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06-17-2009, 03:15 PM   #1
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Experience with refurbs - Yay or nay?

I'm about to take the plunge into Pentax (and DSLR) Land this week and have decided the K200 is going to be my first. If my skills and finances accumulate enough in the next 6-18 months, I might spring for a K7 but that is another story ....

I'm tempted by a refurbished model for $379 (the new is current $507). Does anyone have any good or bad experience with refurbished models? I have no problems getting a less-than-new cam as my first Pentax if the reliability and quality is comparable. On the other hand, $128 is not that much more if there's a significant difference.

Of course, there is randomness involved in either decision but, having never bought refurbished gear, I'm love to hear what folks think about it.

Another wrinkle: if I go new, I have the option to get the Accidental Damage insurance which covers lots of stuff, including my own goofs/drops/spills. Is $79 for 3 years worth it for camera of this modest stature? I do tend to take my cameras to dangerous/dirty places which is one of the main reasons that I went Pentax (dust/weather sealing).

Thanks! I'm hope to be able to contribute more to PF in a few weeks/months when I've got my new rig.

06-17-2009, 03:54 PM   #2
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Never had a problem with refurbed electronics, but I've never bought a refurbed camera.

Given the price savings, I'd think the extra $79 would be worth it (this coming from someone who NEVER buys extended warranties). I say this mostly because the majority of refurbs only have a 90-day warranty.

Probably if you test the camera out thoroughly when you first get it, you should be fine. Check and see how long you have to return it for a full refund, should something be amiss.
06-17-2009, 04:01 PM   #3
der
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QuoteOriginally posted by Duck Dodgers Quote
Given the price savings, I'd think the extra $79 would be worth it (this coming from someone who NEVER buys extended warranties). I say this mostly because the majority of refurbs only have a 90-day warranty.
Thanks, Mike, but the extended super warranty only applies for the new purchase, not the refurb so my options are:

$379: refurb
$507: new
$586: new + 3 year accidental damage warranty
06-17-2009, 04:15 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by der Quote
Thanks, Mike, but the extended super warranty only applies for the new purchase, not the refurb so my options are:

$379: refurb
$507: new
$586: new + 3 year accidental damage warranty
You can get a 3yr warranty on a refurb via squaretrade.com

06-17-2009, 07:38 PM   #5
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Refurbished stuff is usually fine in my experience. Don't buy the extra stuff.
06-17-2009, 08:25 PM   #6
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depends

It depends where you're getting the refurb from. Some sources call used equipment "refurb", even when it isn't.

I've bought refurb electronics but not cameras. Some direct-from-manufacturer refurbs were truly like new. Other refurbs were obviously just used.

Paul
06-17-2009, 08:58 PM   #7
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My only experience buying a refurb camera was with a Sony video camera. I bought it at a Sony Refurbished Store. The color of the images it produced was horrible. I took it back, only to be told refurbished cameras were not returnable. I had quite a discussion with the store manager. He finally took it back and gave me a full refund, but told me never to come back to the store. A short time later the store closed.
06-18-2009, 11:31 AM   #8
der
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Thanks, everyone, for your replies. After hemming and hawing, I think I'm going to shell out the extra dough for the new model and accidental coverage warranty. For around $25 a year, that seems like a decent deal and while I'm generally careful with my gear, I lug my camera around a lot while hiking, climbing, backcountry skiing, etc so accidental damage is not out of the question.

The squaretrade.com warranty available for the refurb was $49 for one year (twice the annual rate as accidental warranty above) and only covered manufacturer defects. It's essentially the same and the manufacturer warranty for a new model, effectively making the refurb only $80 cheaper than a new model.

06-18-2009, 12:04 PM   #9
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I'm unfamiliar with the accidental warranty, is this through the seller, which is...?

Thanks,

Nic
06-18-2009, 12:38 PM   #10
der
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It's a SageMax plan that is offered as an option when you buy at B&H. The cost of the plan depends on the # of years and cost of the insured item. I don't have any experience with it but $130 for 3 years of coverage for my new camera and lens (18-250) seems reasonable to me (~10% of insured items, less than $4/mo).

Of course, it's only a good deal if they handle claims quickly and competently. I'm assuming that B&H being a big player with an excellent service record wouldn't offer this plan if they didn't think their customers would be happy with it. But that's a big assumption, I suppose.
06-18-2009, 04:58 PM   #11
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I've purchased 3 refurbished cameras from Adorama over the past 4 years, Each one appears to have been brand new when purchased. With heavy use (especially my daughter's, who throws around & drops her camera regularly), I've never had a problem. The salesman told me that most refurbished models purchased through reputable dealers are indeed new relabeled examples sold as refurbished as a marketing tool to move more merchandise.
I wouldn't buy one, though, without first checking it out in person, to avoid getting stuck with one that isn't quite "new".
06-19-2009, 02:00 PM   #12
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Yay!
I already answered to another thread similar to this.
It gets more TLC since it's given more than a once over to refurbish it in factory.
06-20-2009, 01:43 PM   #13
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I've purchased many refurb cameras for our engineering field staff (dozen or more) and have had only one problem in that time. Sent it back and another was shipped out quick.

You take a risk, but if the source is reputable, you should be fine.

resellerratings.com is a great help.

I purchase refurb stuff for myself all the time, and have not had a problem. The notebook computer I'm using to type this was purchased for $244 on Ebay, and sells for $1300 new.

Running a single income home forces you to take a more frugal approach to your fun.
06-20-2009, 05:42 PM   #14
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Now this sounds intriguing! Where exactly does one find refurbished photo gear? Do regular retailers (ie. Henry's, etc) offer it, or do you contact the manufacturer directly?
06-20-2009, 08:34 PM   #15
der
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In this case, bestbuy.com. The K200 is $379 and the K20 $499, as others have noted in other threads. I decided to go with the new but it sounds like lots of folks have good refurb experiences.
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