I get this question often. I always answer “Yes” with some words of warning. Know who’s selling that refurb. If a well-known, established company like B&H Photo sells a refurb, (that’s not a recommendation just an example) you can trust it. If a company you’ve never heard of, particularly one located in Brooklyn, NY offers a refurb, stay away. (To check the reports on a given reseller, try http://www.resellerratings.com/. It’s usually a very reliable indicator of the quality of the company you’re considering buying from.)

Refurbs that actually come from the manufacturer can be a great deal. Most come in non-descript boxes (Canon usually ships in white boxes) with all the items you’d get if you bought the camera new, including some sort of manufacturer’s warranty. I’ve purchased more than a dozen refurbished cameras and lenses and never regretted it.

Depending on who you buy from, be sure to ask if the accessories are included. Some of the less-reputable camera stores (again, particularly those located in back alleys of Brooklyn) will advertise a super low price on the camera but then lie to you and tell you it doesn’t come with a battery, body cap, strap, etc.)

I always buy USA refurbs. I always buy from a dealer I can trust. I always buy from a true manufacturer’s representative. (Contact the camera/lens manufacturer to check to see if the reseller you are dealing with is truly an authorized representative. Many companies that do business online make that claim falsely. Don’t trust the reseller. Check with the manufacturer. If that reseller is NOT an authorized reseller, you won’t have the promised warranty.

Pay with a credit card. That way you have certain protection if the goods are not as promised.

This is a great time to save money. Buying last year’s top-of-the-line gear at significant savings can get you a newer camera without bankrupting what’s left of your 401K.


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