Recertified Vs. Refurbished

By Brandi Berry-Fulton

If you are looking into buying a product that is not exactly new, you may see the terms "recertified" and "refurbished" often. Many people do not know exactly what refurbished or recertified means. The average consumer is clueless: Are the two terms interchangeable or or do they mean two completely different things?

Recertified vs. Refurbished

Most people are not aware that recertified and refurbished are pretty much the same thing. There are usually a few key factors that define the difference between the two terms. The first factor is that recertified products often come with a short warranty against functional defects. The warranty time frame is usually somewhere between 30 to 60 days. Refurbished products however are typically sold "as-is" without a warranty.


Recertified recently has been used more than refurbished. One reason it has become more popular among retailers is because the term "recertified" gives the buyer the comfort of knowing a thorough inspection process has been completed. Keep in mind what you might feel is a thorough inspection can be totally different from what the manufacturer might feel is a thorough inspection. Each manufacturer has its own standards of recertification. Also it is a plus to know that many recertified products are still covered under the manufacturer's warranty, depending on how old the item is. Even if the product is not covered under a manufacturer warranty the seller often offers a 30 to 60 day warranty.


Refurbished is very similar to recertified, but under normal circumstances a refurbished product will not come with a warranty. It is common for every factory to carry refurbished products because of minor things like missing manuals, torn packages, duplicate purchases by consumers, or damaged boxes. It is possible for a refurbished product to have never even been sold, but was overlooked because of minor damages to the packaging.


A warranty is good security when purchasing a recertified or refurbished product. Make sure you ask if the product you are purchasing has a warranty and if so, what kind and how long is it good for. Also see if you can purchase an extended warranty for the product. The warranty can be a deciding factor when deciding to go recertified or refurbished.

Saving Money

Whether you purchase a recertified or a refurbished product, it is a great way to save money on a good product. Depending on the item you are buying, you can save anywhere from 5 to 30 percent. If you are able to look past damaged packaging, scratches and other aesthetic issues, you will realize that you are not giving up quality but saving money.