🔒 Ready to try refurbished? This is what that means, see big list of retailers that offer those products

If you’re looking for a lower price on high-end retail goods, refurbished could be the way to go, but you need to know where and how to look.

KitchenAid mixers, as seen in this stock photo. (Associated Press, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

HOUSTON – The fourth time I had to put the beaters back into those annoying little holes making cookies, I realized I had to buy a new stand mixer.

It was going to be a big purchase -- huge -- because I was going to take the plunge this time. KitchenAid.

Deemed the best mixer time after time, I knew I wanted one that would last. My Hamilton Beach hit the dust after a little more than five years of moderate cookie, cake and bread baking. KitchenAid stand mixers are anecdotally reputed to last decades. But that price tag on the KitchenAid -- yikes. I had stalked one on Target. Green. Beautiful. But more than $400 beautiful? I couldn’t do that. Or could I? I had birthday cakes to whip up and hamantaschen on the horizon with Purim approaching. It was time to get serious.

I decided to look at KitchenAid directly. After finding the price relatively the same, I almost bought the one at Target. And then a curious thing happened. KitchenAid’s website suddenly showed a “recommended” window pop-up that said “you might be interested in this” – a refurbished model.

WHAT?

Refurbished. And what was that price -- hundreds less? Mind blown.

To be more specific, the price for the refurbished KitchenAid stand mixer was more than $200 less than the one I’d been eyeing at Target. The available colors in refurbished weren’t the one I’d wanted, but there was a black version that matched my kitchen. I’d realized very quickly that no sale or promo code I could get on Black Friday would equal that discount. And speaking of promo codes – KitchenAid’s website had an additional promo code for 10 percent off my refurbished purchase. Total price for my stand mixer with tax: $253.29. The Target version would have been $465.46. Total savings with refurbished: $212.17. Repeat: $212.17!

As it happened in my case, refurbished meant making a concession on color. I went with a black mixer over the green, but I got the KitchenAid quality and that’s what I was ultimately shopping for with this big purchase. (And, if I really dislike the color, a friend also shared that painting mixers is definitely an option.)

As I paid for my mixer, I thought about refurbished. What did it actually mean? As I discovered from researching the multiple brands listed below, it means different things for different companies and shopping outlets. The important thing is to make sure you’re comfortable with the product description and agreements about refurbished products before you click “complete purchase.” The information is usually listed at the top of refurbished pages or in the individual product description.

For KitchenAid, the company said its focus is on reducing waste and improving sustainability. The brand said it ensures that its unused or lightly used products are inspected and restored to perform like new. The company said its products are inspected by hand and parts are replaced or repaired, a detailed surface inspection is performed as well as thorough internal and external cleaning and packaging includes all required parts, manuals and guides. I’m down with all of those things.

But is it like that with all brands? No. If you want to save on refurbished, make sure the product is up to your standard by researching the company’s process about how products are sold and managed back onto the marketplace and know the return policy. You can also keep on reading, which we at KPRC 2 will definitely appreciate.

Refurbished, as NBC News reported, means “broadly speaking (that a) product is usually a used or returned product that has been repaired, cleaned up and tested to be in good working order. Since the product isn’t new, retailers don’t price it as new, though it should function just as well.”

Simply put, the product will work and be new, but may have minor cosmetic issues and likely won’t have the same warranty that brand new products maintain.

But before you jump into shopping the retailers listed below, here are some tips for getting the most out of refurbished options and prices:

  • Search both store and product websites for refurbished options BEFORE YOU MAKE ANY PURCHASE. Refurbished options are often buried on the websites because companies favor their off-the-line products (and the profits from the fully-priced items). If you want a more direct route, search the brand name in Google with the word “refurbished.” See what comes up.
  • Search for promo codes or sign up for newsletters that offer promo codes to get even more cash off of your purchase.
  • Subscribe to newsletters and read them because retailers often promote refurbished options to brand loyalists, such as Peloton did back in September 2021 for their subscribers to get first dibs on refurbished models of their original Peloton Bike.

These are the retailers that offer refurbished options. The links provided are the homepage for each company or store’s refurbished page. The refurbished standards are listed or are described in videos posted on these pages. The descriptions below are largely provided by the retailers or are compiled from available website information, as of this writing. Our list below is comprehensive, but by no means exhaustive. Get into the habit of searching refurbished with the product name or brand and you’ll have peace of mind that the price you paid is the best option out there.

Apple: “Like new products backed by a one-year warranty and the Apple Certified Refurbished promise.”

Amazon: “Pre-owned products on Amazon Renewed have been inspected and tested by qualified suppliers to work and look like new, and come with the Amazon Renewed Guarantee. Shop for smartphones, laptops and desktops, tablets, home and kitchen appliances, game consoles, office products, and more.”

B&H Photo Video Audio: Items often refurbished by manufacturers. You can chat with store employees about products and email questions. Trade-in options are available.

Belk: What Goes Around Comes Around - Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Dior: “At What Goes Around Comes Around, curating the most exquisite luxury handbags from around the world is more than just our business, it’s our passion. With over 25 years of experience, we’ve established ourselves as the most trusted source for the finest luxury vintage handbags. Our mission is to create a sustainable marketplace where iconic, pre-owned and vintage pieces can be preserved, revered and adored for years to come. All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.”

Best Buy: “Find brand names and top quality deals on tech that’s verified to work properly, covered under warranty,* and backed by our Return & Exchange Promise.”

Bose: “You’ll find great values on refurbished products in our Bose Outlet. Bose Certified Refurbished products come in new packaging with everything a new Bose product would: accessories, cables, up-to-date software, etc. It’s a better way to listen at a lower price. Bose Certified Refurbished products may have minor, nearly undetectable blemishes.”

Breville: “Like-new products remanufactured to Breville’s highest standards and backed by a six month warranty.”

Canon: “Canon products returned to Canon USA, and judged by Canon USA to be eligible for refurbishing, undergo a rigorous refurbishment process. Before being offered for sale by Canon USA, the refurbished product is subjected to a comprehensive technical evaluation, which includes functional testing and assessments against quality control standards by Canon USA’s trained technical staff. Refurbished products are then packaged with the appropriate manuals, cables, and accessories.”

Dell: “We offer refurbished desktops and laptops at reduced prices that have gone through a rigorous process restoring them to the same performance and quality standards as brand-new products.”

Dyson: “Every machine at Dyson Outlet has been rigorously tested by the same engineers who work on our new machines – with genuine Dyson replacement parts used where needed. And for peace of mind, each machine comes with either a six-month or one-year warranty.”

eBay: Products are rated according to refurbished quality: “certified, excellent, very good and good.” One-or-two-year warranty and free shipping included with every purchase.

Google: “Save with high-quality Google products. Google Store’s refurbished products come with a 1-year hardware warranty.”

Gucci: Featuring refurbished vintage Gucci pieces and collections by young designers.

Roomba: “Every iRobot Restored product goes through our thorough refurbishment process and is offered to you at an incredible value. Restored products are backed by a 90-Day warranty.”

KitchenAid: “Refurbished appliances are tested to ensure like new quality and performance.”

Microsoft: “Our program offers the opportunity to own devices that are put through a rigorous certification process, tested to confirm they’re working properly, and inspected for hardware and cosmetic quality—all at a discounted price.”

Nikon: “Look into our full range of refurbished Nikon products for great deals on DSLR and point and shoot cameras, refurbished telephoto and wide-angle lenses, as well as rangefinders, binoculars, fieldscopes and other sports optics.”

Nintendo: “It comes with our standard 90 day limited warranty. Although it may have minor cosmetic blemishes, it is guaranteed to be fully functional. We think you will find the standards for Authentic Nintendo Refurbished Products are VERY high.”

Olympus: “Great quality at a great price, Olympus Certified Reconditioned products undergo a rigorous inspection of all product functions and features to ensure that the item meets our quality standards.”

Samsung: “Samsung Certified Re-Newed smartphones put premium Galaxy tech in your pocket the smart way. Refurbished to like-new condition, covered with a one-year warranty, affordable monthly payment options, save up to 30% or more.”

Sonos: “Refurbished product undergoes thorough testing to guarantee Sonos quality and includes: the same warranty as brand new products, mint condition packaging and accessories, free shipping and Klarna eligibility.”

Sony: “These previously used Sony refurbished cameras and accessories come with our manufacturer’s quality stamp, and are made available to you at an affordable price. There is also up to 1-year warranty (12 months) with every camera, subject to the parts available.”

Target: As NBC News reported and KPRC 2 also found, Target appears to offer multiple types of refurbished products, including some directly from manufacturers, leaving you to look up their standards individually.

Verizon: Items are ranked good and great. Great are described as “few light scratches and scuffs,” and good are having “serious scratches, scuffs or dents on the case and minor scratches on the screen.”

Vitamix: “With an enduring commitment to quality and durability, Vitamix Certified Reconditioned products offer first-class blending performance. We carefully examine each machine against our high quality standards, streamline their packaging components, and make them available to you at an unbeatable price.”

Walmart: “Excellent savings on like-new products. Tested and inspected to function and appear like new. Products include all original accessories and come with a 90-day minimum warranty.”

Whole Latte Love: “Our refurbished espresso machines are all quality, like-new products at an unbeatable price. Save money, and enjoy unparalleled customer support from our team of experts and the largest support wiki for espresso machines on the web.”

Refurbished resale outlets:

BackMarket.com: “On Back Market, every device has been checked and restored by experts. Back Market has created a transparent grading system that takes into account both the appearance and technical condition of our renewed devices. ‘Technical condition’ refers to the durability one can expect from a product given its refurbisher’s operations and historical quality data. Every device is guaranteed to be 100% functional regardless of its grade: Fair, Good, or Excellent.”

Daily Steals: “Snag great deals and discounts on phones, home goods, and designer brands. ... Free shipping and hassle-free returns. From the biggest brands.”

Decluttr: “Decluttr is the fast, easy and totally free way to sell cell phones, tech, CDs, DVDs, games and books. Simply get an instant valuation, ship for FREE and get paid!”

Swappa: “Swappa is a user-to-user marketplace for gently used technology.”

Consumer Reports found that among people surveyed who reported buying a refurbished phone since Jan. 1, 2016, 82 percent said they were highly satisfied with the product. Have you tried refurbished? Was it a good experience? Let us know in the comments.


About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.