Print 16 comment(s) - last by CZroe.. on Nov 24 at 5:30 PM

Target now sells used electronics returned to its stores

Many technology and gadget enthusiasts will be familiar with where you can buy both new and used electronics. Electronics fans will also be familiar with eBay where you can get both used and new items as well.

The problem with buying used electronics is that you never know how well they were maintained. Anyone who shops on eBay for long inevitably runs across a piece of used electronic equipment that wasn’t as advertised or just plain doesn’t work.

Target announced this week that it will trial a used electronics service. Target has three different categories for used electronics inside their electronics department. It lists iPods, video game consoles and TV/Video as categories. Reuters reports that Target claims the vast majority of electronics returned to its stores are in perfect working condition.

Target’s website says the electronics are checked, inspected and refurbished by an authorized manufacturer or a Target-managed third party. That should essentially mean the electronics bought used via the Target website are as good as new. In addition, with this service at Target the electronics all appear to come from Target store returns, which should make many users feel better about buying second hand goods than they might at eBay.

At the time of this writing Target lists several used iPods with pre-owned 30GB iPods going for $179.99, which is $40 off Targets list price. The only game console Target has listed is the very old Nintendo GameCube at $64.99. Target has a slew of TVs and other video electronics listed as well. You can get a 72-inch pre-owned Toshiba DLP rear projection TB for $2,799.99.

Selling used electronics is much better than simply shipping the broken electronics over seas, though if's used item sales have already been largely heralded as a success.

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Used 360's
By anonymo on 11/22/2007 12:22:15 PM , Rating: 2
This might become the best (or worst, ugh) place to buy a used 360, I wonder how "refurbished" they will be (simple parts replacement or actually fixing the problem). I would also be interested in what kind of warranty/guarantee that will go along with a refurbished product like the 360.

RE: Used 360's
By mmntech on 11/22/2007 12:40:27 PM , Rating: 2
Tiger Direct has been using this "refurbished" electronics tactic for a while now and I know I wouldn't buy anything from them with that on the label. Also of note is if something goes wrong, a lot of these places are sneaky and won't allow you to return or exchange refurbished items. However, it's still a better way to buy used stuff than taking your chances on places like eBay, if the prices are right.

RE: Used 360's
By Inkjammer on 11/22/2007 12:55:20 PM , Rating: 3
Gamestop has been pushing its used crap with high prices on people for years, and making a fortune in the process. So, maybe it'll be paydirt for Target. That, or Target's logo will be renamed the "Red Rings of Death" due to all the broken 360s it sells.

I imagine they'll also get heavily into the PRP business, raising prices on them over time as well. Make the sale at cheap prices, swoon customers with warranties and/or swap out for other refurbs. Profit. AKA, reducethemselves to Best Buy's level.

"Would you like to subscribe to Sports Illustrated with your purchase, sir?" *gag*

(Just a note, I have a 360, love it, but facts is facts!)

RE: Used 360's
By lumbergeek on 11/22/2007 1:42:33 PM , Rating: 2
Hell, I've stopped buying from TigerDirect entirely. Crap, more crap and nothing but the crap, so help me God.

RE: Used 360's
By johnbuk on 11/23/2007 9:46:47 AM , Rating: 2
Not about to buy a refurbished 360- too many problems with those and have to think that any refurbished models would be as bad if not worse than the old new models.

Had never heard the dissing regarding Tigerdirect before though. Have purchased countless refurbished equipment from them and never had a problem with any of it. Getting a refund from them is slow and pain in the ass, but so that's the case with most refunds everywhere.

RE: Used 360's
By TomCorelis on 11/24/2007 5:22:25 AM , Rating: 4
A few things:

* I bought a used 360 (mfr date 12/2005) from a friend on the forums that I frequent, and so far, no problems whatsoever.

* Once upon a time, EB/Gamestop's used game section was a goldmine for great deals. Toss in the game card, which once only costed $5 and got you 10% off all used stuff, and you could score some great games muy muy cheapo. Once the two companies completed their merger, though, seeing that they had a virtual lock on the organized secondhand gaming market, they implemented a newer, crappier policy of selling used games for $5 less than SRP. $5 less! That's extortion.

What I don't like about Target's used offerings are that once again the discounts just don't justify the condition. I buy used because it takes me closer to paying what the product is worth in my mind, and frankly if you haggle around you can score some excellent, excellent deals. $40 off an iPod isn't the price you pay for a used iPod, it's the price you pay for a new iPod on sale -- which is especially egregious since the things depreciate so quickly, and their life expectancy is so short. (My 4G iPod Photo 60gb is dying...)

Which brings me one final point: consumer electronics are poorly built nowadays... I would be wary of buying consumer electronics used especially if they're more than a few months into their lifespan. My iPod lasted two years, and my Creative Nomad Jukebox lasted less. I had a Canon Powershot A70... 3 years. The head unit in my car ... 5 years.

And "refurbished"? Take the time to actually ask someone in the know what that really means....

By gramboh on 11/22/2007 12:35:26 PM , Rating: 2
Is this via the website only? Or will it apply to stores. If it applies to stores, how will they stop people from buying something, returning it (in perfect working order), then coming back (or having a friend come back) and buying it as 'used' (once it goes through the QA process).

RE: Pooling?
By kinnoch on 11/22/2007 2:08:22 PM , Rating: 5
I had some buddies in college who bought something from Ikea, built it, decided they didn't want it so they brought it back. Ikea took it back and refunded them. In the mean time they spent some time walking around idea, and at the very end they visited the prebuilt section, where they found the item they just returned. They then purchased the item back for like 50% off.

It wasn't their intent to rip off ikea, but it just worked out that way :)

RE: Pooling?
By xsilver on 11/22/2007 6:05:24 PM , Rating: 5
Damn swedes, too efficient for their own good.
They should have made you sweat it out for at least a day if not a week before re-selling the item.

I'd also be careful on buying anything refurb that has a battery. Who knows how much use it has had and buying an ipod for $40 less but half the battery life is probably not worth the trouble.

By Polynikes on 11/22/2007 1:26:29 PM , Rating: 2
Well, at least it sounds like they're gonna have it be pretty obvious about what's used and what's not.

My mom bought a phone/answering machine from Walmart that was used. I was helping her set it up and noticed "face grease" on the handset, and was like "Uh... I think this is used..." and she didn't think so.

The previous owners' recording was still on the frickin' answering machine.

I'll never buy anything at Walmart, ever.

RE: Hmmm
By mruffin75 on 11/22/2007 10:52:52 PM , Rating: 2
Had the same problem at Best Buy..

Bought a large Samsung air conditioner ("brand new" apparently)..

Got it home and opened the box only to find the box was taped up, when it should have been stapled (the staples were there...just broken open), there were screws missing (and the others were just strewn around the box, not even in a plastic bag), and there was a big dent in the air conditioner and the fan kept hitting it when it was running..

I guess that's the problem with stores that accept returns "no questions asked". People will inevitably take back broken items, and the store clerks won't be bothered to check it (or can't), and just put it back on the shelf to be sold to some other poor customer..

RE: Hmmm
By retrospooty on 11/23/2007 11:09:07 AM , Rating: 2
That was a mistake by Best Buy. That item should not have been sold as new, but as a refurb. At least with this Target deal, you are buying known returned items for cheap, as opposed to buying a new item that you find out was used/returned.

RE: Hmmm
By Screwballl on 11/23/2007 1:53:42 PM , Rating: 2
The local Best Buy and Circuit City stores have their returned merchandise marked as "previously-used" or "refurbished" which are working returns that someone just didn't know worked right or there may be a small dent or something along those lines. I have seen plenty of deals that I have bought through the years, most of the time they have the item out in the open so you can look at it and someone just goes in back and gets the box that has any extras in it or it sits on top of the original open box so you can make sure any screws or whatever are still inside.
Recently bought a "used" 32" TV for $250 that was in perfect shape but the notes still in the box from the return slip stated that customer did not like the buttons on the front... just a small flip down panel, no biggie.
Anytime we buy anything from walmart, we always check to see if the box had been previously opened and if it has, we just go behind or below it an get an unopened box. Also that is an easy way to tell if something is problematic, if there are 2 or more open and resealed boxes then it must be a problematic item.

Target is a good company
By JonnyDough on 11/23/2007 2:53:04 AM , Rating: 2
They take an active role in local community, and have standards that Wal-Mart and Meijer don't have, such as not stocking at night and not having pallets being used as shelves (and lots of other great standards).

I believe this is a more wide-scale opening up of older electronics recycling, they probably don't expect to make so much money off of this as they would through the good media exposure about how good they are. It's still a win, even if they break even on recycled crap - and it's a win for consumers and the environment.

I imagine if you get a 1 year warranty on something you buy and it doesn't work that you can get a replacement for it pretty easily. Target has good distribution channels and their own trucks, so if you return an item they'll probably ship it back the way it came. The same would apply to any electronics stuff you dropped off. I can't say for certain what Target's plan is, and this and this article doesn't really explain it too well either, but I imagine Target will be setting an example.

Let's just hope that they use something similar to Mattel's Global Manufacturing Principles to enforce standards on their partners. I'd hate to find out that Target's recycling program isn't as fantastic as it appeared.

gen of the pre own Ipod
By nace186 on 11/23/2007 6:13:52 AM , Rating: 2
What the article didn't mention is what generation the ipod is being offered. I went to the pre-own site and all the ipod offer are crap. Don't even waste your time.

Gamecube bias
By CZroe on 11/24/2007 5:30:29 PM , Rating: 2
I'm tired of the anti-Gamecube bias I see persisting on the Internet, so I just felt I had to say it: Would you qualify the Playstation 2 with "the very old" every time you say it? The PS2 is much older and is the lower performing machine, which is the other factor usually revealing GameCube bias (people wrongly think the PS2 out-classed it).

It worse than Carlos Mencia dissing the N64 as if it were the NES ("this thing is so old..."), forgetting that it was part of the former generation from *only* a few years earlier, while the EVEN older and FAR lower performing competitor, the Playstation, was still getting releases without him giving it any greif (this episode aired well before the current-gen consoles were released). Between those two, the Playstation (PSX, PSone) was much older than the Nintendo 64 and the Playstaion was the lower performing machine.

"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
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