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Buying refurbished... (1 Viewer)

Jul 12, 2001
i found a good deal on what i want to get. a NAD C 35o Intregrated amp for 299. but it's refurbished. it says that it's refurbished by NAD and has a one year warranty. im assuming that it'll be like new, but i wanna know if you guys have ever had any bad experiences with refurbished stuff and if it's a scam or what. thanks

John Morris

Mike: It depends. I've bought about a dozen items which were refurbished and have only ever been burnt once. That item was a DOA CD recorder. I was able to return it and get my money back, but if that was my only refurbed purchase, I might think differently. Keep in mind that although I have never received an item with a noticable cosmetic blemish, many of these items are customer returns and are not new. Others that I received looked absolutely factory fresh. Currently, I am waiting for a Denon 1801 refurb which I bought for only $200. It only comes with a 90 day Denon warranty, so I'll make sure that it works perfectly when I get it. Still, the savings was worth the risk to me and my guess is that this unit is a manufacturer overstock/overrun on a discontinued model. I guess I'll find out when it gets here on Friday. As for your choice, if the savings versus a new model is great, I'd say go for it. With a 1 year warranty, you have little to lose.
Good Luck!
Take Care,

Bill Balcziak

Supporting Actor
Aug 4, 1999
It's true that some companies are a LOT more exacting about their standards for refurbished goods than others.
What's your comfort level with a product that somebody else broke? What's it worth for you to not have to worry about it? For me, it's got to be at least a 50% savings before I'll go the refurb route. That's experience--good and bad--talking.
Also, many refurb products have marginal warranties and some refurb warranties require you to ship the item to goodness-knows-where for service (typically at YOUR expense). Read the fine print VERY carefully.

Richard Travale

Senior HTF Member
Feb 27, 2001
The Island, Canada
Real Name
Rich Travale
Where do you get refurbs and how do you know that is what you are getting? I would be interested in some Denon refurb items but have never knowingly seen them.
"A) You can never go too far and B) If I'm going to get busted it is NOT going to be by a guy like DAT."
My Website

Kevin C Brown

Senior HTF Member
Aug 3, 2000
I actually prefer refurb units. Here's why:
1) Whatever was going to break, broke. And then it was fixed by the mothership (not some mom-and-pop joint). Failures in audio eqp are driven by paretos. So the most failure prone item, fails 1st. Better someone else deal with that experience than me.
2) Because the refurb unit has been back to the factory, it more than likely also will be updated with any "silent recall" fixes. (Problems and fixes that dealers and service centers hear about and fix whenever a unit comes in for something else.) Firmware, eeproms, etc.


Stunt Coordinator
May 20, 2001
I tend to agree with Kevin, and his philosophy about buying refurbs. I have purchased alot of refurb. equiptment. If you get a good warranty and return/exchange policy why not save the 50-75% off retail? I always let the warranty be my guide... -JD

Kirk Gunn

Aug 16, 1999
I agree with the principles of all the positive postings, but I got burnt on my refurbed HK CD player. Died after 1 week, spent 1 month in the shop (dealer wouldn't take it back), then died again 1 month after warranty expired.
I do have a cordless phone that is refurbed and it works fine. (although I wish it had more mid-range....)
Good Luck !

Peter Jessee

Stunt Coordinator
Sep 25, 2000
I bought a Denon receiver as a refurb from a web auction, it appeared to be new and has worked flawlessly for the last 3 years. I would not hesitate to buy a refurb under the following conditions:
1. It is a good, reliable model from a reputable brand. NAD CD players and any H-K product in the last 5 years DO NOT fit in this category. Virtually all speakers, and electronics like amps and receivers do. I would never buy a refurb VCR - new ones have poor enough reliability as it is.
2. The price is low enough. Don't pay 70-80% of list - you can get new with a full warranty for the same or little more money. 60-65% of list is the most I'd pay.
3. It was refurbed by the factory, not just re-boxed at a store. You get the factory warranty and free upgrading, and usually it's sealed in a factory box with the manual, accessories, etc., just like a new unit. I've seen several Denon and Marantz refurbs that looked, worked and even smelled like brand new units.
Hope this helps!


Second Unit
Mar 4, 2000
Thought I would put in my $.02. I bought a refurbished Adcom 5 CD-changer from Ubid for

Jay Mitchosky

Senior HTF Member
Sep 6, 1998
I purchased a B-Stock Pioneer ELITE CLD-79 laserdisc player last year during the "LD Renaissance" (along with many others at this Forum) and have had no problems with it. Others had minor issues. So to some extent it's the luck of the draw. But usually there is manufacturer warranty coverage (albeit limited). As stated above you greatly reduce your risk if you deal with an authorized refurbished equipment dealer.
With that in mind, for me personally I buy new whenever possible, particularly with mechanical devices. In this instance the availability of new, quality LD players was almost non-existent as the DVD craze caught on, so a refurb was the answer. Because the integrated amp you're considering has no real moving parts for its operation you'll have a little less risk. Just make sure there's some coverage if something doesn't work properly. And give it a good burn in period when you first receive it to identify potential problems early on.
Good luck.
"No one can hear when you're screaming in digital."
My Home Theatre Pictures...
"You're no mesiah. You're, you're a movie of the week. You're a ... t-shirt, at best."

Steve T

Stunt Coordinator
Oct 12, 2000
I have also bought many refurbs, but have inquired first about why they are being sold as refurbished in the first place. If the dealer is on the up and up, they will tell you (if they truly know the reason) why the product is being sold as refurbished. Like John, I too bought a refurbished Denon AVR-1801. I was told by the dealer that their refurbs were only those products returned by customers who decided not to keep it for one reason or another (not defective). You can get great deals on these, and they look and perform like brand new.


Second Unit
Mar 9, 2000
I have gotten a couple of refurbs from ubid.com... I got my Denon AVR-85 and a cheap little JBL sub. Both came with accessories in their original packaging, as well as looked and smelled brand new. I've never had any problems with either. I am a big fan of ubid's refurb stuff.

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