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How can I tell if an item is refurbished?

On Behalf of | Jul 25, 2022 | Deceptive Business Practices

A product advertisement should give you accurate information about what to expect from an item you buy. So if an ad tells you that a product is new, you understand that no one else has owned or used that particular item. Unfortunately, some sellers do not represent goods honestly, calling them new when they are actually refurbished.

A refurbished item is a product that a manufacturer or another party has restored into a condition that may resemble a new item. PCMag explains certain signs that you have bought a refurbished item and not a new one.

A lack of accessories

Brand new items should come with all the included accessories. This is not always the case with refurbished products. You may get a smartphone only to notice it did not come with earbuds or a charger as you expected. A computer may not have advertised software or a download code. Missing accessories indicate another person has used and/or discarded them.

Uncertain warranty status

A new item is likely to have a warranty or at least an implied warranty according to state law. However, a refurbished item might come with an “as-is” clause, meaning you buy the item while accepting the risk that it might not work. Even if the manufacturer did the restoration on the item, you may only get a warranty for less time than if you bought a new product.

Sold as like new

An advertisement may present an item as “like new.” A like-new item could mean a number of things. Someone had previously bought the item but never used it and then returned it. Alternatively, the manufacturer may have replaced broken or worn parts on an item with new ones. It does not, however, mean the product is actually brand new.

You may be fine with a like-new item, but you should know what you are buying. If a business presents a refurbished item as a new item, the company is breaking consumer laws. You may have recourse if a deceptive advertisement has tricked you into making a purchase.