What are the pros and cons of purchasing refurbished GoPro cameras

gopro camera
Photo by Gordon Tarpley / CC-BY

As every hobby, the photography and the video or movie making gets even more expensive when you decide to bring the quality on a whole new, higher level. So if you want to be a professional, it will be pretty expensive. But what happens if you want to be there, but your budget doesn’t allow you to do it? Well, you shouldn’t stop trying, instead take your time and do a good research about the products you need and their price range. If you can’t find what you need for your budget, there is one final option – to buy second hand or refurbished.

First of all, know that second hand electronics are much cheaper, so you can get your new camera for a lot less, but there is no guarantee that you will be satisfied with the purchase. Buying second hand from a person or a retailer is risky and if you don’t have backup money if something goes wrong, we recommend not to do it. Instead, go for refurbished.

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First of all, lets clear what is a refurbished item. This is a GoPro camera, lens, accessory or any other electronic item that was used before, sent back to the manufacturer and he restore it to its factory condition. So, refurbished items are like new, but have in mind that – they are not considered ‘new’ in any way. Unlike the new ones most of those were demonstrational in some shop, or got damaged packaging, had a manufactured defect which is now removed or was returned by a customer for some reason. Refurbished items are not new, but are like new, they aren’t faulty and work great, but you get them for a lot cheaper than new from the store. So this is a good option for you if you have limited budget and want to get in the depths of the extreme video making and action photography with a GoPro and all of its accessories.

So let’s see what are the biggest pros and cons of purchasing a refurbished GoPro camera or any other GoPro accessory.

As we mentioned it, the biggest pro of buying a refurbished GoPro is the reduced price. You can expect a pretty decent 10 to 30 percent discount off the factory new price. If you think about it, a 30 percent discount from retail price is pretty good deal for like a basically new item. Keep in mind that the discount in the price isn’t determined by the look or the quality of the GoPro, so big discount doesn’t mean a bad looking or much used product. The discount is determined mostly by the demand and whether the product is new on the market. So an older model GoPro camera will have a bigger discount for a refurbished one than a newer refurbished GoPro.

The biggest con when buying a refurbished camera or any other electronic is that you can never be sure why this item was marked as a refurbished. It could be something minor, like scratches on the body from transporting or being a demonstration product, but it also can be a big thing like a manufactory defect or terminal damage on the inside.

No matter what was the reason, the item is now fully working and restored to factory conditions, but you will be a lot relaxed if you are using a GoPro which was refurbished because of some transportation cosmetic damage and not because it fell from a high and got wrecked. So, always read the description of the item before buying, sometimes it is mentioned for what reason it was refurbished. If not, you can always ask the seller, despite the fact that you may not get an answer.

Also, look carefully the pictures of the item to see if there is anything that can make you change your mind about the purchase.

And last, but not least, for a con you can take the fact that some refurbished GoPro cameras or other accessories don’t come with the full package as opposed to buying a completely new camera. Sometimes some items are not included and this can be a deal breaker for some.