enmuffins wrote:A stupid question: When it says 'refurbished' does that mean what I think it means ie: been taken apart and put back together again?
Honestly? It means "Welcome to W00t!" Because as a liquidator, many -- if not most -- of W00t's products are refurbished. Refurbished can mean something as benign as open box returns, but more commonly, a refurbished product is one that was returned to the manufacturer due to product defects, sold off in a lot to a private refurbisher, and then sold once again in a lot to a liquidator like w00t for final retail sale.
The defects in question may be minor -- blemishes such as scratches/dents -- or they may be actual functionality defects that interfere with the product's operation. The refurbisher makes a (presumably) good-faith effort to find and repair all problems with the unit -- which simply means that the unit operates (for however long a testing period as the refurbisher will allocate) according to the definition of "properly" that the refurbisher is using. Sometimes, the refurbisher will not correctly fix all problems with the unit, either because they failed to find or reproduce the issue, or just due to an unsatisfactory "fix" attempt. (For example, sometimes a failure in one component is actually caused by problems with another component. The refurbisher replaces the failed component -- which according to the economies of manufacture and design, is likely to be one of the cheapest components -- and the piece which causes the other to fail is still there, which simply causes the replacement to fail while you own it.)
You pay less than retail, and you get less than retail: Want a warranty? You won't get one; buy your own. Most w00ts come with a link to an available Square Trade warranty for your product. Want full original packaging, accessories, and manuals? You're not always going to get them. If you're buying something that comes with a period of free support from the manufacturer, that period may well have expired since the original purchaser enabled it for this product, or it may not be transferable.
In short, buying a refurbished product is a risk/reward exercise: You're paying less and risking more. Sometimes the reward is worth the risk, and sometimes, not so much. Many people will post here that they've had nothing but fantastic luck with refurbs, and would never think twice about buying one. Others will post horror stories and will never try one again. Personally, I'm in the middle, having had both tremendous and tremendously bad experiences. In the end, you just gotta ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?"