Refurbish this, Woot!

I was hoping someone, in particular someone on the Woot! payroll, could tell us what to expect of a “refurbished” product. I know it means that at least some of them were purchased and then returned for some reason, but what other ways are there for an item to be branded “refurbished”?

Can we assume that someone actually tests the returned item to see if it works (and fixes it if it doesn’t) before it is resold? Or, is it just repackaged in a plain brown box and sent off for resale, and it’s up to the end user/repurchaser to test it? (I swear, a lot of times it seems like the latter.)

How important is it that the warranty is from the manufacturer as opposed to the “refurbishment partner”?

Is there a difference between refurbished and factory reconditioned?

What else?

Thanks!

good questions! i had always understood refurbished to mean it had been returned for some reason, the company returned it to new condition and then resold it.

however, after seeing the Rio fiasco, I’m not so sure lol That picture of the one guy’s player that was all scratched up was enough to swear me off buying anything refurbed from woot.

Mind you, I’m not saying woot sold it like that knowingly. But the headache of trying to get things returned and fixed without the benefit of an actual brick and mortar store is something for me to seriously consider.

I’ll try to tackle these questions without rambling on for too long. Factory refurbished, factory recertified, factory renewed basically mean the same thing. When you buy a refurb, it doesn’t necessarily mean the product was previously used or broken. Depending on the manufacturer, it could mean that it was a new, never before used product and is now listed as refurb because:
[list]
[]It is an overstocked, discontinued or End of life (EOL) product. The manufacturer does not want to disturb the market pricing for new product and requires us to list it as refurbished when it is brand new
[
]There was a packaging change and the product was removed from the original retail pack and brown boxed
[]There was a software or firmware issue and product had to be recalled from store shelves and corrected.
[
]The product was made for a specific customer and per a contract can’t be sold in other channels as new or in a retail package, or by using the manufacturer or OEM name
[*]The packaging was damaged/destroyed in transit and was reboxed
[/list]
There’s other reasons here but those are the main ones. And in many cases, the reasons listed above will only result in the product being labeled new brown box, new white box, new OEM, etc. This totally depends on the manufacturer and how they want to protect their channels.

Then there are products that were actually opened and or used by customers before being returned. These would include:
[list]
[]Buyers remorse returns from big chains like Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart, with very liberal return policies
[
]Defective product returned to retailers or the manufacturer, and repaired at the factory or at a factory-authorized repair center.
[/list]
The buyers remorse returns are sometimes sold as “open box” if they are missing accessories or manuals and get minimal testing before they are resold by the retailer. Buyers remorse and defective products are typically returned to the manufacturer and are tested, cleaned, contact parts are replaced, then made complete (all accessories/manuals, remotes) before being sold as refurbished.

The answer to your 2nd question is sometimes the item is tested - specifically if it has been opened or used, had a firmware/hardware/software upgrade, or was returned as defective. And sometimes the product isn’t tested - like when it is a packaging change, or if its a retail package that just got a refurb sticker slapped on it.

Warranty coverage differs for many reasons. If the product is EOL, the manufacturer just wants to be done with it, so they shorten the warranty from a 1 year (or whatever their standard warranty period was) to a 90 day or 30 day warranty. Sometimes as a condition of the sale, they only give a DOA warranty. Again, this depends on the manufacturer. If the product is repaired by a factory authorized center, the manufacturer is typically paying them to handle the warranty so they don’t have to hassle with it.

I think that covers everything you asked, let me know if you have more questions.

Thanks, BigD. You covered my specific questions and some “what else”.

BigD - that was an excellent explanation. Perhaps you could put it in “what is woot?” and avoid another bejillion questions.

That’s not a bad idea actually.

[quote user=“BigD”]
That’s not a bad idea actually.[/quote]

You’ve changed the site for the better holmesdog! feel the power, FEEL THE POWER I SAY!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAA!!

actually, all joking aside, stuff like that is one of the things that i really appreciate about the woot staff. they get down on level with their customers and talk to them like adults, rather than like customers. Snapster, GC, BigD, all those folks (I would say guys, but don’t want to be gender exclusive wink)

well written Big D! Thanks for listening.

[quote user=“allgoodpeople”]

You’ve changed the site for the better holmesdog! feel the power, FEEL THE POWER I SAY!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAA!!

actually, all joking aside, stuff like that is one of the things that i really appreciate about the woot staff. they get down on level with their customers and talk to them like adults, rather than like customers. Snapster, GC, BigD, all those folks (I would say guys, but don’t want to be gender exclusive wink)

well written Big D! Thanks for listening.[/quote]

Credit for the blushing smiley must go to agp who felt my pain and started the posting 101 thread. It has really been useful to quite a few of us newbies, thanks again.

good questions! i had always understood refurbished to mean it had been returned for some reason, the company returned it to new condition and then resold it.

however, after seeing the Rio fiasco, I’m not so sure lol That picture of the one guy’s player that was all scratched up was enough to swear me off buying anything refurbed from woot.

Mind you, I’m not saying woot sold it like that knowingly. But the headache of trying to get things returned and fixed without the benefit of an actual brick and mortar store is something for me to seriously consider.

I’ll try to tackle these questions without rambling on for too long. Factory refurbished, factory recertified, factory renewed basically mean the same thing. When you buy a refurb, it doesn’t necessarily mean the product was previously used or broken. Depending on the manufacturer, it could mean that it was a new, never before used product and is now listed as refurb because:
[list]
[]It is an overstocked, discontinued or End of life (EOL) product. The manufacturer does not want to disturb the market pricing for new product and requires us to list it as refurbished when it is brand new
[
]There was a packaging change and the product was removed from the original retail pack and brown boxed
[]There was a software or firmware issue and product had to be recalled from store shelves and corrected.
[
]The product was made for a specific customer and per a contract can’t be sold in other channels as new or in a retail package, or by using the manufacturer or OEM name
[*]The packaging was damaged/destroyed in transit and was reboxed
[/list]
There’s other reasons here but those are the main ones. And in many cases, the reasons listed above will only result in the product being labeled new brown box, new white box, new OEM, etc. This totally depends on the manufacturer and how they want to protect their channels.

Then there are products that were actually opened and or used by customers before being returned. These would include:
[list]
[]Buyers remorse returns from big chains like Best Buy, Circuit City, Wal-Mart, with very liberal return policies
[
]Defective product returned to retailers or the manufacturer, and repaired at the factory or at a factory-authorized repair center.
[/list]
The buyers remorse returns are sometimes sold as “open box” if they are missing accessories or manuals and get minimal testing before they are resold by the retailer. Buyers remorse and defective products are typically returned to the manufacturer and are tested, cleaned, contact parts are replaced, then made complete (all accessories/manuals, remotes) before being sold as refurbished.

The answer to your 2nd question is sometimes the item is tested - specifically if it has been opened or used, had a firmware/hardware/software upgrade, or was returned as defective. And sometimes the product isn’t tested - like when it is a packaging change, or if its a retail package that just got a refurb sticker slapped on it.

Warranty coverage differs for many reasons. If the product is EOL, the manufacturer just wants to be done with it, so they shorten the warranty from a 1 year (or whatever their standard warranty period was) to a 90 day or 30 day warranty. Sometimes as a condition of the sale, they only give a DOA warranty. Again, this depends on the manufacturer. If the product is repaired by a factory authorized center, the manufacturer is typically paying them to handle the warranty so they don’t have to hassle with it.

I think that covers everything you asked, let me know if you have more questions.

Thanks, BigD. You covered my specific questions and some “what else”.

BigD - that was an excellent explanation. Perhaps you could put it in “what is woot?” and avoid another bejillion questions.

That’s not a bad idea actually.

You’ve changed the site for the better holmesdog! feel the power, FEEL THE POWER I SAY!! BWAHAHAHAHAHAA!!

actually, all joking aside, stuff like that is one of the things that i really appreciate about the woot staff. they get down on level with their customers and talk to them like adults, rather than like customers. Snapster, GC, BigD, all those folks (I would say guys, but don’t want to be gender exclusive wink)

well written Big D! Thanks for listening.

http://users.pandora.be/ramones/emoticon/blush.gif

Credit for the blushing smiley must go to agp who felt my pain and started the posting 101 thread. It has really been useful to quite a few of us newbies, thanks again.

Thanks for the info BigD!

great explanation. thanks!

Too bad the above explanation doesn’t fit in with the actual practice at WOOT and their suppliers.

Refurb can mean anything from the above down to just plane “USED, THROWN IN A SCRAP BOX AND MAILED TO YOU.”

That was an awesome explanation!! +1 also a good question, I too wondered why I’d receive a product and there wouldn’t be any ‘reconditioned’ or ‘refurbished’ stickers or stamps anywhere on the product or box.

Thanks again guys!

Thanks for the mildly informative response, but it needs to go further to be really great:

“refurbished” appears to mean anything from “horribly disfigured but still mostly functional” to “refurbed in name only and still pristine”. B&H Photo uses a handy scale of refurbishment to tell you how crappy the thing you’re buying really is: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/find/UsedConditions.jsp.

While a similar approach may not work with woot! logistics, it would be helpful to know if the woot! staff are just completely shameless (I suspect possibly so…) and willing to sell anything, or if there are minimum standards of some kind, such as “woot! will never sell anything non-functional”.