Four Things to Know Before Buying a Refurbished TV

Refurbished TVs can save buyers hundreds or even thousands of dollars, including on almost-new models. So, what’s the catch? Despite various misconceptions, the process is largely straightforward. However, it does come with some risks.

What’s the Difference Between Refurbished and Used or Second-Hand?

First and foremost, what’s the difference between refurbished and used or second-hand televisions? In any sense, refurbished items are generally distinct from those deemed second-hand. Many refurbished TVs, in fact, may never have been used at all. Instead, they’re sets that have simply found their way back to the manufacturer or retailer for one reason or another.
These reasons can vary wildly. For example, a customer may have received a television that was missing a part. Alternatively, a manufacturer may have sold a TV with a faulty power supply. In both instances, each of these sets would likely find itself promptly returned. With these issues addressed, retailers offer them for sale as refurbished models.
It’s often as simple as that. For example, televisions may even end up classified as refurbished simply due to damaged packaging. In such cases, a TV’s box might never have been opened except to check that any damage is to the packaging and not to the set itself. The manufacturer tests it and puts it back on sale as refurbished.
By contrast, a used TV may have undergone more abuse. Previous owners may have used and abused second-hand televisions for months or even years before reselling. That doesn’t mean people should avoid them. However, they’re an entirely different proposition to refurbished TVs. Accordingly, they come with their own things to think about, like why is the seller selling it and is the price justified?

Other Considerations When Buying a Refurbished TV

After confirming that a TV is refurbished and not second-hand, it’s important to pay attention to a small number of other considerations. At the same time, that’s not to say some refurbished TVs haven’t been used to an extent. For the most part, if a refurbished TV has been used, that usage is likely little.
Ultimately, what’s more important is how or why a set found itself becoming refurbished. Moreover, there’s an important distinction that must be made in terms of where and by whom any refurbishment work was carried out.

Only Buy Factory-Repaired or Manufacturer-Refurbished TVs

In theory, anyone can refurbish a TV. As a result, only consider those refurbished by the manufacturer. Manufacturer-refurbished sets may also be referred to as factory-repaired. In either instance, buyers can rest assured that such televisions have been repaired by qualified experts using only genuine spare parts and components.
The same TVs will also have undergone extensive testing before being put back on sale, meaning that perfect working order is assured straight out of the box. However, refurbished TVs still have risks. For example, refurbished TVs rarely come with the full manufacturer’s warranty. And, in cases where a limited warranty is included, this coverage could be as short as a few weeks. In rare instances, a retailer may offer a warranty of up to a year.
Because refurbished and used TVs rarely come with warranties, customers agree to take the risk that the TV could break after purchase.

Can You Buy an Extended Warranty for a Refurbished TV?

An extended warranty covers defects and damage after the limited warranty expires. However, many of the best warranty providers do not cover refurbished or used TVs. As a result, customers must be comfortable paying for repairs out-of-pocket when they choose to purchase a used TV instead of a new TV.

Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away From a Refurbished TV

Refurbished televisions are commonly an in-store purchase. That said, it’s also possible to buy a refurbished TV online. Either way, don’t be afraid to walk away from a deal if you’re not 100 percent happy. Having asked the necessary questions, it may become apparent that a TV isn’t, in fact, factory-repaired or manufacturer-refurbished.
If that’s the case, look elsewhere. In many cases, buying a new TV may be the better deal. Meanwhile, when purchasing a used TV, check that, outwardly at least, everything appears to be in order before setting it up. If anything isn’t as agreed, refer the matter back to the seller immediately.


Buying a refurbished television can feel like a gamble, but with enough research, it shouldn’t be. Approached correctly, the process of purchasing a refurbished TV is similar to buying a new TV. Of course, that’s assuming that potential buyers have considered the above points.
However, customers who don’t want to risk hidden defects should consider purchasing a new TV set instead. Many manufacturers sell new TVs with a limited warranty, which guarantees the TV’s health for up to one year. However, after one year, the new TV loses its protection.
For better warranty coverage for new TVs, choose Upsie. Upsie offers extended television warranties that last up to five years for new models from all major manufacturers. Best of all, Upsie’s warranties cost up to 70 percent less than warranties sold elsewhere.
With an Upsie warranty, customers can make unlimited claims up to the purchase price of the TV set. In addition, the warranty covers screen burn-in, dead pixels, early wear, defects, and more.
Upsie does not offer extended warranties for used or refurbished TV sets. To find out more, head to or download the Upsie smartphone app to get started.

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* This article is over 6 months old and may or may not be updated.