Fixed for the Holidays: Refurbished gifts offer less expensive options on high-end electronics

ByJason Knowles and Ann Pistone WLS logo
Friday, December 11, 2020
Refurbished holiday gifts
You can buy some of hottest devices and electronics, sometimes for 50-75% off, known as "certified- used" or sometimes called "refurbished."

CHICAGO (WLS) -- If high-end electronics are on your Christmas gift shopping list, then you may want to consider buying refurbished.

You can buy some of the hottest devices and electronics, sometimes for 50-75% off, known as "certified- used" or sometimes called "refurbished." Most are good as new but there are some warnings before you buy.

They can be newer model smartphones, Google Pixel Tablets, smartwatches, laptops, an iMac Mini, even expensive cameras or appliances all at a lower cost.

Habib Baba at ReVamp Electronics in Chicago's near West Side buys used items from consumers.

Tech experts said they make sure the products work properly, sometimes fixing broken screens and then resell the electronics to consumers or retailers.

"It tells you everything. The camera the volume the speakers to make sure all the features are functional," explained Baba about the iPhone 11s plugged into his computer and software. "We have a third party we use to test the phone, make sure the phone is good and not stolen."

The consumer watchdog group, U.S. PIRG is working with ReVamp and released a report called "Fixed for the Holidays," to help people save money.

"It's also better for the environment because of instead of buying new, you're using technology, appliances which are already there we encourage people to use and repair products as long as they can," explains Abe Scarr with Illinois PIRG.

"We encourage people to get higher quality in the first place, [it can be] more [and]durable last longer."

PIRG said avoid buying used earbuds, televisions and items with impossible to replace batteries. Make sure you're shopping with a reputable retailer. Also, make sure there is a warranty and a return policy like the one at ReVamp

"You can return the phone, you have 90 days," Baba added.

Besides that warranty, you can also make sure you have a sticker when you buy certified/used refurbished. A barcode and model number document shows the item is tested and fully functional.