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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 "Will the software on my refurbished desktop be out-of-date?" "Are the ink cartridges of a refurbished printer less than full?"

Fortunately, these and other common questions about refurbished 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, and more. They are products that have been returned to HP for a variety of reasons and then put through a a rigorous refurbishment process.

What is the difference between HP's "Refurbished" and "Certified Reconditioned" products?

The packaging on refurbished products from HP could be labeled either "Refurbished" or "Certified Reconditioned." Regardless of labeling, there is no difference in the refurbishing process, the components used, or the technicians that do work. And both are covered with an HP limited warranty.

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, packaging shipping damage, or a broken/missing part.
  • Overstocks - Items that are returned by a dealer to make room for newer product lines.
  • Demonstration - Products have been used as HP demos.

What is HP’s refurbishment process?

Products that are refurbished by HP are restored to their original condition and performance. Each unit is fully tested, any broken or defective parts identified in testing are replaced and unit is tested again. Units are then cleaned, re-packaged and assigned to new refurbished part number.

HP’s engineers will validate the Operating System and firmware, and re-image PCs to the latest factory updates when re-imaging a refurbished system.

HP’s refurbishment procedures follow the same basic guidelines as HP’s testing procedures for new products.

When is refurbished better?

If your IT budget is lean, then HP’s selection of refurbished 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:

  • Your 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 refurbished products. Here are a few tips:

  • Ask who did the re-work - Be sure your product was refurbished and certified by the original manufacturer. Brokers or third-party refurbishers looking to recoup losses may refurbish a product cheaply by not using genuine HP components, and resell it without an adequate warranty or return policy.
  • Buy directly - Buying directly from HP or an authorized HP dealer ensures that your product has been refurbished and tested to meet stringent HP standards.
  • Check the warranty - Does your seller guarantee the quality of its refurbished products? Products refurbished by HP are certified and covered by a HP limited warranty.
  • Ask about return policies - If for any reason, you are unsatisfied with your refurbished product, the HP business outlet provides a return policy.
  • •Act quickly - HP refurbished product inventory turns over fast and the most desirable, tried and true workhorses go first. Unlike new products, if you miss out on a product you want, re-stocking or back-ordering is not an option.
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