Traders selling refurbished laptops with ‘brand new’ label

About 35 percent of the total laptops sold across the country are refurbished ones and dealers say some stores are cheating consumers by selling such laptops at the price of brand new laptops. They say customers who look for special offers and cheap price are becoming the victim of this unethical business trend.

A senior staff with Neoteric Nepal – the authorized distributor of Dell and HP laptops in Nepal – said refurbished laptops that are supposed to cost less than the market price are being sold at higher prices in the market.

“The scenario is such that the buyers don´t even get the hint of whether the laptop that they are buying is a refurbished or an original one,” the staff said, wishing not to be named. He also said almost 30 to 35 percent laptops sold in the market are the refurbished ones.

Refurbished laptops are the laptops that have either failed a quality control test and repaired by manufacturers to sell at discounted rates, or the ones returned by the customers due to component failure.

As per international practices, dealers should sell these models under the label of ´refurbished laptops´. But they are being sold as the brand new ones in Kathmandu.

“Such laptops should be sold with the ´refurbished´ label. But we have found that local vendors, generally those who are into business with smaller budget, are selling refurbished laptops as the brand new ones,” said Tul Hari, CEO of Omni Business Pvt Ltd — one of the authorized distributors of Lenovo laptops for Nepal.

Refurbishment of a product can only be done by the manufacturer or a third party. But the third party rebuilds the machine using parts that may not work properly with the original design.

“It is essential for the customers to know that some of the laptop manufacturers such as Lenovo, Toshiba and Sony have a system where customers can actually make a track about the originality of the laptop through serial number. Customers should always ask for serial number while purchasing a laptop,” Tul Hari said.

The staffer at Neoteric Nepal said customers should be aware of the fact that serial number in the laptop should match with the serial number in the laptop box. “If the serial numbers don´t match, the laptop is not the brand new one,” he added. He further informed that sellers make more profit by selling refurbished laptops than brand new laptops.

Customers, themselves, should be aware of some facts to avoid getting cheated by the sellers. They should know what actually are refurbished products and what do they lack, whether or not they are sold by authorized agent, normal price range of laptops and the warranty that comes along with the purchase.

Suresh Kayastha, manager of Ocean Computer — the authorized distributor of MSI laptops for Nepal – suggested buyers to inquire about the type of warranty offered by the sellers. “In most of the cases, sellers give a year warranty. But they don´t make it clear the nature of warranty,” Kayastha added.

Refurbished products do not have full warranty. They only have warranty of three to six months and have not warranty on parts. But they normally announce one year warranty by deny it when consumers claim.

“Buyers should ask the sellers whether or not they get service warranty,” Kayastha said.

Customers have to ask for a VAT bill, check the serial number in the laptop and the box and verify the nature of warranty, to be in safe side, according to Tul Hari. “Refurbished products themselves are not bad. But the problem arises when they are sold as brand new products that too in higher price,” he added.(Source:Republica)

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