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Thread: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

  1. #1
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    Would you buy it from the manufacturer or a dealer? Also, who would most likely have information on the reason for refurbishing? A little research on the models available show that the price of refurbished cameras are only discounted about 15-30%.

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    MacrOdreams's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    I actually have the SAME question. I have the opportunity to buy a refurbished one from Canon but I'm unsure if this is recommended....? Glad you posted this John.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Would you buy it from the manufacturer or a dealer? Also, who would most likely have information on the reason for refurbishing? A little research on the models available show that the price of refurbished cameras are only discounted about 15-30%.

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    Dizzy's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    Something you may want to consider when buying a refurbished camera is that, being factory refurbished, it has gone through a rigid quality control check, been calibrated and thoroughly checked over. That is likely a superior level of QC than is given to new units leaving the factory. Refurbished cameras also come with some type a factory warranty.


    Mike

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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    I know a few people who have bought a factory refurbished camera like them a lot. So yes I would buy one.

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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    I bought my D5000 factory refurbished and love it. I got it with a 1-year warranty through the authorized dealer (Nikon only gives a 90 day warranty on their refurbs). I also bought a factory-refurb 70-300 VR, but on that I added a 6-year third-party warranty -- the lens has a bit of a reputation for being on the delicate side and I could get the warranty quite reasonably. For me, the peace of mind was worth the few extra bucks -- and the refurb was a couple hundred less than the new price, even after the warranty was added on. My calculation on these things is always a balancing act between my limited budget and my confidence in the equipment. So far, I have always been satisfied with the Nikon factory refurbs that I have gotten. I would expect that Canon would be similar (and I think they give longer warranties than Nikon does.) I should add that I have never bought a used lens or camera -- that is outside my comfort zone. But, if the factory has brought it up to rev and I can get a guarantee, I am perfectly willing to go refurb if the price is right.

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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    Both of my cameras (a 50D and a 5D Mark II) are refurbishes, purchased through the Canon Loyalty Program (a USA-only program, btw).

    As refurbished cameras, they've been thoroughly checked out by Canon Service. Both of them arrived with very low click counts (17 and 12, respectively), so they probably weren't repaired units, but simply units that for one reason or another could not be sold new and had to be put in the white boxes. And the savings was worth it. True, the warranty was only for 90 days; rather than the standard 1 year warranty new equipment carries, but my 50D has been clicking over for me for about two years, the 5D mark II hasn't had any issues for the past 11 months, so really if my 5Dii remains problem free for another month, I'm no worse off than I would have been purchasing new.

    And the savings? When I got my 50D, it retailed new in the $1100 range. I got it for about $700--the used prices are just rounding that, now. My 5Dii retails new for around $2500. With the CLP discount, I got it for $1800. At that time (it varies), the CLP discount was approximately an additional 20% off the refurbished price, so the discount was more sizable. The only hard part was scrounging up a busted powershot to trade in.

  7. #7
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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    I tend to buy a lot of my electronics refurbished and have never had a problem. It's worth the savings, as far as I'm concerned.

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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
    Something you may want to consider when buying a refurbished camera is that, being factory refurbished, it has gone through a rigid quality control check, been calibrated and thoroughly checked over. That is likely a superior level of QC than is given to new units leaving the factory. Refurbished cameras also come with some type a factory warranty.

    Mike
    What he said.

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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    I have purchased three refurbished (30D, 40D and 7D) cameras and had a problem with only one, right out of the box. I bought it through the Canon Loyalty program and sent it right back to them. I received a new refurbished copys few days later and it and my other two have had no problems.

    Compare that with the two "new" Canon cameras I purchased (10D and 350D) both had to be returned to the Canon service center within the first 90-days of ownership.

    I think that the quality control at the service center is at least as good, and probably better than at the assembly line.

    One thing... Make sure that the camera is a genuine Canon Refurbished model and that is stamped on the box as such. A camera that had been sold and returned to a dealer with a clerk giving it a quick testing does not qualify as "refurbished" despite what the dealer states...

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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    I bought my Canon 7D through their CLP program earlier this year, and have no issues whatever. I bought my 5DC new from a dealer in the USA years back, and took it back with me to Central America. Within a month the LCD panel on top of the camera had started to fade out, but I couldn't get it to Canon. I finally got it to them when I was in the States almost two years later, staying at an hotel in NYC. They replaced the LCD panel, cleaned the sensor, replaced the strap which was slightly marked, and couriered it back to me in time for my flight out. All for no charge. They actually had to work on it over a weekend as they received it after lunch on Friday and sent it back as soon as they opened on Monday. It was that superb service, and the way they handled some compacts whose Sony-manufactured sensors failed, that convinced me to stay with the brand and buy another model.

    I've also bought two used cameras with no problems. You just need to keep your wits about you.

  11. #11
    MacrOdreams's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    Thanks guys this was very helpful, I'm going to get a refurbished one, calling tomorrow! Excited about my upgrade.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
    Something you may want to consider when buying a refurbished camera is that, being factory refurbished, it has gone through a rigid quality control check, been calibrated and thoroughly checked over. That is likely a superior level of QC than is given to new units leaving the factory. Refurbished cameras also come with some type a factory warranty.


    Mike

  12. #12
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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dizzy View Post
    Something you may want to consider when buying a refurbished camera is that, being factory refurbished, it has gone through a rigid quality control check, been calibrated and thoroughly checked over. That is likely a superior level of QC than is given to new units leaving the factory. Refurbished cameras also come with some type a factory warranty.


    Mike
    Mike,

    I have considered this and it would give me more of a comfort level with the transaction.

  13. #13
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by tclune View Post
    I bought my D5000 factory refurbished and love it. I got it with a 1-year warranty through the authorized dealer (Nikon only gives a 90 day warranty on their refurbs). I also bought a factory-refurb 70-300 VR, but on that I added a 6-year third-party warranty -- the lens has a bit of a reputation for being on the delicate side and I could get the warranty quite reasonably. For me, the peace of mind was worth the few extra bucks -- and the refurb was a couple hundred less than the new price, even after the warranty was added on. My calculation on these things is always a balancing act between my limited budget and my confidence in the equipment. So far, I have always been satisfied with the Nikon factory refurbs that I have gotten. I would expect that Canon would be similar (and I think they give longer warranties than Nikon does.) I should add that I have never bought a used lens or camera -- that is outside my comfort zone. But, if the factory has brought it up to rev and I can get a guarantee, I am perfectly willing to go refurb if the price is right.
    I would suspect the best warranty you would get purchasing used would be 3 months if you are lucky.

  14. #14
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by inkista View Post
    Both of my cameras (a 50D and a 5D Mark II) are refurbishes, purchased through the Canon Loyalty Program (a USA-only program, btw).

    As refurbished cameras, they've been thoroughly checked out by Canon Service. Both of them arrived with very low click counts (17 and 12, respectively), so they probably weren't repaired units, but simply units that for one reason or another could not be sold new and had to be put in the white boxes. And the savings was worth it. True, the warranty was only for 90 days; rather than the standard 1 year warranty new equipment carries, but my 50D has been clicking over for me for about two years, the 5D mark II hasn't had any issues for the past 11 months, so really if my 5Dii remains problem free for another month, I'm no worse off than I would have been purchasing new.

    And the savings? When I got my 50D, it retailed new in the $1100 range. I got it for about $700--the used prices are just rounding that, now. My 5Dii retails new for around $2500. With the CLP discount, I got it for $1800. At that time (it varies), the CLP discount was approximately an additional 20% off the refurbished price, so the discount was more sizable. The only hard part was scrounging up a busted powershot to trade in.
    That discount (if you really call it that) sounds close to what I was able to research for Nikon models. It seems the lower the cost, and probably also holds true for discontinued models, the higher the price difference.

  15. #15
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Smith View Post
    I know a few people who have bought a factory refurbished camera like them a lot. So yes I would buy one.
    Was this a first time buy for your friends? I see so many inquiries on this forum regarding the purchase of a new camera. I wonder how many consider buying a refurbished unit?

  16. #16
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie View Post
    I tend to buy a lot of my electronics refurbished and have never had a problem. It's worth the savings, as far as I'm concerned.
    Frankie,

    There's a few electronic items I'd avoid (a television would be one) but for the mose part I would take the chance on cameras and lenses, especially if have the chance to try it out before purchasing. If it's purchased directly from the factory then I am going to give it a work out immediately upon receipt.

  17. #17
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    I have purchased three refurbished (30D, 40D and 7D) cameras and had a problem with only one, right out of the box. I bought it through the Canon Loyalty program and sent it right back to them. I received a new refurbished copys few days later and it and my other two have had no problems.

    Compare that with the two "new" Canon cameras I purchased (10D and 350D) both had to be returned to the Canon service center within the first 90-days of ownership.

    I think that the quality control at the service center is at least as good, and probably better than at the assembly line.

    One thing... Make sure that the camera is a genuine Canon Refurbished model and that is stamped on the box as such. A camera that had been sold and returned to a dealer with a clerk giving it a quick testing does not qualify as "refurbished" despite what the dealer states...
    Noted.

    I also noticed that some models are listed as "out of stock". I would be concerned about waiting for one to arrive and would probably move onto whatever else is available, unless the remaining stock did not meet my needs

  18. #18
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    Quote Originally Posted by peterbj7 View Post
    I bought my Canon 7D through their CLP program earlier this year, and have no issues whatever. I bought my 5DC new from a dealer in the USA years back, and took it back with me to Central America. Within a month the LCD panel on top of the camera had started to fade out, but I couldn't get it to Canon. I finally got it to them when I was in the States almost two years later, staying at an hotel in NYC. They replaced the LCD panel, cleaned the sensor, replaced the strap which was slightly marked, and couriered it back to me in time for my flight out. All for no charge. They actually had to work on it over a weekend as they received it after lunch on Friday and sent it back as soon as they opened on Monday. It was that superb service, and the way they handled some compacts whose Sony-manufactured sensors failed, that convinced me to stay with the brand and buy another model.

    I've also bought two used cameras with no problems. You just need to keep your wits about you.
    Agreed about keeping your wits about you.

  19. #19
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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    I would feel safe buying refurbished I think. A lot of the refurbished cameras will hardly have been used. They have been returned for real or imaginary problems and checked by the manufacturer before being put out again.

    Thom Hogan for instance referred to Nikon's D7000 model a while back. A lot of people said that they had back focus problems with that camera and returned it for another model. In his view a lot of these returns were unnecessary and the cameras could be expected back on the market again as refurbished (and discounted). He recommended them to deal seekers.

  20. #20
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    Re: Would you buy a refurbished camera?

    I have bought a refurbished Canon 5D Mark II directly from Canon USA and it saved me $600 and came with a 90 day warranty. Had no problems at all with it. I think buying refurb directly from the manufacturer is the safest bet, who knows what a third-party dealer or seller does to refurbish a camera.

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