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Five Things to Consider When Purchasing A Refurbished Espresso Machine

by Luciano Iarusso November 03, 2016

Five Things to Consider When Purchasing A Refurbished Espresso Machine

Let’s face it, we all want to save a buck when purchasing any item.  In fact, we will drive great lengths and spend considerable time researching the best price.  When it comes to appliances we have learned that buying refurbished is a way to secure significant savings.  That is true of espresso machines too. 

What does refurbished mean?

If you want to save big by buying a refurbished item, your need to understand what refurbished means.  More importantly you need to understand what refurbished means in the context of an espresso machine. Don’t be too hasty and look solely at price because you may be disappointed.
Previously the word refurbished was used to describe an older model that was damaged and restored to workable condition.

In more recent times, the word refurbished has evolved to refer to items that have been returned by the customer and then are resold.  Whether due to functionality, customer remorse or disappointment, many products are returned to manufacturers yet, many of these items are still in great condition. Depending on the vendors return policy some items may be older, but others are relatively new. In most cases, espresso machines have to be returned prior to the original warranty expiring.  The ability to buy a returned item provides a great opportunity for those looking to buy an espresso machine at great value.  

In my experience many people return espresso machines not because of poor quality or functionality but because they simply do not know how to use it properly.  In many cases, consumers haven’t taken the time to refer to the owner’s manual or other sources to understand how to use their machine.  And too often, the personnel where they originally bought the machine is ill equipped to provide them with proper instructions or directions on how to set up and get the most out of their espresso machine.

Once a machine falls into the category of returned machine it can only be sold as a refurbished machine.
If you are considering buying a refurbished machine, the first most important consideration is to understand who is assessing what the state of the returned machine needs and who is doing the repairs. Are they  espresso machine experts  and authorized by the manufacturer to service and resell refurbished espresso machines?

As a consumer you need to be knowledgeable about what you are getting.  There are a number of terms being used in the market place, refurbished, rebuilt, reconditioned, open box, like new.  In each case, you need to be sure to dig deeper to best understand the wear, use and condition of the machine you will get.

Here are 5 things to consider when buying a refurbished espresso machine.

1. Has the espresso machine been rebuilt?

In some cases, espresso machines that are sold as refurbished, are machines that have damaged components, which require repair or in some cases need parts to be replaced. Another term that you may encounter is rebuilt or reconditioned machinewhich is also used to describe machines which require replacement parts.


2. Who has completed the repairs?

You want to ensure a factory trained technician is the person completing the repairs on a refurbished espresso machine.  Factory trained technicians are intimately aware of how to put the machine together and are able to ensure all the required components are in the machine.  The machine may have been returned in the first place because a minor adjustment was required. 
In addition to the machine parts, consider the technology or software components of the machine. Espresso machines, like many other modern appliances have computer chips and software.  Sometimes updates to the programming is required to ensure the machine is working at its best. Certified service centers have Programmers which allow for testing of the software within the machine to ensure all the software updates are in place.


3. What parts are being used to complete the repair?

When buying a refurbished espresso machine, you want to buy from a Factory Authorized / Certified Center.  This ensures that the technicians are trained to work on the product by the original manufacturer.  A certified service center upholds the manufacturers original standards and uses original parts supplied by the manufacturer. 


4. What is meant by the term Open Box or Like New?

There are some machines that are sold as refurbished which do not need any repair.  When a machine has been taken out of the box, plugged in, and used, it can no longer be sold as a new machine.   In these cases, you will often see the term " Like New" or " Open Box". These are exceptional values. Many times, vendors will sell these items for a premium price.  However, the premium price still provides a saving from buying a new unit


5. Is any warranty provided?

A reputable vendor will provide some kind of warranty when you purchase a refurbished machine. While the warranty provided may be shorter than the original warranty period, it should be long enough for you to use the machine to ensure it is working properly.  Be careful if the only warranty provided is an extended warranty that you have to purchase at the time of purchase at an extra cost.
Beware that some open box units may have some minor cosmetic flaws or have some missing accessories.  A reputable vendor should be able to send you pics of the unit and explain exactly what you can expect. 
Any vendor who sells refurbished items should be able to explain exactly what you are getting – a rebuilt or reconditioned machine, a repaired machine or a machine that is strictly open box or like new.  In all cases, you should expect to save substantially by buying one of these units.


Buyer Beware

Some vendors simply accept a returned machine, polish it and repackage it.  It is extremely important to take a look at reviews or call the vendor to ensure you know exactly what you can expect when your purchase is delivered.
When a vendor can’t tell you if there are any cosmetic issues, the numbers of coffees the machine has made or if any new parts had to be installed, chances are they may simply be buying used machines, cleaning them up and marketing them to consumers who haven’t taken the time to learn about their purchase.


Ten reasons why you can feel confident buying a refurbished espresso machine from Espresso Machine Experts

  1. We are a factory authorized service center.
  2. All of our technicians are factory trained.
  3. We carry all original replacement parts.
  4. We have been repairing espresso machines since 1987
  5. We can tell you how many coffees your refurbished espresso machine has made (where applicable).
  6. We have a Programmers which allow us to review, test and update the software in your espresso machine (just like your phone or computer need updates, so does the software contained in espresso machines.)
  7. We thoroughly clean and test the machine before it is put out on the floor or list on our website.
  8. We are honest about the condition of the machine.
  9. We will send you, upon request, a photo of the actual machine you wish to purchase not a stock photo.
  10. We are happy to provide assistance after your purchase. 

Read what our  customers have said about purchasing a refurbished machine from us.

"I was a little hesitant to purchase the refurbished espresso machine I saw on their website but decided to give them a chance. I was extremely happy with the customer appreciation email I received after ordering and was very impressed with the packaging for shipping to California, not a scratch on it. Also, I wasn't sure what amount of visible wear I would find since it was refurbished but you wouldn't know it by looking at it that it wasn't brand new. Works perfectly and I am completely satisfied. Great job! 


-Vacaville, CA

 If you have any other questions about refurbished espresso machines, please get in touch with us.

Luciano Iarusso
Luciano Iarusso

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