Are Refurbished Game Consoles Worth It?

I was thinking about the new consoles and wondered how many of them would give small issues. This means that you might find that within the first year or two, you will see a lot of refurbished consoles. So, I decided to let you know whether or not refurbished consoles are worth it.

Buying a refurbished console might mean that you can strike a bargain. It could also mean that you are buying somebody else’s problems. However, buying a refurbished console that has a warranty is, in my experience, absolutely worth it. Refurbished consoles are lower risk than pre-owned consoles.

In this article, we are first going to take a look at what refurbished consoles are. Then, we are going to talk about whether or not they are worth it. In this article, we are going to discuss the difference between demo models, pre-owned and refurbished consoles. So, for everything you need to know, keep reading.

What Is A Refurbished Console?

A lot of people have a misconception, and they tend to confuse refurbished with pre-owned. There is actually a significant difference which we will get into later on in this article. For now, let’s talk about what a refurbished console is.

Let’s say a client buys a PS5. He then gets home and realizes that he bought the wrong console and decides to take it back. In most cases, he will be allowed to return the console. However, that console cannot be sold as new. So, it is thoroughly checked and then sold as refurbished.

Mainly, what a refurbished console is, is when there is a slight problem with the console. It will quickly be repaired. The repairs need to be minimal so that every other component of the console works perfectly. Now with the replaced component, the console works as if it’s new, but it is not new; it is refurbished.

Just to reiterate this, here is a list of reasons why a console is sold as refurbished.

  • A customer returned a perfectly fine console. It is repackaged and sold as refurbished.
  • There may have been a small issue. The console will be repaired, repackaged, and sold.

Is A Refurbished Console Worth It?

When we discussed what a refurbished console is, we did state that the console needs to be working perfectly for it to be sold as refurbished. This does not mean that there won’t be any problems or you can’t have any guarantee at least.

With all of that being said, if the manufacturer or the retailer is still offering a warranty with the console, great. That means that they have good faith that the console works 100%. You also have safety and peace of mind knowing that you still have your warranty if something happens.

So, I would say that if the console does not come with a warranty, then no, it is not worth it. If the console does come with a warranty, then, yes, you could actually score a bargain. You could pay significantly less for a console that works as it should than what you would have paid if you bought one that wasn’t refurbished.

The Difference Between Pre Owned And Refurbished

A pre-owned console can be bought privately, or it can be bought from various types of stores. Mainly they are sold at GameStop. What is the difference between pre-owned consoles and refurbished ones? Well, the answer can be made quite simple. Let’s take a look.

  • Refurbished console: We have already stated that the refurbished console was returned after being recently bought and has gone through minimal repairs but is working perfectly.
  • A pre-owned console: This is a console that has been used and then resold as it is. It cannot be sold as refurbished or new; it must be sold as pre-owned, used, or second-hand.

If you are buying a pre-owned console privately, you need to be sure that you know what you are doing. You also need to take certain safety precautions. It is very easy, and it happens all the time. You might get scammed. The console might look perfect with everything running smoothly.

But maybe you decided to connect the console to the internet one day. At this point, you might find that the network adaptor doesn’t work or the Ethernet port doesn’t work. Maybe the Blu-ray player doesn’t work. These are all things that you might not see when buying the console.

A console from stores like GameStop will have been thoroughly checked. So, if you want to buy a pre-owned console, I highly recommend going to a retailer.

The Difference Between A Demo Model And Refurbished Console

I won’t talk much about a refurbished console because we have done so twice in this article. So, let’s take a look at what a demo console is.

If a console is sold as a demo model, it was used within the store you are buying it from. So, it could have been set up on display and shown off to potential clients.

When the store starts to run out of stock, they will also sell the demo for slightly less than a new one.

Is Refurbished Better Than Pre Owned?

I would say that refurbished consoles are better than pre-owned consoles unless you get fortunate and strike a bargain. Most of the time, you can strike bargains with your friends and family. It also depends on where you are buying the console from.

If you’re buying a refurbished console, you are more likely to buy it from a store. This also means that they will most probably be willing to give you a warranty.

If you are buying a pre-owned console, not from a store, you don’t really know what you are buying. You will only know this when you have tested it out for at least a few days.

If you are buying a pre-owned console from a store, likely, you will also get a little bit of a warranty. At least you will be able to return it according to most consumer acts. The consumer act depends on the state or country that you live in.

How To Know If Your Console Is Refurbished

There will often be a sticker saying that the console is refurbished. However, if you got the console as a present, it is possible that most of the stickers that hint towards the console being refurbished will have been removed by the gift giver.

Other than that, you can look at the slip. If you cannot find anything there, you can look at the box or, finally, there might be a sticker on your console saying that it is refurbished. Otherwise, you will have to take a look at the console. If it is still new for you, but it has a few nicks and scratches, it is probably a refurbished console.

I don’t recommend it, but something you can do is open up the console and see if all the parts are original. However, any reputable store selling a refurbished console will only have it repaired with original parts. Most of the time, they send it to the console manufacturers themselves and get it back.

Can You Return a Refurbished Console?

Each state and country has its own consumer act. The general rule is that you can return anything, within reason obviously, within 14 days. Most stores will try to get you not to return the console, so they might use language that doesn’t directly tell you no. It might just leave you thinking that you can’t return it.

The best thing for you to do would be to check the laws within the state or country you live in. If you have to return it, make sure that you have all the original packaging, all the original slips, and remember to say that you know what the consumer acts as if they are giving you problems.

Can You Sell A Refurbished Console?

That’s the thing with pre-owned consoles. You can sell a refurbished console, and the person you are selling it to would never know. This might seem great for you but think about if you were in the other shoes. You are basically buying a console that is not used by one person anymore but by multiple.

At the end of the day, you can sell a refurbished console. You would have most likely need to do this privately because if you go and take the console into a store, they will most likely be able to tell whether it is refurbished or not.


That brings us to the end of this article. Remember, a lot of people are trying to get their hands on the new consoles. If you come across one refurbished, it might be your only option to pick one up. Again, remember to always make sure it comes with a warranty. If you do that, you aren’t really taking many risks by buying a refurbished console.

David Sacks

I have worked in the IT industry since 2011 and have been an avid gamer my whole life. My first consoles were the sega genesis and the Nintendo SNES. I play both console and PC games, I love both. I decided to become combine my passion for gaming with my passion for writing.

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