Though quality appliances won’t break down easily, their price tag may break the bank.
The good news is, some of the most coveted brands in the appliance world run certified refurbished programs, in which their skilled in-house technicians recondition the merchandise that was returned by customers and sell it at a heavily discounted price.
It also encourages sustainable shopping—why buy new when the restored model is just as good?
But there are a few caveats you should be aware of before committing. Here’s how to shop for refurbished products.
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Worth It: Vitamix Certified Reconditioned
Vitamix runs a meticulous, 17-point inspection and reconditioning process, which includes the blender being completely inspected, sterilized, and the proper parts replaced. Vitamix technicians then hand-select the best blenders for their like-new appearances and perform touch-ups when needed.
Vitamix has two lines of certified reconditioned models:
- The Standard Line: This line includes predominantly the 5200 models that have remained our favorite high-end blenders over the years. But if the product is listed as “Standard Line” without specifying the exact model number, you may receive one of the C-Series products (not necessarily the 5200).
- The Next Generation Line: This line is refurbished from the G-Series models (Professional Series 300, 7500, or Creations Elite) with the 7500 model being the most common occurrence. Model-specific offerings are available, too. You can find the Professional 750 (one of our top choices) for $500, which saves you $130 compared to a new machine. And the reconditioned A2500 is $150 cheaper than the brand-new version. There are also a handful of the newest Ascent series sold as reconditioned right now.
Warranty Info: Every reconditioned blender has a five-year warranty as opposed to the 7- to 10-year warranty included in brand-new models. Their 30-day return policy allows you to return the model for free if you change your mind.
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Worth It: KitchenAid Certified Refurbished
When it comes to home kitchen stand mixers, KitchenAid is the most reliable game in town. They’re so sturdily made that they almost never break down. For those who desire both quality and value, KitchenAid has a refurbished program, where every stand mixer goes through a rigorous inspection process, done by KitchenAid technicians.
The only caveat is that the supply is limited and, due to the popularity of these stand mixers, you may not find the color you want. The best practice is to snag yours immediately if you see one for sale online. You can save $150 on the Artisan Series and $330 on a Professional Series 6-quart stand mixer.
Warranty Info: Warranty length varies from 6 months to 1 year. Free shipping and returns are included within 30 days of purchase.
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Worth It: Breville Certified Remanufactured
Our favorite espresso machine for DIY Types, for instance, retails for $730 on Amazon, but you can get the certified refurbished version for only $500, saving you more than $200. One of our juicer recommendations, the Juice Fountain Cold, is also for sale at a $100 discount, which is about 50 percent off.
However, not every product offers a discount as steep as the espresso machines and juicers. In the case of our favorite toaster oven, buying brand new will only set you back about $50 more than the refurbished version, in which case, gaining the additional warranty length by buying new may be a better option.
Warranty Info: Everything you purchase through Breville Remanufactured comes with a six-month warranty (six months shorter than a brand-new model).
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Proceed with Caution: Amazon Renewed and Walmart Restored
Many other major retailers also have certified refurbished programs but you run the risk of getting subpar products because those retailers might not be affiliated with original manufacturers.
To minimize the risk, we highly recommend that you carefully read the fine print, such as the restoration process and return policy, to ensure a happy shopping experience. (This fine print may vary from product to product.)
Here are a couple of the most popular programs.
- Amazon Renewed hires third-party vendors to inspect, clean, and test returned merchandise and sell them as refurbished items at a heavily discounted price. For instance, our Best Buy choice for a robot vacuum, the Shark ION Robot, is sold for $85 through Amazon Renewed at 59 percent off. It comes with a generous 90-day free return period.
- Walmart Restored offers a wide range of refurbished small appliances with a 90-day free return policy. You can find refurbished products sold directly by their manufacturers, such as KitchenAid, which means the stand mixers were inspected and cleaned by KitchenAid technicians. But some other brands are sold through a third-party dealer, so it's not always foolproof.