should come with a warranty. Check with the retailer though as sometimes the full warranty period won’t apply if the appliance isn’t a current model and has been on the floor for a period of time.
3) Do your research into what you’re buying
Make sure you do your internet research on the refurbished appliance you’re thinking of purchasing. Check the Google reviews for the retailer you’re dealing with and check the online product reviews for the brand and model of appliance you’re considering.
Refurbished appliances can be a great way to save money, but you want to be sure that you’re not buying a dud model – and the online product reviews will soon tell you.
4) Buy an appliance with common parts
Don’t buy a refurbished appliance that it’s going to be impossible to get replacement parts for. Stick to big brand names, and relatively recent models so that if there is a problem with the appliance you know you can get it repaired easily.
5) Make sure you’re buying an appliance manufactured to Australian standards
Australia has very high standards in relation to the manufacturing of electrical appliances and what is approved for use in this country. If an appliance was originally purchased overseas, then it may not be approved for use in Australia. Make sure you check before you buy.
This is a good reason to stick with Australian websites or sellers when you’re buying a refurbished appliance. If you buy from an Australian supplier, then they’re operating under Australian consumer law. If you buy from an overseas website, you may not have the same level of consumer protection.
6) Make sure the appliance is safe to use
In Australia, second-hand appliances should be tested and tagged before you can use them. This is especially true of appliances that are going to be used in a work environment. However, the onus is on you as the purchaser to make sure that the appliance has been tested. If you’re buying a refurbished appliance from a reputable retailer, then the appliance should have been tested and tagged before it’s offered for sale. But if you’re buying from a private seller, that might not be the case. Make sure you negotiate to be able to return the item if it fails testing and tagging after you have purchased it.