Buying refurbished can help to save money on a laptop or computer. But what’s the difference between the top two grades?
There are many reasons to purchase refurbished items, with one of the most common is that they’re cheaper than buying new ones.
Refurbished electronics like laptops and TVs are also normally in good condition, even after extended usage.
Commonly, buyers will either purchase a refurbished grade A or B product. Here’s what the main differences are between them.
What are Refurbished Grades, Anyway?
Refurbished grades are used as a quality standard in the electronics industry. They communicate the state of a refurbished device to prospective buyers.
Refurbished items are classified into grades based on their cosmetic and functional states, with grades A and B being the two highest ones.
What Does Refurbished Grade A Mean?
Refurbished grade A is the highest quality of refurbished devices available. It means that the product has been reconditioned to be as good as new. That means there are few—if any—cosmetic issues, such as scratches or dents.
The refurbishing process for grade A devices is meticulous and includes a range of quality checks, such as running diagnostics tests on hardware and software components, as well as testing for potential flaws elsewhere.
What Does Refurbished Grade B Mean?
A B grade on a refurbished item means that the device has been inspected and tested for functionality. This type of refurbishment is used to sell items that may have a minor defect or scratch.
These cosmetic issues do not affect the usability of the items, but they can’t be sold as grade A because of their imperfections. Grade B refurbished items are what many people look for when they want to buy a less expensive version of something.
The Advantages of Buying a Refurbished Grade A or B Device
Buying a refurbished laptop, phone or tablet is sometimes a good idea if you’re on a budget. Here are the main advantages to purchasing one.
1. Save Money
Refurbished devices are the perfect solution for people on a budget, or those who don’t want to pay full retail price for a product. Grade A and B are tested for quality before being sold, so you don’t have to worry about any malfunctions or damages that might happen while using the product.
2. Reduce E-Waste
Opting for a refurbished device instead of a new one not only saves you money. It also helps to reduce your carbon footprint, making it a great way to lower e-waste and contribute to protecting the environment.
Most refurbished devices come with a warranty, some of which last up to 12 months. This takes away the risk associated with buying used items because you can always return them if you notice a fault.
Disadvantages of Buying a Refurbished Device
Despite the pros associated with buying a refurbished A or B-grade device, you should also keep in mind the related cons. Three of the main ones are below.
1. Shorter Warranty Period
The warranty period for refurbished devices is typically shorter than for new devices. This is because the odds of a refurbished device developing a fault after a short while is higher than that of a new device, especially when it’s been used before.
2. Old Tech
If you’re interested in constantly upgrading to the latest technology, refurbished devices are not for you. Refurbished versions of smartphones and computers are always behind the device’s original release date, since they’re often previously-faulty devices that have been fixed.
3. Refurbished is Not New
Refurbished devices are sometimes touted as “good as new”. This may be true from a functional perspective, but you can sometimes clearly tell a refurbished device from a new one. It could be the incomplete accessories, the brown packaging, or the small but noticeable scratches.
The Best Places to Buy Refurbished Devices
Buying a refurbished device from the right place can be the difference between getting a device that is truly “as good as new”, or one that’s been well-used and repackaged.
As a rule of thumb, it’s always best to buy a refurbished phone or computer from the manufacturer’s store catering to this. You can find refurbished stores by searching for the brand name and the term “refurbished”.
Sometimes, you can also buy from major device dealers like Amazon. Make sure you can trust the seller before committing to a purchase, and look out for any small print.
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