Buy New or Buy Refurbished?

We got some amazing gifts for our wedding, but none of them were a vacuum. And after nearly 3 months of living in the apartment, it was overdue for a good cleaning. The only question was which vacuum cleaner to get. We wanted something relatively small so that it wouldn’t take up all of our closet space, but we also wanted it to be good enough to get the job done. The ones we had in college didn’t fit the bill because even after cleaning, there would be crumbs all over the carpet.

Lauren wanted a Dyson vacuum cleaner. We walked through the store when she stopped at the vacuum cleaner display and literally spent five minutes gawking at a Dyson DC 28 Animal HEPA bagless upright model… and we don’t even have a pet. Meanwhile, I spent those same five minutes staring at the price tag. $649.99 for a vacuum cleaner? I love you, honey, but you can forget about that vacuum.

Buying Refurbished Items

The option to buy new was out of the question. Both Best Buy and the Dyson website had the same (astronomical) price for the DC 28 model. Still, I wanted to make the wife happy, so I started looking into refurbished goods.

What Are Refurbished Goods?

I’ve had friends buy everything from refurbished video game consoles to refurbished iPhones. Some companies call these refurbished models “remanufactured.” Basically, it’s the same idea as buying a certified pre-owned Honda or Toyota; you’re getting an item that’s been previously sold or used, then returned to the manufacturer for any number of reasons. Perhaps it’s a vehicle that’s lease has expired and is now being sold as a used model. Or maybe it’s an iPhone about which the original buyer had second thoughts and returned it to Apple. These companies can’t sell these goods as new anymore, so they run them through a few tests, spruce them up a little bit, and you’ve got yourself refurbished items.

The best part? They usually come with a can’t-miss price tag.

Shopping For A Refurbished Vacuum

I started shopping for that refurbished Dyson vacuum simply by Googling it. I began by search by focusing on the coveted DC 28 model, and found some promising results:

  • Amazon.com had a “factory-reconditioned” (a fancy word for refurbished) DC 28 for $295.70 – that would save me a whopping 55 percent off the retail price
  • Overstock.com has a refurbished DC 28 for $383.99 – saving me 40 percent compared to if I were to buy new.
  • The DC 28 is currently Dyson’s brand-new, top-of-the-line vacuum. I figured there had to be plenty of other refurbished/remanufactured/reconditioned older models. I looked for an upright HEPA vacuum that looks similar to the DC 28, and came upon the DC 24. I was able to score it from Overstock for less than $260, including shipping.

A Warning About Refurbished Goods

When you buy any item – including our “new-to-us” Dyson vacuum – refurbished, there are a few things you have to realize. First, you won’t get the same warranty you would if you had decided to buy new. A refurbished item usually comes with a refurbished warranty as well; in this case, the refurbished Dyson came with a six month parts and labor warranty instead of the company’s standard five-year warranty on new vacuums. Your warranty may also not include all the bells and whistles it would had you bought new.

Reader, have you ever bought refurbished items? Did it work out for you?

6 Responses to Buy New or Buy Refurbished?

  1. Last year I bought a refurbished tablet for $195 that normally went for $300 or more. I bought a SquareTrade warranty that cost around $35, so the net cost was roughly $230. I found out why it was refurbished as the touch screen didn’t work to my satisfaction. I sent it off and they replaced the screen and digitizer and it works great and I still came out ahead versus buying it brand new!

  2. Many warranty replacements are refurbished products. There is absolutely nothing wrong with refurbished products and they always come with similar warranty as a new product.

  3. My wife and I had the same discussion about our vacuum. I absolutely refused to pay hundreds of dollars for a vacuum. Instead my parents actually just gave us their old vacuum as they splurged on a Dyson. If they hadn’t we definitely would have bought a refurbished one or something that we found on craigslist.

  4. We bought a refurbished stove,washer, and drier. They worked out great for us. We got them for a steal and thy served their purpose for years without any problems. It is always a risk, but well worth the savings for us!

  5. We’ve bought refurbished items in the past and have enjoyed the discount that came along with buying refurbished. My sewing machine was refurbished as was one of bf’s old phones. So far we’ve only had good experiences.