DGS - Knowledge - What’s the Difference Between New, Used, and Refurbished?




With the latest flagship Laptop or IT Gadget costing nearly SGD$500, you’re probably looking to save some cash on your next device. Buying used and refurbished aren’t just cheaper, they’re better for the environment—but what do you give up when you opt for a “previously loved” gadget?



New vs. Used vs. Refurbished

You probably have a decent understanding of what “new” and “used” mean, but refurbished is a bit trickier. Refurbished can mean different things depending on where you buy, so it’s important to do your due diligence before shelling out your hard-earned cash. In general, here’s what you need to consider when shopping in these three categories:

  • New devices come straight from the factory: When you buy a phone off the shelf at Challenger, Best Denki, Harvey Norman, Courts and etc, it’s a new device. It went straight from the factory or through a local licensed distributor to the store to your hands, and comes with the manufacturer’s full warranty—usually 1 to 3 years —and all the included accessories. New devices may occasionally go on sale for moderate discounts, and generally decrease in price over time, but will still fetch a higher price than used and refurbished devices.



  • Used devices come straight from the previous user: If you buy am IT gadget or laptop used, that means it’s likely coming from an individual who used the device and has moved on—though they may sell it through an intermediary site like carousell or even facebook. It may come with light scratches or heavy cosmetic damage, as well as battery degradation and other wear. If a seller isn’t completely honest, it may even come with damage that affects usability. Buying used tends to be the cheapest way to get your tech (saving 50% off the list price isn’t uncommon, depending on the condition), but it’s also the riskiest, since they often don’t come with a warranty or return policy.



  • Refurbished devices include some cleanup, repair, or other maintenance: Refurbished units lie somewhere in between used and new. They may be units that were returned shortly after sale, or they may be used items that undergo maintenance before being resold. The manufacturer or seller may have replaced the battery or other components, cleaned up the device, and—in some cases—included a fresh warranty with the product. This can all vary from seller to seller, though—some refurbished units can be nearly indistinguishable from new ones, while other refurbished units may be more similar to buying used. That means the discount you get can vary too, though you’re sure to save at least 15% if not more. Some can even go up to 80% off the discount compare to the launching price.



All of these have their place: buying used devices can be particularly great if you’re open to fixing worn or damaged products. For example, you could save a bundle on a laptop perform the repair yourself. If you aren’t willing to do that work, though, buying refurbished could be the answer, as long as you do a little research first.



Manufacturer Refurbished vs. Seller Refurbished

Every retailer has different standards for what constitutes a “refurbished” device. Devices refurbished by the manufacturer themselves—e.g. Apple, HP, or Dell—tend to have stringent requirements and will offer manufacturer warranties with the devices. Apple, for example, guarantees that refurbished products from their store meet the same standards as new products, with a proportionally modest discount of up to 15%.  like Dell, may offer different tiers of devices in their Online Store — some may be unused devices that were returned to the store, while others may have cosmetic blemishes but are guaranteed to be working like new. That way, you can choose whether you want to save a bit more in exchange for some skin-deep sacrifices. Manufacturer refurbished devices often come with the same year-long warranty as new devices too, which is quite valuable (though occasionally they can be shorter).


A refurbished MacBook Air in its packaging.


Manufacturers aren’t the only entities that refurbish gadgets, however. You can also grab “seller refurbished” tech directly from shop at Simlim or DG Services, though these are less likely to come with warranties if the unit consider a refurbished. Or you can buy from independent refurbishers through Amazon, Qoo10, Shopee or even Lazada which has its own less specific requirements on what constitutes a “qualified” seller of refurbished products. Since you’re buying from a third-party, the warranty also gets a tad fuzzier—technically, Amazon requires sellers to offer their own 90-day warranty on refurbished goods, or Lazada offer 7 Days returned but it may not be as good as the manufacturer’s, and you may not get the same quality of service.


None of this is to say Seller Refurbished products are inherently bad—There are cases that our customer have bought an refurbished Laptop from  us that worked well, and at a lower price than manufacturer refurbished alternatives. Which last for 2 Years till today.  It’s just a bit more of a gamble, especially if they aren’t backed by a solid warranty and return policy. 


That’s a lot of information to take in at once, but here’s the moral: whatever you do, see if you can find information on a retailer’s refurbishment standards before you buy. Every seller has slightly different practices, so it’s good to know whether your device is going to come with cosmetic damage or not, what accessories will be included, and if a warranty is in the cards or not. If you can’t find this info on a seller’s page, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere. 


Still Not Confident or Doubt with the Refurbished or used device ?

I believe the best way of peace of mind will be getting a brand new device instead of consider Refurbished or Used  device. In fact nowadays the laptop or IT gadget is getting cheaper , the price between refurbished and new are getting narrow however if you getting a business laptop , you will receive a 3 years on site warranty. In fact, refurbished or used laptop may not allow you to have the same value of services.


More Refurbished and Used IT Gadget, Click here



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