I never knew that a refurbished home security camera existed until recently. Readers of this site know that I am a fan of the Samsung HD Plus Home Security Camera. I already have one and like the features and price. You can read our review of the Samsung SmartCam HD Plus.
Well, I was in need of another camera and stumbled upon a Manufacturer Refurbished Samsung SNH-V6414BMR SmartCam HD Plus Home Security Camera. It costs less than the brand new model so I was interested in if it’s worth buying a refurbished home security camera. That’s why I dug deeper into this subject and can share some insight and advice on the topic.
What Exactly is Refurbished
So what exactly is a refurbished home security camera? It’s not exactly new. The camera was previously owned then cleaned up, checked out then put up for sale. Most often, it’s a camera that was returned to a reseller or the manufacturer. That’s what refurbished is. It’s who does the refurbishing that matters most.
There are a lot of ways that returns are addressed.
I remember many years ago, you could buy a pallet of returns from QVC. For those unfamiliar with QVC, they are one of the largest home shopping outlets. Best known for their 24 hour, 7 day a week home shopping programs on television. They make it very easy to return anything you may not like.
A lot of those returns wind up on pallets. QVC would then take a few photos of the pallet and sell it to whoever wanted to buy it. Most buyers would then break these apart and sell them online. I doubt that anything on these pallets make it to a refurbished sale but that’s one example of what companies do with their returns.
Not all Refurbished is the Same
There are a few different refurbished home security camera varieties. Let’s look at the two most common types of refurbishment.
Factory Refurbished – This is the type that you want to buy. In the Samsung example that I used, these are refurbished by Samsung. Factory trained specialists that do this for a living with access to new components, software and manuals. They know what’s supposed to come with the camera, can check all parts and replace them with new components if that’s what needs to be done. A factory refurbished home security camera often comes with a warranty that is at least 90 days, sometimes longer. If you have a problem with it, a factory refurbished home camera would be repaired by the manufacturer.
In-House or Reseller Refurbished – Avoid these. A reseller or in-house refurbished home security camera can be checked out and repaired by someone that isn’t factory certified. While you might get lucky and find one that works out well, the likelihood that you won’t is great with this type of refurbished home security camera. Any warranty is often administered by the reseller themselves, not by the manufacturer. Most of the cameras that fall into this category are refurbished using parts fro other cameras and the person doing this work may not know how the camera works.
What to Do?
Before buying a refurbished home security camera, become very familiar with what you are buying. Understand what comes with the new camera and how it works. That way, you will know when a refurbished home security camera isn’t working properly. You will also have a better idea of when it’s worth the risk of buying it refurbished versus new.
And yes, there is a risk. People return things for a reason. A lot of times, the reason is that they simply don’t want it or got it as a gift and already had one. Other times, the camera simply isn’t working properly. You want to make sure that whoever did the refurbishing knew what they were doing. Hence, my advice to always go with factory refurbished.
All of these articles are written by someone (me) that figured out how to do this stuff the hard way. I have owned and tested dozens of cameras. Manufacturer support varies. There are a few good companies that provide timely answers when you have questions. There are several that sell you the camera and seem to have little interest in post sales support (which leads me to finding out stuff the hard way).