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Tanga's Guide to Shopping Refurbished

A detailed explanation of what refurbished means

Have you ever been nervous when pressing the Checkout button with a refurbished product in the cart? Us too! But we love these juicy refurbished deals, and we built this guide so you can enjoy them with us.

What is Refurbished

Refurbished basically means that the product has been previously returned to a manufacturer or vendor for various reasons. It may be a floor sample, a never-used product with a box opened by mistake or damaged in shipping, a product with minor cosmetic flaws, or one that has been turned on and immediately switched off. Some of the refurbished products were used and returned within the initial warranty period, in which case they may carry some blemishes. Often the purchase simply did not suit the original owner’s needs. Once the box has been opened companies cannot legally sell these items as New, so a Refurbished label doesn’t necessarily mean that the product was broken or didn’t function as intended.

Often a refurbished product will have an additional two or three rounds of quality and performance checks compared to those on a brand new product, so that all the possible hidden flaws are already discovered and fixed.

It is important to understand that there are always minor risks associated with purchasing a refurbished product. But if minor cosmetic defects or the knowledge of someone touching the product before you don’t bring a frown to your face, more often than not they are by far outweighed by the hefty savings in your wallet.

How to Buy Refurbished on Tanga

The main thing you need to know about your refurb of interest: who refurbished it. Refurbished products that have been returned by a customer will be inspected, cleaned, repaired, formatted, and tested for functionality and defects by either the manufacturer or a third party refurbisher that can be either manufacturer-authorized or independent. Let’s break it down.

  • Factory Refurbished: A Factory Refurbished product was originally sold new and then returned, sometimes without even being opened. Once these products get back to the manufacturer from the retailers or consumers, they are tested and then rebuilt to original factory specifications by manufacturer-trained technicians. The testing process assures that the product meets the same stringent quality standards that are required for new products.
  • Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher: Microsoft Authorized Refurbishers (MAR) have years of experience professionally refurbishing computers using data security and environmental best practices and compliance methods. A Microsoft Authorized Refurbished PC has been cleaned of the prior data, updated as needed with minor repairs or replacement components, tested, and has genuine Microsoft Windows® operating system software installed on it so it is ready for a new owner. Being part of the MAR program also guarantees that you will receive a legal Certificate of Authenticity (C.O.A.) attached to the computer, and a valid version of Microsoft Windows 10 operating system installed on every computer.
  • Microsoft Registered Refurbishers: A Microsoft Registered Refurbisher provides customers with a professionally refurbished computer that comes preinstalled with a legitimate Microsoft software license. A refurbished PC supplied by a Registered Refurbisher provides the benefits of genuine Microsoft software and helps to protect data security and reduce environmental e-waste.
  • Refurbished by Certified Apple Technicians: First, every unit’s hard drive is wiped to Department of Defence (DoD) standards—or replaced, if needed—and thoroughly checked and rechecked for potential problems. Every aspect of each unit is fully tested (including full burn-in testing) and internally cleaned with an Anti-Static data vac system. Next, each computer is refurbished with replacement parts for any defective modules identified in testing—including batteries—evaluated and upgraded as needed to meet or exceed standards required to run the current version of OS or iOS, and updated to the very latest operating software available for that particular unit. Finally, every product is repackaged in a new box (including appropriate cables, AC Adapters, etc.).
  • Third-Party Refurbished: Most of the refurbished consumer electronics and some of the cell phones and tablets you find on Tanga will be refurbished by a third party. The lack of industry standards means that every refurbisher will follow their own processes for restoring the products to working condition. That’s why for every deal we feature on the front page or in our special sales and events, we work closely with our vendors and get lots of face time with the products to make sure what you see (and read in the product description) is what you get. These products may show some signs of wear, but if you need performance, they are functionally sound. Some may even look like new (we point that out as well). And of course, they save you lots of cash.

Another important thing to pay attention to when shopping refurbished is the grade of the refurbished product. For our featured deals and events we only use three, because anything less just doesn’t cut it. Here is what they mean:

  • Refurbished (Grade A/A+). Grade A/A+ products appear and perform as new with very little to no signs of handling or wear. Cosmetic blemishes will have no impact on the overall product performance or functionality.
  • Refurbished (Grade B). Grade B products will look and perform well although may show some slight signs of wear, including scratches and/or other surface imperfections. Laptop screens may have some small blemishes or a few dead pixels. Grade B products are fully functional and perform as new.
  • Refurbished (Grade C). Grade C products will show signs of moderate to heavy usage with visible cosmetic imperfections, which may include deep scratches and/or large scuffed areas. Laptop screens may have lost some brightness with potential scratches, dead pixels or pressure marks. Grade C products are fully functional and perform as new.

Finally, when you’re considering buying a refurbished computer, tablet, or phone, it’s helpful to think about the features and specs you really need vs. the ones you want. You may find that savings offered by refurbished models outweigh the bells and whistles that you wouldn’t really use on a new model. Now that you have the knowledge (which we know is power), go out there and score some major deals!

8 Reasons to Buy Refurbished

  1. You save BIG. The most obvious reason to buy refurbished is savings. You save 20-50% on average by choosing refurbished products over brand new ones.
  2. You can rest easy. Our return policies (the minimum to return is 15 days) help protect your investment from the risks associated with shopping refurbished. That gives you 15 days to stress test your refurbished purchase, weigh all the odds, and make sure you love it. We also give you a warranty of 30 to 90 days on most products.
  3. More bang for your buck. When it comes to computers, most refurbished machines are not necessarily the latest models. The good news is that with the same budget you can buy a computer with higher specifications than you could afford when buying a new one.
  4. Someone already tested it for you. A smart tech shopper will tell you the famous mantra, “never buy the first release of anything.” Refurbished equipment has been tested in the field and any issues have already been identified and fixed.
  5. Upgrade more frequently. You can keep up with the latest tech and satisfy your curiosity without destroying your budget when you shop refurbished.
  6. Fewer regrets. It won’t hurt as much when it’s a cheaper refurbished laptop or tablet that gets dropped, sat on, or has General Tso’s sauce smeared all over it.
  7. Stock-up for less. It’s a great way to save money on products you want for your kids, for back-ups, or for your garage/gym/road trips.
  8. Sustainability. In 2014, the U.S. generated approximately 41 metric tons of e-waste. That’s a lot of trashed electronics. Buying refurbished keeps the tech in rotation and saves the planet one computer at a time.

So enjoy your mind-blowing deal and let us know if you have any questions or just need someone to talk to at service@tanga.com.

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