Buying Used or Open Products
Financial Management

Buying Used or Open Products

large business and finance

For a lot of people when they want to save money they often look to see if there is a partially used or opened product of the same kind to hopefully save some money. For myself, I have personally never been too big of a fan in purchasing an opened product as I guess I am one of those people who are a bit paranoid on how there has to be some kind of catch on why the product has say been returned to the store.

However, a lot of people actually try to hunt for these types of items as people like myself are reluctant to buy it even at a discount which forces the company to drop the price even more. In a lot of cases though, I have personally seen how a lot of returned/used items in stores are actually perfectly fine except the original purchaser did not know how to operate it. I have seen some very interesting, which are also one hundred percent true, examples of this.

One day I saw person who was returning a VCR to a store and it was just bought the day before. Apparently something was wrong with the item as he was pretty annoyed over it as well. The store employee then asked what the issue was and the person told her that the VCR was broken as it couldn’t play the DVD’s that he bought. The employee then tried to explain how that was normal and the guy just kept insisting that it was broken. In the end, they just ended up having to resell the item as a used/open product at a discounted price. Somebody actually did end up buying it afterwards which doesn’t seem like too bad of a deal if you think about it.

Another thing that I have seen is how people tend to abuse the return policy from various companies. As an example, I hear many stories of people who are say getting married and do not have a video camera. What they do is that a week or so before their wedding they go to the store to purchase the video camera. Once the wedding is over, they simply return it and just claim that they didn’t like the product and so they receive a full refund. As a result, again the store is forced to sell the item at a discount and really there is nothing wrong with the item.

There are times of course where there is a legitimate reason why an opened product is extremely marked down such as having a lot of cosmetic damages. At the same time, you have to be careful as sometimes you might not be buying what you think you are. For example, some people are devious where they would buy say a new keyboard from a store. What they then do is go home as they own the exact same product and simply swap it with the new one that they just bought. They then return their old keyboard as the new one to the store with success. Unfortunately in that scenario, you would oblivious that you are paying for something that is extremely old.

While it is not a sure fire thing, from what I have seen if you are buying a used or opened product then usually the person you are buying it from should be able to confidently tell you a consistent story on why the product is being sold in its current state as oppose to just “There is nothing wrong with it” type of deal. One of the best ways in general too when it comes to saving money in shopping for things is to bring a person who knows a lot about the product as they will have a better chance in knowing what to lookout for.

Buying used or opened products can definitely be a good way to save some extra money, but just try to be careful in making sure that what you are buying really is a good deal.


  • Marek 4/29/2007

    I bought some used kitchen equipment for a new restaurant my friends and I are opening.
    In order to save money, we bought used freezer adn cooler …. only to find out from a friend that these items will probably not pass a health inspection !!!
    Unfortunately due to lack of experience, I bought these products on good faith that they work … You-buy-what-you-see !!

    I have not used this equipment yet … it is has been standing in our kitchen for about 4 days … un-used. Do we have the right to ask for our money back ?

    Kind Regards,
    Marek Gimza

  • Alan Yu 4/29/2007

    Companies of that nature usually have to have some kind of return policy available for their customers to view. So unless they clearly had a sign or policy to indicate that it was a “All sales are final” type of agreement then I personally can’t see why you wouldn’t be able to request a refund.

    The other thing that might work is to exchange it for another freezer with similar features and an equal value as most reputable companies would be willing to do that.

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