Refurbished GPS Devices
A question that comes up frequently in the forums goes like this.
I recently saw a refurbished GPS advertised at a great price. Should I consider purchasing a GPS that is a refurb? Is there anything I should know? What are the consequences of refurbished devices?
Here are our thoughts on the issue.
Generally speaking, I’ve always been a fan of purchasing refurbished consumer electronics. They often are sold at good discounts– 10-20% off current low street prices which can make them a great value. There is also a good argument that refurbished devices undergo more testing and scrutiny than a device that just passes “standard” assembly line testing. With that said, there are a few things to watch out for.
- Warranty: Typically, the warranty offered for a refurbished device is exactly the same as a “factory first” GPS device, but double check that it is true from the store you are considering your purchase from.
- Authorized Dealer: Also check to make sure the store you are looking at is in fact an authorized dealer– you wouldn’t want to be offered a warranty only to find that there is some loophole because the store is not an authorized dealer.
- Map Updates: This is the “kicker” when it comes to refurbished GPS devices. I’ve heard from a couple of people who have purchased refurbs that came with a much older map than what is currently offered by that GPS company, and in some cases they were told they were not entitled to a complimentary map update due to the refurb status, or because the map was so old it no longer qualified for any complimentary updates. That is the bigger issue of refurbs. It doesn’t happen all that often– but it has happened in the past.
Only you can determine if you are willing to take that risk. If the GPS is a fairly new release (say less than 9 months old) then your chances are good it will come with a recent map. If the device was originally released more than 12 months ago, you might not want to take the chance that you will get an older map, with an expensive upgrade process.
Update: TomTom now is offering an “Outlet Store” offering refurbished devices. From the language on the site, it appears these refurbished devices will appear in other stores as well. These devices only come with a six month warranty, and are not eligible for TomTom’s Latest Map Guarantee. (They are offering MapShare, however.) The lack of a full one year warranty and no latest map guarantee makes their typical discount of 20% off not worth it, in my opinion. Garmin does typically honor their nuMaps Guarantee on refurbished devices.