If you are in need of an additional piece of electronic equipment, you have three options. You can buy a new piece of equipment, you can buy a used version of the same equipment or you can buy a refurbished version. There are disadvantages and advantages to all three. Here are a few points to consider.
Naturally, the main reason to purchase a used or refurbished machine would be the price. Used machines will usually be the cheapest, followed by refurbished and then new. It’s important to understand the distinction between used and refurbished. A refurbished machine is one that has been used before, but is outfitted with replacement parts where necessary so it should be expected to function exactly like a new machine. With a used machine, you may be dealing with worn-out parts that, even if they are working now, could fail on you due to wear or excessive use in the not too distant future.
Some companies may feel that if they’re trying to save money, they might as well buy a used machine. Conversely, if they’re trying to ensure they get a machine that works optimally for the longest possible period of time, they should get a new one, leaving refurbished machines out of the question.
In truth, the way you should usually look at the situation is exactly the opposite. Sellers designate machines as refurbished because they were previously defective only about 5 percent of the time. Sometimes a company may designate a machine as refurbished because someone damaged the box during shipping, and the buyer returned the pristine machine within untouched. With a refurbished machine, you can get the functionality of a new machine at the cost of a used one. You also may be able to get a longer warranty for a refurbished machine than for a used or a new machine, further extending your value.
Maybe you just need a machine to get you through a few cycles. The manufacturer is upgrading the machine, and you’re getting the new version in a month or two. In this case, a used machine may be your best option. It’s the cheapest, and you don’t need it to last that long. On the other hand, perhaps you’re just starting out with your business, have a decent amount of capital to work with and want to impress your investors with your brand-new equipment. In this case, new may be the way to go.
In most other cases, buying refurbished equipment is the smart choice. You make extra room in your budget and get machines that usually work as well as the new ones.