What to Look For When Buying Refurbished Digital Cameras

Refurbished digital cameras are those that have been returned to the manufacturer by the reseller. However, these are not inferior products, as cameras may be returned for a variety of reasons. Resellers use the word “refurbished” because these cameras are not allowed to be sold as “new”, due to consumer protection laws. As such, refurbished cameras should function as well as new ones, and there are some things to look for when shopping for a refurbished product.

Trained Technician

When a reseller returns a digital camera to a manufacturer, it is the manufacturer's responsibility to ensure the item is restored to working condition before sending it back to the marketplace to be sold as a refurbished product. Normally, the manufacturer will have a trained technician inspect the returned digital camera, and the technician will repair any defects and check the camera to make sure it functions properly. If possible, any blemishes or scratches on the camera's exterior will also be repaired.


One of the biggest advantages of buying refurbished digital cameras is the money-saving advantage over buying a new camera. Camera retailers are not allowed to sell refurbished cameras as “new”, although the camera may work perfectly, and this results in retailers selling these cameras at a reduced price. This means a buyer can score a nice digital camera that is just as good as new, while saving some cash that can be used for extra accessories if desired.


Of course, there are some risks involved in purchasing refurbished digital cameras. The camera was returned to the manufacturer for a reason, and it is possible that reason was the camera was not functioning properly. Buyers should inquire about what type of warranty comes with the refurbished camera. Also, ask the retailer about their return policy. Be sure to test the camera out before making the final decision. Additionally, inspect the exterior for cosmetic defects.


Buyers should make sure their camera contains all the necessary accessories, just in case the manufacturer made a mistake when re-packaging. Some common accessories which should be included are lens cap, batteries, memory card, and a recharger. Also, ask if an instruction manual is available. Although some cameras are easy to figure out, others may be more complicated, and some instructions can come in handy. Additionally, some of the missing accessories may be available directly through the manufacturer.

Online Stores

Besides going to local or regional camera shops, a buyer may also want to shop around online for the best deal before spending money on a digital camera that has been refurbished. Many times a major online retailer such as will have a much larger selection than a local camera store. However, before making an online purchase, it’s best to make sure that the online store is safe and secure during all transactions, and using a secured Internet is preferred.

Whether shopping online or at a local camera store, some thorough research should provide the buyer with some options for selecting the right refurbished digital camera. Reviews on the local stores and online retailer’s web sites may be helpful in making a decision, and asking advice from friends or other digital photographers is also good idea.