Jun 182012

Here at American Printer Service, Inc. we are often asked by customers looking to replace a unit about whether they should purchase a new printer or go after that ‘really great deal!’ they found online. In these economic times, the compulsion to snap up a great deal, and save some dollars, is easy to give into, especially when they seller makes it seem like a ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity. We have mixed feelings about purchasing refurbished printers from online sources such as Ebay, Craigslist, and etc. Here’s why…

There is no denying that online retailers can offer some really great prices when it comes to purchasing refurbished printers. Sometimes you can end up with a unit that costs you hundreds of dollars less than a comparable, brand new printer would have cost. We would just caution you to ‘read the fine print’ when it comes to purchasing printers from online sources.

Typically speaking, refurbished printers that are sold online are an ‘as is’ item, meaning that when you receive the printer, it may work perfectly for a week and then have a complete meltdown. As the buyer, you can contact the seller and ask for a refund, and some reputable sellers will try to help you out. However, I would say the majority of sellers will point to the one line in their advertisement that lets them off the hook. We’ve seen this happen time and time again to our customers, who have purchased a printer online, only to call us to fix it down the road. Typically speaking, the costs involved in fixing a broken unit wipes out any savings in the original purchase price.

You know, I can see already that this is a much bigger discussion than one blog post should be so for now, let me just sum things up by saying… There are some really great companies out there that do a great job refurbishing and selling printers online. You’ve just got to realize that there are some shady ones out there as well. When it comes to purchasing refurbished printers from online retailers, be sure that you know the seller and have read AND understood the ‘fine print’. Of course, we recommend that you buy from local small businesses whenever possible but since that is not always possible or economical, just be aware that purchasing printers online carries specific risk / reward possibilities.

We’ll pick this discussion up at a later date!

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