Save money and help the environment by choosing a refurbished TV
The savings on a second-hand refurbished TV can be huge, but consumers often worry that the product they receive won’t perform as well as a brand new equivalent. And these concerns aren’t unwarranted: the quality of a refurbished TV depends entirely on the company carrying out the repairs. Are they sending it back to the manufacturer for professional factory repairs, or simply giving it a wipe down and putting it in a new box?
On top of that, there’s the warranty to think about. For example, a brand-new TV from John Lewis comes with a guarantee of at least two years, whereas some refurbished TV sellers offer just 90 days – hardly enough time to test out your television. When buying any TV, whether new or refurbished, you really want a year’s warranty at a minimum.
In this guide, we highlight the most reliable places to purchase a refurbished television, helping you to save as much money as possible on your next TV. It’s not just your wallet that will thank you, though. Buying a refurbished TV has much less of an impact on the environment compared to buying a factory-fresh model as you’re essentially recycling the TV rather than paying for new materials.
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The best places to buy a refurbished TV
Amazon sells a wide range of second-hand electronics, split up into three categories: Pre-Owned, Open Box, and Renewed(formerly known as Certified Refurbished). For the purposes of this article, we’re ignoring the first two. Those products have not been sent back to the manufacturer, and their conditions will vary wildly.
Amazon’s Renewed stamp, however, is as good as it gets. TVs marked with the Amazon Renewed Guarantee have been sent back for factory repair and testing, look and work like new and come with a 1-year warranty to boot.
Amazon Renewed televisions often arrive in a plain non-branded box but will always include the same accessories that would be found inside a brand-new equivalent. It’s a great way to save on the latest 4K HDR TVs; many Amazon Renewed TVs we’ve looked at are at least £100 cheaper than when purchased new. We’ve even seen savings of over £200 on big-screen 4K models from the likes of LG and Samsung.
Appliances Direct has built up a solid reputation for delivering second-hand electronic goods swiftly and safely to customers, with excellent next day delivery options and a great returns policy. The best deals on Appliances Direct seem to be Outlet Deals – that means it’s a one-off, and once sold, you won’t find that model for that price elsewhere on the site.
There are three standards of refurbished TV available here. Appliances Direct describes a Grade A1 refurbishment as ‘like new’; the TV has been used, but it has been fully cleaned and checked by an engineer. Grade A2 TVs might have some minor scuffs, but you’d have to look closely to find them. Finally, Grade A3 means that there will be either noticeable scratches or dents or both, but the TV will work just fine. All the TVs we’ve looked at also come with a 1-year warranty, providing extra peace of mind.
Searching for your refurbished TV is a breeze with Appliances Direct’s search system. Its’s easy to filter the listings and see how much you’ll save compared to buying the same TV new. We’ve seen 4K HDR TVs going for £300 less than their price at Currys PC World and Amazon, but be aware that the claimed savings sometimes refer to the original RRP of the TV, not necessarily how much it sells for now.
While there are always plenty of great refurbished TVs to choose from at Tesco’s eBay Outlet, there a few things you need to be aware of. First of all, the definition of the ‘Refurbished’ tag on this site is much less exact than that of Amazon’s Renewed stamp. When you select a TV, scroll down to the product description where you will find more detailed information on that specific item’s refurbished grade.
The most common grade is Refurbished, which means the TV should be in perfect working order. Tesco says that all its refurbished TVs have received professional refurbishment and a factory reset. However, the listing may also mention cosmetic marks or missing accessories – this information is often hidden right at bottom of the page, so be sure to check. Unfortunately, Tesco does not provide specific details or photos of these cosmetic marks. It’s a similar story for Refurbished with Cosmetic Marks, but the scratches and scuffs will be more noticeable.
The other types of grade are New, which means it’s, er, new, and New – Other which means that the TV is new but may come in replacement packaging. All TVs sold through the Tesco eBay Outlet come with a 1-year warranty.
Where better to buy a refurbished Panasonic television than from Panasonic’s own outlet on eBay. The Panasonic Official Outlet sells all sorts of new and factory refurbished Panasonic goods, from cameras and headphones to electric toothbrushes and breadmakers. Of course, we’re more interested in the 4K and FHD TVs on sale.
TVs sold on Panasonic’s outlet can be either Refurbished or New and, whatever you buy, you’re likely to make some nice savings in the process. Of course, the factory renewed models will be cheaper, as will the end-of-line TVs that may end up here once they’ve been replaced by a newer model.
Compared to other sites featured in this list, the number of TV listings on Panasonic’s eBay store varies from week to week. All TVs sold on Panasonic’s outlet come with a 12-month manufacturer warranty and are also covered by a 30-day “cooling off period” in case you’re not happy with the product once it arrives.
As well as often having great deals on a range of TVs, Box also offers a wide selection of refurbished models, with some coming in up to £500 cheaper than buying new. Refurbished units are graded as one of four standards – Open Box, Grade A, Grade B or Grade C, with the warranties being offered varying accordingly.
The highest grade, Open Box, simply means that the box has been opened, but the product hasn’t been used and therefore is in like-new condition. It will come in the original packaging, bear no marks or scratches, and will be covered by a full year’s warranty. Grade A is almost exactly the same, with the only difference being that it has been used (though still in “excellent condition”), and may have very light marks or scratches.
Grade B promises “good condition”, noting that the product may come brown-boxed (not in the original packaging) and may also be lightly marked, as well as only benefitting from a six-month warranty. Grade C denotes “below-average condition”, with signs of heavier use, meaning the potential for more noticeable scratches and dead pixels, as well as just three months of warranty.
The good news is that, following a deep dive into Box’s offerings at the time of writing, almost all units are either Open Box or Grade A, with a couple of Grade Bs thrown in for good measure. Finding the right TV for you is simple enough, thanks to the search page offering a filter for refurbished sets, as well as handy price comparisons between buying new and buying refurbished.
What about buying secondhand, non-refurbished TVs?
Frankly, we don’t recommend that you go in for the secondhand option. If you aren’t getting a guarantee from a trusted retailer then, well, there are no guarantees. TVs are expensive enough as it is, so the last thing you want to do is get one home only to find that it doesn’t even work – then have to fork out another £500 or more.
We strongly advise that you use one of the refurbished TV retailers listed above if you’re trying to save by getting a secondhand TV. But, if you absolutely want to spend the bare minimum on a 4K TV, then you’ll probably still consider opting for a second-hand, non-refurbished TV instead. If that’s the case, then there are a couple of tips that should help ensure you’re not ripped off.
The first place you should look, before turning to the minefield of online buying sites, is in your personal network of friends and family. Ask around to see if anyone’s upgrading their year-old or two-year-old TV for a bigger, newer model. If so, they might be willing to let it go at a bargain price if they know it’s going to a good home. Likewise, you know it’s come from one, too, because it’s coming from somebody you trust. You could also try putting out some feelers on Facebook to see if anyone has a smart TV they’re looking to ditch.
Failing that, you’ll probably be heading over to Gumtree or eBay. There’s a never-ending supply of secondhand electronics on these websites, but also an alarming number of potential pitfalls. Consider the following when buying a second-hand TV from a stranger.
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Buying a secondhand TV: An essential checklist
Ask for an original receipt or proof of purchase
You don’t want to end up handing your money over to a criminal. You also don’t want to commit a criminal offence yourself by handling stolen goods. Seeing a physical or digital receipt will reassure you that the seller was also the original buyer. If the warranty happens to still be valid, this will help you in any warranty claim that you may end up making.
Check for a returns policy
Private sellers won’t offer you a return policy, but some of more established eBay stores often do. This will give you a small window of time during which you’ll be entitled to a full refund if the TV you have delivered isn’t up to scratch. A returns policy normally lasts between 30 to 90 days, but it’s no substitute for a 1-year warranty. You should also read the customer reviews of sellers offering a returns policy, to make sure that they actually honour their word.
Meet in a public space
Admittedly, this one’s not as easy to follow when purchasing a second-hand TV as it is when purchasing a phone or laptop. The general rule of thumb when collecting from a seller is to meet in public, during daylight hours, at a train station, coffee shop or somewhere in a similar vein.
Due to the size and weight of most TVs, especially the 50in-plus 4K beasts you’re probably after, most collections will be made from the seller’s house – that, or they’ll be delivered to your home. Either way, make sure you have at least one person with you for safety’s sake. If the seller suggests that you collect the TV from an abandoned warehouse in an industrial estate, we would advise you to look elsewhere for your second-hand telly.
PayPal is the ideal middleman service for transferring money to a person you don’t know. It’s always best to avoid handing over cash in hand if you can, especially if you’ll be forking out hundreds of pounds for your second-hand TV. PayPal also ensures that there is a record of the payment and who it went to, making the seller much easier to track should something go awry.
Test it works
Finally, don’t forget to test the TV before agreeing to buy it! Make sure it looks the same as the description and any images which advertised it, then ensure that it turns on, has sound, all its cables and appliances are intact. Don’t forget to check the remote works while you’re there.
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Which TV should I buy, whether secondhand or refurbished?
Perhaps you’re so overwhelmed by the choice of 4K TVs on the market that you’re stumped about which one to even choose in the first place. Luckily, we have a guide of all our favourite TVs of the year which can help you to narrow down your choice to just a couple of models. From there, you can browse the websites we’ve discussed in this guide to try and find yourself a cheeky refurbished bargain. Happy viewing!