6 Things to Know About Amazon Renewed

If you're planning on buying an electronic device you should consider a previously owned or refurbished item, because sometimes you can find a great deal. But how can you know whether a used item will work properly, and what can you do if it doesn't? A program from Amazon aims to instill confidence in your purchase of used electronics from its site. It's called Amazon Renewed.

Perhaps you’ve seen the “Amazon Renewed” label on some Amazon web pages selling electronics and small appliances, or maybe you’ve read about the program on Reddit.com and wondered exactly what it entails.
This article is going to spell out the fine print about Amazon Renewed and fill you in on similar services from other vendors. Also, I’ll share with you my recent experience buying a laptop through Amazon Renewed.

1. What Is Amazon Renewed?

Amazon Renewed is a program that showcases refurbished, rebuilt and previously owned items. On the retailer's website or app, if you see "Amazon Renewed" on a product's page, it means:

  • The device has been pre-owned or was a display model.
  • The item comes with a guarantee from Amazon.
  • The item has been inspected and tested by an Amazon employee or contractor.

The company also says that all Amazon Renewed merchandise is "tested and certified to work and look like new by a qualified technician or a specialized third-party refurbisher."

Amazon promises that you won't have to worry about seeing big scratches, dents or other blemishes you might expect from refurbished electronics. But there is a qualifier on that promise: "The products have no visible cosmetic imperfections when held 12 inches away," it says on the "About" page.

The MacBook Pro I ordered through Amazon Renewed arrived in good condition. Other than it being a few generations behind the latest model, I can’t really tell that it’s not a new device.

2. Where Can You Find Amazon Renewed Items?

Just type “Amazon Renewed” in the search bar on Amazon.com.

3. Can You Save Money With Amazon Renewed?

Because Amazon Renewed features pre-owned products, the price tags on many of the items cost less than a new item.
I bought a MacBook Pro for less than $600. A brand new MacBook Pro with the same specs (though a newer generation) costs $1,299 on Apple.com, a $700 savings.

4. What Are Some Amazon Renewed Items You Can Buy?

There are plenty of items you can find other than laptops. Some categories of items for sale on Amazon Renewed include:
  • Smart Phones
  • Small Kitchen Appliances
  • Power Tools
  • Smart Watches
  • Cameras

5. Is Amazon Renewed Reliable?

Amazon Renewed comes with at least a 90-day guarantee on its products. That means if your device stops working or malfunctions, you’re entitled to a replacement or refund within 90 days of your receipt of the product.

Note that, to be covered by the guarantee, the product information page must have the words: "Backed by the 90-day Amazon Renewed Guarantee."

When I got my laptop, it came with a warranty card that gave me a 90-day window of protection. I’m about 60 days in as of this writing, and my “new to me” MacBook Pro is working just fine.

6. How Does Amazon Renewed Compare to Its Competitors?

You may be able to find similar items in other sections of Amazon.com or on other websites and wonder how they stack up against the Amazon Renewed items.

Below is a site comparison based on the price and warranty information I found when I searched for the same model of refurbished laptop I bought on Amazon Renewed.

* Product I purchased at this price is no longer available.

Two online vendors — Best Buy and Walmart — offer 90-day warranties similar to Amazon Renewed on used items. But at least in the case of my MacBook Pro, the prices are higher.

Final Thoughts

If you purchase a refurbished device from Amazon Renewed or any online marketplace, make sure to:
  • Inspect the product for any visible flaws. Amazon doesn't say the items will look perfect, but any imperfections should be minimal.
  • Test the device completely to make sure everything works properly.
  • Check to see that all promised accessories are in the package. 

If you're looking for another option for low-cost electronics, see what's on sale at ClarkDeals.com.

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