Refurbished Home Theater Gear – Is It Safe To Buy?
Everyone loves saving a buck. Why pay full price when you can get a deal? One way to save money when buying home theater gear is to buy refurbished or B-stock. This is gear that has been returned for one reason or another and is now being offered at a discount. But you are concerned. Why was it returned? Is it safe to buy? The answer is multifaceted. Let’s discuss!
What Does “Refurbished” Mean?
Refurbished and B-stock are often used interchangeably though they are technically different. A refurbished item has been returned and repaired so that it is back to full functioning. B-stock is an item that was returned not because it was in some way broken, but because of cosmetic or other issues. It should be noted that these terms aren’t always defined or used this way colloquially. When buying home theater gear that is labeled refurbished or B-stock, you should research how the reseller is defining the term.
While some people think that refurbished is the same as “used,” this is not true. We have no problems with buying used gear. Used gear is often sold from owner to owner. Refurbished gear is sold through manufacturers or third-party resellers.
Is Refurbished Home Theater Gear Safe to Buy?
As you might expect, it depends on who is doing the selling. If you are buying directly from a manufacturer, then it is perfectly safe. When you buy from the manufacturer, you will usually get a partial or full warranty. You will also be able to get full technical support if you have an issue.
There are third-party resellers that offer refurbished gear. When buying from one of these, you’ll want to make sure that they are authorized by the manufacturer. An authorized reseller will usually give you access to the full warranty. It is exactly the same as buying from the manufacturer.
If you choose to buy from a non-authorized reseller, your gear will not be covered by the warranty. If there are updates or recalls, you may not be able to take advantage of them. Basically, if you buy from a non-authorized reseller, you better be getting a great price.
Do We Recommend Refurbished Gear?
Absolutely. We have bought from places like Accessories4Less personally. As long as a website or store is an authorized reseller, we have no problems buying from them. You can get huge discounts with no real downsides. One caveat, however. Don’t take the reseller’s word for it that they are authorized. Every manufacturer will maintain a list of authorized resellers. They may list it online, or you may have to reach out to them to find out. Either way, you’ll want to verify that the reseller is authorized before you buy.