Investing in refurbished technology can help consumers cut costs with little to no compromise on quality – and this Black Friday, a number of top retailers are offering highly competitive deals on pre-loved tech.
From laptops to hair tools, air fryers to soundbars, take a look at some of the best refurbished deals on the market this year.
What is refurbished technology?
The term refurbished can mean something slightly different depending on the product and retailer. It could be an item that a previous customer returned, “perhaps sent back just days after the original purchase”, said Wired. The product could be new but with damaged packaging, or a discontinued item, but still technically “new”.
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Check what level of certification the product has been awarded, and whether it’s being described as “refurbished” because the item has been repaired, or it ticks one of the above boxes.
Refurbished items do “come with a degree of uncertainty”, noted TechRadar – but that “shouldn’t immediately scare you away”. These products are cheaper than new year-round, but they “will often get even sweeter” during Black Friday sales. And the quality can be “much like buying brand new”, said Wired.
It’s not only your wallet that will benefit from investing in a refurbished tech product. “Another driving force” when making a second-hand purchase is that it can help to reduce levels of electronic waste that are likely to end up in landfill, said TechRadar.
Top tips for buying refurbished technology
“Not all refurbished and used items are equal,” noted TechRadar. While you might “expect the odd scuff or scrap on the outer shell” of refurbished goods, their inner workings are what “you need to worry about”.
The “three things” to look out for, according to Wired, are “a darn good price, a good returns policy and a warranty similar to what you’d get buying new”. You may “have to be a little more careful and pay more attention” to how the product is working during the returns period, but “a tech refurb deal can be a steal”.
The Consumer Rights Act 2015 covers second-hand products bought from online retailers, so they must meet a satisfactory quality, be fit for purpose and be as described, MoneyHelper explained – and you are entitled to a full refund within 14 days of an item being delivered.
“Buying from a private seller makes things slightly more complicated,” so be vigilant when scouring the net for the best deals this weekend.
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1. Bose Smart Soundbar 900
The Bose Smart Soundbar 900 “is certainly a looker”, said Expert Reviews. Available in black or white, it combines “stylish design and cutting-edge features” while delivering “a solid front soundstage and some excellent smart features”, such as ADAPTIQ room calibration, which tunes your sound system’s output to best suit your room’s acoustics.
With nine speakers, the Dolby Atmos technology creates “an unparalleled spatial experience”, according to Bose. The company’s refurbished soundbars are products that have been returned by customers, “thoroughly inspected, tested and serviced” to meet Bose’s quality criteria, “same as a new product”. It also comes with the same warranty as a new item.
2. Apple iPhone 11
Tom’s Guide gives the Apple iPhone 11 four out of five stars, praising its “superb cameras, fast performance and excellent battery life”. This Black Friday, shoppers can purchase refurbished versions of that same handset from Envirophone for £249.99 (by way of comparison, a new iPhone 11 from a major phone retailer costs £439).
A variety of colours are available, including lilac and mint green, and the device comes with a USB cable. All refurbished Envirophones are run through a “100-point checklist” before they leave the factory and there’s a 12-month guarantee upon purchase.
3. Dell Latitude laptop
The price of Dell’s 12-inch Latitude laptops has been slashed by 85%. One retailer has reduced the cost of the laptops from £799 to £119.99 (a saving of £679) - and then shoppers can get an additional 20% off using the code BETTER20, bringing the price down to £96.
These devices have been professionally resprayed by the seller’s “in-house paint technicians” and tested by qualified engineers. Plus, if you’re worried about buying a second-hand laptop, they’re protected by a one-year RTB (return-to-base) warranty.
4. Ninja Foodi Health Grill & Air Fryer AG301UK
Air fryers have been all the rage this year, with home cooks turning to them to give their dishes chargrilled flavours and minimise the amount of oil needed to deliver tasty results. This refurbished Ninja appliance (which has been professionally checked, cleaned and restored after being returned) has five customisable cooking functions.
As well as air frying, it can grill, roast, bake and dehydrate – the latter perfect for creating homemade beef jerky, dried herbs and fruit snacks. Its use of something called “Cyclonic Air Technology” ensures even and fast cooking, with no need to flip. “When it comes to multifunctional kitchen gadgets,” said BBC Good Food, “Ninja is a front-runner in both performance and quality.”
5. Amazon Echo Show 10
Smart displays are “usually stationary screens”, said PC Mag. Not the Amazon Echo Show 10. This third-generation smart display “delivers powerful audio” and adds a motorised base that lets the screen and camera rotate as you move around”, meaning you no longer need to stay in one place to see the display or make a video call.
Amazon’s refurbished version, which is 29% off this Black Friday, has been through a full diagnostic test, thorough cleaning and inspection and a secure data wipe, ensuring that even though it’s been pre-owned, it’s as good as new.
6. Dyson Supersonic hair dryer
“In a marked change from previous years, eBay is only promoting pre-loved and refurbished deals for Black Friday,” said Manchester Evening News. The e-retailer’s “certified” level of refurbishment means it’s been approved by the manufacturer, and is in “pristine condition”.
The Dyson-approved Airwrap may have sold out, but the Supersonic hair dryer in colourway iron/fuchsia is available for a bargain price compared to a new model. It’s “one of the best-loved hair tools on the market”, with “lightweight” design and heat control technology that allows for fast drying with a range of styling attachments, said Glamour. “It’s also rarely discounted.”
7. Kindle Paperwhite
If you’re looking to upgrade your e-reader, Amazon’s certified refurbished Kindle Paperwhites – which have a one-year warranty – are 22% cheaper than usual this Black Friday.
The Kindle Paperwhite “has major, important advantages over the base model”, said PC Mag. “For starters”, the fact it’s waterproof means it’s safer for reading at the beach, by a swimming pool and in the bath. Its “flat front design prevents sand and gunk from getting caught in cracks”. And the screen is “much sharper”, with a light that’s “easier on the eyes”. Yes, the Paperwhite is “more expensive than previous models”, added TechRadar, but it remains “the best ereader for those who are looking for a simple gadget that lets you read for hours on end”.
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