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You know it's supposed to mean more bang for your buck, but for some, the term "refurbished" stirs up more questions than confidence: "Am I buying someone's hand-me-down computer with a few new parts thrown in?" "Will the software on my remanufactured desktop be out-of-date?" "Are the ink cartridges of a refurbished printer less than full?"
Fortunately, these and other common questions about remanufactured products are easily answered, allowing you to make the smartest buy for your technology needs. In this article, we'll discuss what refurbished products really are, where they come from, how to buy them, and why refurbished is sometimes the best choice.
What is "refurbished"?
At HP, a refurbished solution is offered on just about all product lines: printers, notebooks, desktops, servers, and more. They are products that have been returned to HP for a variety of reasons and then put through a rigorous re-manufacturing process.
Where do refurbished products come from?
HP refurbished business products can originate from a variety of sources, including:
- Customer returns and cancelled orders - Fully-functional products that leave the HP warehouse and therefore can no longer be sold as new.
- Damaged products - Products returned because of cosmetic flaws or damage during shipping or a broken part.
- Overstocks - Items that are returned by the seller to make room for newer product lines.
- Demonstration - Products have been used as HP demos.
Depending on the product line, most refurbished equipment starts to show up in HP's remarketed inventory pool about 3-18 months after their introduction date. For instance, a desktop model that was originally entered the market over 12 months ago may be considered obsolete and not worth the cost to remanufacture, while a server could still provide a lot of value and ample performance 18 months after its initial launch.
How is a product remanufactured?
Every HP refurbished product is restored by HP to its original condition and performance. Each item is thoroughly tested, broken or defective parts are replaced, and then test results are re-verified.
Components are validated against the original build of materials and all refurbished products are upgraded to meet current performance specifications, so for example, engineers will validate the latest factory specifications and firmware updates when re-imaging a refurbished system.
When is refurbished better?
If your IT budget is lean, then HP refurbished business products offer high-quality, warrantied product at a low cost. For some applications, the latest generation of technology is better suited. In other cases, a remanufactured product may be a better fit. For example:
- Some business applications don't require the latest performance.
- If your company has standardized on a certain platform and "new" production on that platform has been discontinued.
- Refurbished equipment may offer the best price/performance ratio.
- Software testing may be performed just as effectively using refurbished products as with new.
- A new, popular product that is out of stock may be available in the remarketed pool due to a return or cancelled order.
What should I look for when I buy refurbished?
There are a number of things to keep in mind when you buy a refurbished business product. Here are a few tips:
- Buy directly - Be sure your product was refurbished by the original manufacturer. Brokers looking to recoup losses may refurbish a product cheaply and resell it without an adequate warranty or policy.
Buying directly from HP or an authorized HP dealer ensures that your product has been remanufactured and tested to meet stringent HP standards.
- Check the warranty - Does your seller guarantee the quality of its remanufactured products? Products remanufactured by HP are covered by HP.
- Ask about return policies - If for any reason, you are unsatisfied with your refurbished product, the HP business outlet provides a return policy.
- Act now - HP refurbished product inventory turns over quickly and the tried and true workhorses go first. Unlike new, if you miss out on a product you want, re-stocking or back-ordering is not an option.
- Visit the HP Business Outlet.
- Sign up to receive HP's Refurbished products offers and alerts e-mail newsletter.