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Refurbished Cameras Question

by thejollibengali / February 18, 2006 12:52 PM PST

Hi Thanks for the help in advance. I wanted to know if buying a "refurbished" camera is a safe thing to do. It comes with the manufactor's warranty, so I'm glad about that, but in general, should I go for it? (anyone have any disaster stories or lessons that I should watch out for?)

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Refurbished Cameras
by snapshot2 Forum moderator / February 19, 2006 4:23 AM PST

There have been several people who frequent this forum who have bought factory refurbished cameras.
I don't remember anyone regretting their purchase.


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by thejollibengali / February 19, 2006 3:02 PM PST
In reply to: Refurbished Cameras


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A little advice on refurbs
by noonlisa / February 21, 2006 4:24 PM PST
In reply to: Thanks

One thing you may want to consider before buying a refurbished camera is to inquire about an extended warranty. Many refurb cameras only come with a sixty day limited warranty, but you should try to get at least a 1 year or more. The model will most likely be discontinued and will be difficult to simply exchange for another one if anything happens to go wrong and the cost to repair it may not be worth it.

Bottom line:If you get a good warranty you don't have to role the dice.

Good luck, I hope you find a camera you like!

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Second this
by lorrwill-2067025164692309 / February 24, 2006 3:41 AM PST

I bought a refurbished Kodak from eBay. The flash stopped working about a month later. I got it repaired through Kodak using the warranty. I would not have made the purchase without the warranty and was very glad that I did. Other than that, the camera is excellent. So I vote yes to refurbished cameras WITH a valid warranty that includes enough time to be used, if needed.

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by 3cpmoore / March 2, 2006 11:20 PM PST

If your going to purchase an extended warranty/service contract, on top of the price of the referb camera, why not just buy a new one and be done with it? Can't be that much more $, can it? No.

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My refurb advice
by fmelton / March 2, 2006 11:48 PM PST

When pc's were still young, I couldn't afford a new one, so a refurb was the answer. After that I came to the understanding that a refurb gets a little more attention as to quality than an item going down a fast assembly line. I have always had good luck with refurbs and plan to use them again on things I can't afford. I have a very good camera, but I would use my same consensus on cameras.

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Manufacturers only
by / March 15, 2006 12:25 PM PST
In reply to: My refurb advice

I buy refurbs and have always been satisfied. One thing I would strongly advise though, buy only from the manufacturers, not from a second party. The warranty, original or extended, is more dependable. The last camera I purchased was an Olympus, love using it, great detail and capabilities. Good luck.

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Refurbished Cameras, etc.
by nnaannccyy / March 2, 2006 9:38 PM PST
In reply to: Refurbished Cameras

I have a refurbished camera that I purchased 4 years ago. The warranty is no longer valid, but I don't feel I have to worry about it because I love it and have never had any problems with it. I use it almost daily.

On the same note, I also own a refurbished all-in-one printer/fax/scanner/copier with no problems. And a monitor; also no problems. I love them all, but what I love most is the money I saved. I hope everyone has the experience I've had with refurbished items. Good luck.

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by Alan Copeland / February 21, 2006 10:40 PM PST

I bought an Olympus C 720 refurbished 2 years ago and have not had any problems with it. It had a 90 day warranty VS 1 year for new cameras, but I have purchased other refurbished items in the past with zero defects. Some refurbished items are such because they were returned to the dealer and sent back to the vendor. Others are actually defective or recalled. In both cases, IMO, you usually get an item less likely to give you trouble.

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Theoretically, it may be a better buy.
by 3cpmoore / March 2, 2006 11:25 PM PST
In reply to: refurbished

I suspect any returned product has been gone over thoroughly by a technition before being resold as a referb, so wouldn't it stand to reason that it might be a better-than-new item? Anybody out there have first-hand experience with referb procedures?

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Re: Refurbished Cameras
by viperiontech / February 23, 2006 10:34 PM PST


I purchase refurbs when I can. Usually, the refurb offers plenty of bang for the buck. But, I always make sure I purchase a factory direct refurb. That way you are assured a manufacturer's warranty and that the unit has been restored to original factory specs. This past year I purchased a Minolta Z1. Great camera for the money. Other items I have purchased as refurbs are: HP Pavilion laptop, Buffalo Tech Wi-Fi router, Canon scaner. All came with great warranties and I have never had a problem.


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Right. Refurbs are a much better deal than crap like SVP,
by Kiddpeat / February 24, 2006 12:07 AM PST

and aren't found in places like Linda's Camera World.

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Ya rolls da dice, ya takes da chance
by NM_Bill / February 24, 2006 1:09 AM PST

Generally refurb repair is no way up to individual repair standards as the techs are rushed with quotas to contain costs. The standard is called "plug and play." Self explanatory; they may let it run, subject to occasional visual check, but no careful bench test. They find some adjustment or fix to do, do something - then if product functions pretty much at all momentarily, that's that. They plugged it in and it played. No further assurances.
So people can, and sometimes do, get "burned." I have taken the chance, and it has gone either way. Your risk - your call. My decision would involve no shorty warranty - full warranty with possibility of a "real" extended warranty which I would probably pursue. There is a real value issue. There is a reason for longer term satisfaction usually trumping initial cost. However the immediately preceding sentence doesn't explain the unwashed masses making Wal-Marts parking lots to overflow. People like the low prices on stuff, increasingly from good old China. Balance of payments? Outsourced jobs? We don't make anything anymore but return on capital investment is the only reasonable conclusion. I guess the actual rich investors/ownership class will survive fine as China winds up buying a big chunk of America. But don't ever criticize Cheney/Bush as that would be "disloyal." Didn't we hear that before? Doesn't history teach anything about future avoidance? We know who the ruling class is now, but that's due to their successful strategy of lies playing on fear; but mostly that national level Dems. have been such a pitiful walkover.
If trends don't swing, will 2029 be a rerun of 1929? The Great Depression did solve the supply of willing servants problem.
My apologies for getting wound up.

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Stick to the subject
by billm2575 / March 2, 2006 8:19 PM PST

If you want to sing on your soap bix find another place

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I am with you
by WilliamKazak / March 2, 2006 9:47 PM PST

I am with you and wound up.
As far as referbished goes;if it was broke once before why would I want it?
I can buy something new that I can afford and hope I don't break it!

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by Alan Copeland / March 2, 2006 10:40 PM PST
In reply to: I am with you

does not always mean it was broken. Most dealers will not resell a product that has been returned if the package has been opened. They send it back to the manufacturer who does his thing, checking it out and repairing or repackaging as is needed, and resells as refurbished. Even if it had been broken, this way you know that the problem has been found and repaired.

Last year I got a $80 dock for my HP 945 camera for <$20 refurbished, and I just ordered a $59.95 Sony camera case for $14.95 refurbished.

Generally the warranty is less than with new, but you can usually get an extended warranty and still be ahead of the game. I have never had a problem with refurbished goods, but to each his own I guess.

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My guess is that people selling new stuff probably have
by Kiddpeat / March 3, 2006 1:11 PM PST

a low opinion of refurbed items.

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by 350ZMO / February 24, 2006 2:13 AM PST

You have to ask yourself why it needed to be refurbed in the first place. And the answer is it depends on the manufacturer, the specific product and the specific circumstances. In some cases 90% of the refurbs are just returned for open or damaged boxes or scratch and dents and they are just as reliable and good as ones that weren't. In some cases 90% of the refurbs are because the product had a major flaw from the get go and it may or may not have been totally repaired. And there are many other possibilities too numerous to mention.

But in general, at least the refurb units have been tested to some degree. In any given production lot the manufacturer may perform some small percentage of random sampling. With refurb, its like 100% sampling. Now what they do in that sampling is obviously the key. Some manufacturers have test setups and standards that are fairly decent for either random sampling or refurb, some don't. Some allow full replacement of parts as necessary some limit to adjustments only. Some even outsource their refurbs to third parties, with and without oversight and decent original manufacturer standards.

In short, it is a very complex topic with a lot of variables that can mean the difference between yes its ok to no it isn't. I bought a refurb monitor once and I got burned. A friend of mine bought a refurb TV and made out like a bandit. Unfortunately, they don't make it easy for you to research the facts of any particular situation either. But you should research as much as you can and ask them questions.

But in general yes, manufactuerer refurb only with full manufactuerer waranty if you can find it is the best way to mitigate the risk. Regardless of who you buy from, be sure to ask them about their return policy too.

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Thank you
by 3cpmoore / March 2, 2006 11:39 PM PST
In reply to: Depends

That's information a guy can use, and from the looks of your profile you very well may know what your talking about. The line you have there, "I bought a refurb monitor once and I got burned. A friend of mine bought a refurb TV and made out like a bandit.", pretty much sums it up, doesn't it; when talking about referb ... OR new purchases.

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by grandpajim / February 24, 2006 11:59 AM PST

I bought a refurb on Ebay about 3 years ago & have had no trouble with it at all. I'll probably go back there for my next one (soon). VERY SATISFIED!

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It looks great sitting on the shelf now
by rxmangriff / February 24, 2006 3:45 PM PST

My Refurb Fuji S602 worked great until the short warranty expired. On day it just wouldn't turn on anymore !? Paid to have it checked out. Something about needing a new board. Imagine that. Would cost as much as the refurb did in the first place. Took one chance and lost. No second chance. Anyone need a lens cap, strap, 16mb card, 500mb card, etc cheap ? Roll the dice, it's a crap shoot.

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Refurbished cameras
by Chuck Cook / February 26, 2006 10:34 PM PST

Only one experience and it was good. I bought an Olympus digital on-line and it has worked perfectly for over 2 years. One precaution - often a refurbished camera may be one that has some poor performance record or flaws that aren't corrected in refurbishing. The Olympus I bought has a difficult time focusing correctly and I later found that to be a problem with that model.
Good luck

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Refurbished Camera
by annieoh / March 2, 2006 11:37 PM PST
In reply to: Refurbished cameras

I purchased a refurbished Nikon Coolpix 5900 through Ubid, a CNet partner. The camera listed at the time for about 400. and was going for up to 600. due to high demand. I paid 200. and took a chance. I'm NOT a gambler, but I hoped that being a CNet partner meant something. The camera came looking like new- in the original box with everything that was supposed to be there. I have been very happy with it. It works exactly the way it should. It does have all the drawbacks I read about the model having before I bought it, but that's not a refurb problem. I think it's a great little camera. I would buy refurb again if there was a good warranty or it came from a recommended source. Ubid did not offer an extended warranty with it, so I traded on their good name with CNet. So far, so good!

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Choose a camera that's right for you ...
by gary_hendricks / February 27, 2006 2:29 AM PST
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Thanks to ALL
by thejollibengali / March 1, 2006 4:13 PM PST

Thanks everyone for your feedback, I appreciate it a lot. I took the warranty into consideration, and got an extended warranty (besides the manufacturers) and also got it factory refurb from canon. All in all the camera is doing great. Thanks again!

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Refurbished cameras
by seattle duck / March 2, 2006 8:29 PM PST

I buy my digital cameras from Hewlett Packard one generation "behind" and generally save about $100 each time. They are completely rebuilt and meet original factory specs. They come with a 90 day warranty and I have never had a bit of trouble.

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by ereiss / March 2, 2006 11:57 PM PST
In reply to: Refurbished cameras

And if you use your AMEX card the warranty is doubled (not to exceed one additional year). May vary with type of AMEX card so check with your specific one.

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Some "refurbs" are just returns
by garyhope / March 3, 2006 12:12 AM PST

I bought a refurbished air compressor from Porter-Cable for $100 less than a new one. When it arrived, it looked brand new. It works perfectly.

Now I know that an air compressor is a long way from a digital camera, but the point is, is that some refurbished products are products that have just been returned to the store or maker because the buyer or "giftee" just didn't like or need the product. It may have never been used. I'm not say all were, just some.

If the refurb comes from the manufacturer, I think they can be very good deals and work just fine.

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Depends on Brand... and who you buy from
by ladydddd / March 3, 2006 12:34 AM PST

I an a big camera buff, and have a number of different digital cameras. what I have learned is that companies like Hewlett Packard, and Cannon to mention several have great referbished products AS LONG AS YOU BUY for an authorized dealer. The warrantys included just in case you have an issue are only good if bought from a valid supplier.

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I have used refurbs for years...........
by tradergeorge / March 3, 2006 12:40 AM PST

.....and I have found them every bit the equal of new items. In fact, I haunt the refurb listings as well as "scratch & dent" sales. If a company has a reputation for quality products, their refurbs will be up to the standard.

Anecdotal evidence aside, refurbs offer real value. I do not buy the stories that say that companies rush them through testing and send them out "hit-or-miss". This would be too damaging to their reputation to justify for the small gain received.

As was said before, new products are tested at a rate under 5% in most cases. Refurbs are tested at a 100% rate.

Given that electronics usually fail within the first month of their lives or tend to last "forever", even with a short warranty, they are adequate to suffice.

As to their being products that are slightly behind the power curve, the price usually reflects this, so you get what you pay for. But I don't believe they lack in quality compared to new.

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