Will You Buy Refurbished? Part 2

Yesterday I shared the small adventure of buying a refurbished laptop. While I was at Compusa looking at laptops I browsed the rest of the store too, just seeing what they had that I didn’t know I needed yet, and that led me to the TV aisle. I’d been thinking about buying a new/larger TV for the living room for a while. We’ve got a four (five?) year old 37” Visio LCD that has worked fine (and still does), but I wanted to get a bigger screen and move the 37” to the family/play room that the kids use for Wii.

Not sure Compusa would be my first stop for a TV, I tend to start at Costco, but looked, and saw a 55” Visio refurb for $699, well under my goal of no more than $1000 if and when I bought one. I looked at the display model, picture quality seemed very good, better than some next to it, not as good as others. File that way for thinking.

Over the next month I glanced at newspaper ads and walked around Costco. Lots of deals out there, but none that seemed significantly better,or even quite as good. I want to shop smart,but I really don’t want to descend into TV buying minutiae – I wanted 1080 resolution and a big screen, after that I’m not one to obsess over LCD vs LED vs edge lighting, etc.

My kids love trying out the 3d TV’s they have on displays, enough to make me pause – should I just buy one of those? 3d is nice, but wearing goggles to watch TV just doesn’t seem like what I want to do, the feature costs a premium, and not a lot of 3d content yet. I could feel that all too human lure though – don’t buy the old stuff, get the cool stuff, etc.

Be strong. I just wanted a bigger display, I had not been yearning for 3d.

Took the family over to look at it (not a good plan to save money on something the family doesn’t like!) and no complaints, so I loaded up my $699 TV with the standard 90 warranty and drove home. Everything about it looked new, from packaging to display to the power cable. 10 minutes to unbox, cable remote worked without reprogramming since it was a Vizio and life was good.

How much did I save? That’s debatable, but let’s call it $300. Not bad.

There’s nothing wrong with buying new. Just remember buying a refurb isn’t like buying used. A used car typically shows the usage, and while you spend less, you get less. With electronics refurb, you spend less, but you get almost the same as new. I say almost only because it might be a model that is a year old and so is no longer the the latest and greatest.

So that ends my refurb buying for a while, next week I’ll share the story of mounting the old TV in the family room.