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Amazon certifies third-party refurbishers: How good and new is good as new?

On the second hand...

Amazon has launched a new service called "Certified Refurbished" to encourage customer confidence when purchasing second-hand consumer electronics.

The programme will see certain vendors and third-party refurbishers certified on the Amazon marketplace to sell products which “look and work like new”.

Amazon informed us that the refurbishment process would typically include a full diagnostic test, as well as the replacement of any defective parts, a thorough cleaning and inspection process, and then repackaging by the seller or vendor. "Certified Refurbished" products will ship with all relevant accessories too.

A handful of cited example products show a reasonable discount for customers, with a refurbished iPhone 6 retailing for £379.99, 16 per cent less than a new equivalent, but how "new" consumers will feel their products are will determine whether the certification scheme will drive sales for the chosen vendors.

Amazon states that “only select marketplace sellers and vendors who maintain a high quality and performance bar may offer Certified Refurbished products,” and at the moment refurbished products from featured brands - which include Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Microsoft, and Samsung - are only available from the vendors, not any third-party refurbishers.

All of the refurbished products are covered by a minimum one-year limited warranty, stated Amazon, which will be backed by one of the many parties involved in the transaction, “giving the customer the right to return or replace the defective product without any shipping or material handling fees during the period of coverage.” ®

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