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One of the questions I have been challenged the most with during the last months has been “What exactly is refurbishment and who is doing it?

I have to say it is a valid question! Nowadays the term “refurbishment” is not really established in our vocabulary or society in general.

So what is refurbishment?

The term refurbishment means something has been repaired, cleaned, and made to look new again.

The phrase “look new again” mainly makes the difference to a classic “used” product, which usually has signs of usage.

In the past, refurbishment has primarily be used in the term of a renovation, i.e. of a building, but it is also used in a technical manner. In this case next to the “repaired, cleaned and made to look new again” attributes of the word, we would also add tested to function like-new.

Summarizing the meaning of the word “refurbishment” in a context of technical products it would be something like “a product which has been repaired, cleaned, tested to function and look like-new“!

As you now know what refurbishment is, probably the next question that you have is….

What kind of products can be refurbished?

Overall you can say that all products, which have electronic and technical contents can be refurbished: Phones, drilling machines, notebooks, kitchen devices, hair dryers, watches, etc.!

Nevertheless the most common refurbished goods nowadays are smartphones, tablets and notebooks. Especially products, which have a high selling price as the price difference compared to a “new” product makes a real difference, often up to 50%.

Who is refurbishing the products?

There are mainly 3 different ways how a product is refurbished:

  1. A small amount of manufacturers are refurbishing their products themselves (i.e. Apple)
  2. Many manufacturers are using large authorized refurbishers, who refurbish their products with an official manufacturer authorization (i.e. Microsoft)
  3. And the last group are third-party refurbishers, which are refurbishing products with their own capabilities, but without any official authorization (often through trade-in programs)

In general you can say that for nearly no brand there is only one of the above ways existing, which means that for example an refurbished Apple iPhones on the market can come from each one of the above 3 different refurbishment sources.