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Buying IT-Hardware in Retail or Used condition? This question is occupying many network-managers. There are so many different states and conditions and the price differences between them are huge - which is causing further confusion. Especially with Used, Refurbished and Renew/Refresh. You will find out all about what states there are and what that means for the hardware itself, if you continue reading.  

In order to protect yourself against unpleasant surprises when buying IT-Hardware it is important to understand the difference between the many conditions. Attractive offers especially when it comes to non-retail products are tempting you to buy these. Which is why we have written a Blog post all about the different conditions and what those mean. 

Retail vs. Refresh/Renew vs. Used

Renew/Refresh and Used are not the same thing at all. Used Hardware has been actively utilized by the previous owner while Renew/Refresh products have been rigorously tested and inspected, the software is up to date and the original factory settings have been restored. But please, watch out: even within the refurbished products, there are massive differences. There are the so-called Refurbished goods, which means that these have been generally overhauled, which can be done by anyone without any certification or additional warranty. Then there is the manufacturers Refurbished products, the so called OEMREF-products (like HPE Renew and Cisco Refresh, just to name a few – The Manufacturers have developed special brand names for their refurbished goods.) These have all the usual manufacturer characteristics, quality, looks, and even warranty wise. In direct comparison, the Refurbish products are definitely winning.

Where the difference in price is coming from and what the difference between retail, OEMREF (manufacturer refurbished) and Used? You will find the answer below:

5 factors that you should consider before purchasing

Before purchasing IT-Hardware that is not completely new, it is important to know about the factors that are playing a decisive role in terms of quality and therefore even the success of your business.

Authenticity: Is this an original product from the manufacturer or a knock off? Ensure that your goods are from a certified partner.

Appearance: Is the physical appearance like the one from the same retail product? Is it scratched, dented, has bumps or other signs of wear and tear? If not, the chance is high that this is a product from the grey market or it was poorly overhauled. If the goods are from the manufacturers, they will always be in their original packaging.

Factory settings: Is the technical state equal to a brand new product? When buying Used products, it is unlikely that the goods have been reset to their factory settings or all that all updates have been executed. OEMREF will always have the latest updates, sometimes these are even more up to date than the same retail goods, which were produced a while ago.

Warranty:  Do the products have the manufacturer’s warranty? This might be the biggest difference between all the conditions. Only manufacturer-refurbished products will have the original warranty. Used products most often do not come with any warranty at all. Third party refurbished products only have their own warranties, if any.

Price: Is the price unusually low? In many cases, refurbished products are being sold as retail goods. Especially the price difference is a good indicator if this is the case.

What conditions do we have in the SCALCOM Webshop?

R / RF

The products have been completely Refurbished from the original manufacturer. Their quality and appearance is equivalent to Retail goods. All products have the full warranty from the producer and they come in their original packaging with the newest software updates. Click here to find more information regarding this topic.  


These are OEMREF products, where the packaging was opened or damaged. However, the goods themselves are flawless.


Exactly like they left the production facility. Original, undamaged packaging – sealed by the manufacturer.


New retail goods, where only the packaging has been opened. For example to check if the contents have all been received. These goods have never been used nor do they have any physical faults.


Again, these are new retail goods, where only the packaging has been damaged. For example during transit. The products were never used and have no physical faults.


Is what we call the spare parts. This name has been established by the manufacturer.


These are new retail goods, which do not come with a handbook, extras or original packaging.


Are showroom or exhibition models that might have been used once before.


(Only to make the list complete, SCALCOM does not offer this condition, due to our high quality standards.)

Refurbished products that have already been used for quite some time and do not have the manufacture warranty anymore. Mostly sold and refurbished from third party providers.


(Also, just for the completion of this list, not sold at SCALCOM, due to our quality standards.)

These products have already been used from the previous owner and will most likely show signs of wear and tear. Most of the time, these do not come in their original packaging either.

The easiest way to make out the condition of your goods, is the part number – the above mentioned initials are just added to the end of the part number. We are SCALCOM are only selling manufacturer refurbished OEMREF goods like HPE Renew and Cisco Refresh due to our high quality standards.


To sum it all up, the product condition as well as the origin are the defining factors for the price. However, when deciding what to buy, the price should not be the only factor to consider, due to the immense differences in quality. We strongly recommend you not to buy refurbished or used products. Instead, we are huge advocates for Renew/Refresh products, a high quality alternative to retail goods.


If you have any questions regarding any of our products, please do not hesitate to contact us, we are happy to help!