Top 5 Reasons to Buy Cameras New Instead of Used or Refurbished

Top 5 Reasons to Buy Cameras New Instead of Used or Refurbished

I’m sure plenty of you out there have at least considered buying a camera used because, well, let’s face it, it’s less expensive.  Personally, I have never purchased a used camera, and here is my reasoning.

5.  Warranty.  Obvious as it is, used cameras do not come with a warranty.  New cameras (as long as they’re being purchased from a reputable manufacturer) usually have at least a one year warranty, if not longer.  By purchasing new, you’ll also most likely have the opportunity to purchase an extended warranty in addition to the original one.  When purchasing used, there is normally no warranty at all unless you’re purchasing from an authorized/licensed dealer (which is THE ONLY  facet from which I would EVER recommend buying used), and even then, the warranty is minimal at best. When purchasing refurbished, there is usually a warranty (again, only if you purchase from an authorized/licensed dealer), but the longest refurb warranty I’ve ever seen is 90 days.  The biggest problem here is that when you’re purchasing used or refurbished, that’s usually the time when you need a warranty most.
As for purchasing refurbished as opposed to used, I used to work in customer service (via phone) for a major electronics company.  Every time a customer would call in and utter the words, “so, I bought this product refurbished,” I would cringe with the knowledge that their product was most likely out of warranty, and was (99% of the time) probably within DAYS outside of that warranty.  When buying refurbished from the manufacturer, these manufacturers are smart.  They know exactly how long their refurbished (or “reconditioned,” or remanufactured”) product is supposed to last, and they will issue a warranty accordingly.
As a sidenote, if you’re going to buy refurbished, ONLY buy directly from the manufacturer.  Refurbished products are SUPPOSED to be refurbished by the manufacturers themselves, but a lot of retailers will use their own staff to refurbish the products to cut corners.  When I did customer service over the phone, we came to hate a certain “big savings” store (it’s parking LOTS are BIG…..), because this is a retailer who does that.  Most of the products purchased from this retailer were refurbished so poorly that they either didn’t work straight out of the box, or they would fail just after the warranty ended.

4.  Chances are, you won’t have to talk to creepy, sketchy people.  Unless you purchase from an authorized/licensed dealer (yes, you’re going to hear me use that phrase a lot in this list), the people who sell used electronics are usually a bit sketchy.  Why?  Because most of the time, they’re trying to scam you.  This isn’t always the case, but if they’re not licensed, there’s usually a reason why.  Buy purchasing new, you probably won’t have to deal with this.  Sure, there’s always the occasional socially awkward Best Buy employee, but at least you know that if you’re buying from Best Buy, you’re in a public place and have the rest of the Best Buy staff to keep you safe from creeps.  Even if you purchase something used online (through eBay, for example), the sketchy factor may still be there.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen websites with such broken English and false claims about cameras that they’re selling for cheap.  It amazes me that people will actually even buy the products, but some people just don’t know any better.  A few months back, I actually listened to a recording of a man who called the customer service number of an unlicensed Canon dealer.  The rep on the phone tried to convince the man to purchase different products, including an “error-free” memory card that, when the photographer took a blurry photo, had the ability to “fix” the blur.
EDIT:  I found the link to that article and recording; here it is:

3.  It comes with all of the accessories and manuals.  By purchasing new, the camera will come with everything it’s supposed to (charger, battery, manual, and other accessories).  Purchasing used may be great for saving money….as long as you’re okay with having to purchase all the odds and ends separately.  Most of the time, used products don’t come with any accessories, and even if they do, there’s no guarantee that the accessories are in the best condition, either.  Refurbished products (again, only if purchased from an A/LD ;)) normally come with the accessories, but just the bare minimum.  New cameras will have everything, and they also have the advantage of the warranty–if one of the accessories isn’t in the box, all you have to do is go back to the retailer (or sometimes call the manufacturer) and they will give/send you the missing piece(s) for no charge.

2.  The lifespan on a new camera will be longer.  Sure, a used camera will be less expensive, but think of it this way.  When you buy new, the camera hasn’t had anyone use it before.  It’s like buying a car.  If you buy the car new with no mileage on it, it will last you a good long time so long as you maintain it properly.  Cameras, like cars and like all other electronics, DO have lifespans.  If you buy a used one, it’s like buying a used car.  Say a new car has an estimated lifespan of 15-20 years, but you purchase that car from someone who bought it new and drove it for 18 years.  Your 15-20 year car has now become a 2 year car.  In addition to this, you don’t know who owned it before.  You don’t know how they took care of it.  That lifespan is based on the assumption that the owner is going to maintain it properly.  If they didn’t, your 2 year car could become a 2 week car.  The same goes for used and refurbished cameras.  There’s just no way to tell.  In the long run, paying more for a new camera usually means that you’re much more likely to get your money’s worth out of it instead of gambling on a possibility.

1.  There’s no real way to tell what you’re actually getting.  As previously mentioned, you don’t know how the previous owner took care of it.  It could have been a camera that someone dropped in water and was able to dry out, to the point where it barely works, but might break next week due to abuse.  When buying used or refurbished, chances are, the return policy is “final sale”.  If you’re not purchasing from an A/LD, this is even more true.  There’s really no way to tell what happened to the camera before you owned it, and the person selling it to you probably won’t be too keen on letting you in on all the little details.  In the end, they don’t care if your camera breaks–they just want to make some money.

Overall, if you want to get that camera you’ve been lusting after for years for an extremely low price, go ahead and purchase used or refurbished.  However, if you want to get that camera you’ve been lusting after for years, and you also want it to be in good condition, last as long as it should, have all of the accessories and warranties that go with it, and in general, just get your money’s worth out of it, buy new.


~ by jeezycreezy on March 9, 2012.

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