questionswhen did refurbs really come in to mass market?

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Refurbished products have been around for a very long time.

They can be put out as completely different products, used as spare parts for defective products or just melted down (?) and re-used for new products.

The reason we hear more about refurbished products now is because they have been popularized by the media.

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Also, hanging out at WOOT! puts them more front and center.

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I hope I don't seem too horribly out of the tech loop, but I didn't even know about refurbs until I came to Woot...

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isn't the point about refurbs to make money off the product...?

for example, if a monitor is DOA out of the box or returned to the merchant who sells it, it usually gets returned to the manufacturer. either the manufacturer 'fixes' it or it's passed along at some discounted wholesale price to somebody else who 'fixes' it, and then it's passed along to the consumer with an immensely shortened warranty and not very reduced price.

so one way or another, the product gets pushed out into the marketplace, making someone money.

of course, the best refurbs are done by the original manufacturers. there are other reliable 'fixers' out there, but personally i'd say they are a minority among the secondary market crowd.

the big deals about buying anything are the owner's reviews or consumer ratings of the product. but you must remember that people are more prone to complain than proclaim, so while stories of failures seem to overwhelm success stories, it's not an entirely accurate picture.

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@jxliv7: sorry, to answer the question of when, in computer parts and pieces i'd say it started maybe 10-12 years ago but took off about strong 5 years ago.

like i said, i only trust the manufacturer's refurbs, because everybody seems to want to get into the game. the manufacturer has a choice now, fix the product in house or sell the broken products to fixer-uppers - that is take the money and run. if the product is a lemon, guess what they do...?

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I think it started with warranty repairs.
It's more economical to ship out a previously repaired product as warranty replacement than to repair and return the customer's original.
With the retail channel doing new-for-new replacement (store returns) manufacturers had to unload the repaired goods somehow to recoup a bit of cost.
Enter the refurb market.

j5 j5