When buying refurbished iPhones or refurbished MacBooks, you may come across the terms “seller refurbished” and “manufacturer refurbished.” These terms are typically used to explain how the product was refurbished and who it was refurbished by. You may see the terms in the description of the product or even in the title of the product listing.
Unfortunately, refurbished stores and platforms don’t often explain what exactly seller refurbished and manufacturer refurbished mean. As a result, you’re left scratching your head, totally puzzled about the product and you may even be concerned about its cosmetic quality and if it’s in working condition.
You just want to be confident that you’re spending your money on a reliable refurbished product being sold by a dependable seller. Keep on reading for the definitions of seller refurbished and manufacturer refurbished and the difference between the two.
What is Seller Refurbished?
A seller refurbished product is a product that has been refurbished by either a seller or a firm other than the original company that made it. This may be a professional, third-party refurbishment firm or an individual with the tools to refurbish products in their own home, or it may be a retailer with an in-house refurbishment team.
You will likely see the term seller refurbished on online shopping platforms that allow people to sell pre-owned goods that they no longer want or need. Sellers of refurbished goods on these platforms often use the descriptor to tell you that they, themselves have refurbished the product. This may include testing, repairing and cleaning the device.
Though, this isn’t the only place where you may see the term seller refurbished. Online retail platforms such as Amazon also list products this way. This is done to help you to distinguish between a product that has been refurbished by a seller or a product that has been refurbished by its manufacturer (scroll down for a definition of manufacturer refurbished).
Are Seller Refurbished Phones and Laptops Good?
Seller refurbished phones and laptops can be good; they can be reliable, high quality and will work as advertised. However, it very much depends on where you buy them from. Shop smart so that you aren’t at risk of falling afoul of misleading sellers.
Factors to consider when evaluating sellers include the information they provide. Do your research into the refurbished grades of their products and how they highlight the cosmetic quality of their refurbished devices. The best quality is refurbished grade A which means that the phone or laptop will be like new. Refurbished grade B is also a respectable quality, though it may display some blemishes.
You’ll also want to consider how they refurbish their products as well as their track record. Ask if they provide information on how they make sure that their products are in working order, the care they take, the engineers and technicians who are responsible for the refurbishment, how long the company has been in business and what customer reviews say. This info can sometimes be difficult to find but our guides to refurbished retailers (refurbished iPhone retailers/refurbished MacBook retailers) have everything you need to know.
Do Seller Refurbished Products Include a Warranty?
The next question to ask is whether or not the seller of the refurbished phone or laptop has included a warranty. Warranties give you some back up in the event that something goes wrong with the product that you’ve purchased. It lets you feel confident in your purchase and know that you’re protected. Warranties are also a sign that the seller themselves is confident in the quality of the products that they are selling.
When buying a refurbished product, always be aware of the warranty that it includes. The most trusted refurbished retailers will include a warranty in the price but they will generally offer the ability to extend this free, default warranty by paying an additional fee.
All of the respected refurbished retailers listed on RefurbMe offer warranties with their products. Every refurbished deal includes a minimum warranty of 30-days, though these default warranties may be as long as one year from the time you receive the product.
What is the Difference Between Seller Refurbished and Used?
A common misconception is that seller refurbished phones and laptops are exactly the same as used devices. This confusion is especially prevalent because the terms seller refurbished and used are seen on sites like Amazon – a retailer that lists both seller refurbished and used goods. However, the two product types are very different and it’s important for you to understand the distinction.
A refurbished product is a product that had a previous owner but was traded, sold or given back to a seller (either an individual or a retailer). This seller then repairs, cleans, and tests the product before putting it on sale.
In comparison, a used product is a product that had a previous owner but may not have been repaired, cleaned or tested before going back on sale. This means that used products can be unreliable and are not guaranteed to work as they have not been rigorously tested.
What is Manufacturer Refurbished?
A manufacturer refurbished product is a product that has been refurbished by the original manufacturer of the device, rather than a third-party seller or retailer. So, for example, a manufacturer refurbished iPhone is an iPhone that has been refurbished, in-house, by Apple technicians.
Manufacturer refurbished products are only ever sold by the manufacturer themselves. Though, you can still compare prices and deals on manufacturer refurbished phones and laptops through platforms such as RefurbMe.
Are Manufacturer Refurbished Phones and Laptops Good?
Another misconception with manufacturer refurbished phones and laptops is that because they have been refurbished by the company that made them in the first place, they will be of a higher quality than seller refurbished products.
But this isn’t strictly true: manufacturer and seller refurbished products can be equal in terms of quality regardless of whether it was a manufacturer or a seller that refurbished them.
Do Manufacturer Refurbished Products Include a Warranty?
Manufacturer refurbished products do tend to include a warranty. With the Apple Certified Refurbished program (Apple’s own refurbished service), a one-year, limited Apple warranty is included in the price. Though, you can also pay extra (prices vary) to extend this warranty.
In addition to the warranty, Apple operates a 14-day returns policy. So, if something goes wrong with your device within two weeks of you receiving it, you’re able to return it.
What is the Difference Between Manufacturer Refurbished and Seller Refurbished?
The biggest difference between manufacturer refurbished and seller refurbished products is the price. For the Apple-branded service, you will generally pay more than you would for seller refurbished devices. Even though they may be the exact same quality as a seller refurbished device that has been tested and repaired by a trusted retailer, expect to pay a higher price.
Take this refurbished iPhone 7+ (128GB, Unlocked, Gold) as an example. As of the time of writing, the Apple version costs $569 which is $70 more than the Backmarket version which costs $499 and this is despite the fact that both devices are in excellent cosmetic condition.
The packaging of seller refurbished and manufacturer refurbished products are also likely to differ. Devices through Apple Certified Refurbished come in labelled, Apple-branded packaging and include Apple-branded accessories. In comparison, seller refurbished devices will likely come in unbranded packaging and while they will come with a charger, they may not contain any accessories (e.g headphones).
What Sort of Refurbished Product Should You Buy?
The refurbished industry can be complicated, which is why RefurbMe makes it easy. We only list trusted retailers, every product includes a warranty and is in a high-quality condition too. We compare prices so that whether you want to buy seller refurbished or manufacturer refurbished, you’ll get the best price.
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