A friend of mine would marry a refurbished wife if he could find one. He’s that into the refurb movement.

A friend of mine would marry a refurbished wife if he could find one. He’s that into the refurb movement.

He asked me what he should look for in refurbished computers. There are some danger signs, but if you buy from a reputable company, a refurb can save you a lot of money.

“Refurbished” is strictly enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. It means any item returned to a company that then is brought back to its original specifications.

A lot of perfectly good gear is returned for various reasons. The company must check it anyway and can only resell it as refurbished, even if brand new, almost.

Some buyers prefer refurbished over new. They know that a refurb will operate at the right specs. It’s been factory checked.

A number of companies quote a refurbished return rate of 2 percent. This is lower than the return rate for new goods.

Prices for new electronics fall so fast, they can dip below the refurbished price. This is the case with routers.

I’d prefer to buy refurbished gear in person, as I did with our carpet sweeper. I’d want to check it out carefully. If buying online, make sure the company has a solid return policy.

Some companies will not transfer registered warranties to new owners. If the device was not registered and still has the warranty card, send it in. They’ll probably accept it.

The original CDs and the CD unlocking key should be included and are proof of a legal system. It’s illegal to sell a computer operating system otherwise.

If you are shopping ads and see a great price, check carefully. They usually put the “refurbished” in small type. It’s not a bad thing, but you need to be aware of it before purchasing.

Contact Jim Hillibish at jim.hillibish@cantonrep.com.