Should You Buy a Refurbished Coffee Machine?

by Véronique Raymond
refurbished coffee machine

While you may see the draw of buying a coffee maker to soothe those intense caffeine cravings in the morning, it can be difficult to set aside enough money for a brand new one, or justify the cost even if you can realistically afford it. After all, it’s a luxury product, right?

Wrong! Everyone deserves to start their morning with a fresh, delicious cup of coffee, and they’ll save you money in the long run compared to stopping at an expensive coffee shop before your commute to work. If you know you want to try a coffee machine but aren’t thrilled about their price, a factory refurbished coffee maker may be appealing to you.

If you want to know if you should buy a refurbished coffee machine, keep reading.


What is a Refurbished Coffee Machine?

A refurbished coffee machine is one that has been owned in the past but was returned for faulty operation. Second hand coffee makers are cleaned and repaired at a specific location, either by a private company or the brand’s own factory, to be resold as used but in great working order. These refurbished models are usually older than 6 months and may not have the same bells and whistles or updated technology as the newest models, but they are much more affordable options that will make delicious coffee for years to come.

When you buy a refurbished coffee machine, you have peace of mind that it was professionally disassembled, cleaned, inspected, repaired with parts replaced as needed, and tested for functionality and quality before going back on the market. However, it will most likely not be in its original manufacturer packaging and may not come with all the original non-essential accessories.


Is Refurbished as Good as Brand New?

In terms of functionality, a refurbished coffee maker will function as perfectly as a brand new model would. They go through many tests to ensure all parts work as they’re supposed to. Plus, any parts that aren’t up to par will be replaced with brand new ones.

One thing to note is that the aesthetic value may not be as good as a new machine. A refurbished coffee maker may have some dings, dents, and scratches that cannot be fixed during the refurbishment process. Despite these cosmetic blemishes, the interior is as high-quality as a brand new machine.


Is Refurbished the Same as Reconditioned?

In some circles, reconditioned machines can be less risky to purchase since they’ve undergone some more extensive repairs in that the exterior imperfections would also be taken care of, and there may have been more in-depth repairs and testing performed. In terms of functionality and price, refurbished and reconditioned labels essentially mean the same thing.


What Replacement Parts Should There Be in a Refurbished Coffee Maker?

This entirely depends on the specific issues of each individual coffee maker. Some refurbished models may not need any replacement parts while the next may need half a dozen new components. For especially old coffee makers, they may replace some of the more fragile parts like the brewing basket, tubing, and other plastic parts. Luckily, coffee makers have quite a long shelf life and the normal wear and tear of everyday use won’t affect or degrade the coffee maker as long as proper care and maintenance are carried out. This means you most likely won’t need many or any replacement parts in machines less than two or three years old.


Is There a Warranty on a Refurbished Coffee Maker?

When buying from a professional refurb company or reputable dealer, you’ll most likely receive some kind of warranty protection with your purchase. This could be 30 days or 6 months or any other number that the reseller deems fair and reasonable. A dealer without a return policy probably isn’t reputable, so you should buy from another refurb dealer in this instance.


Things to Look for When Buying a Refurbished Coffee Machine

Shopping for a refurbished coffee machine is very similar to buying a brand new coffee machine. Beyond the type, brew sizes, super-automatic vs semi-automatic functioning, built-in grinder and barista-style foaming tool/steam wand, there are a few other things to consider with a refurbished coffee machine.

The main thing to look for is a return policy and the words “factory refurbished” somewhere that proves the repairs made were conducted by espresso machine experts that know what they’re doing. Some coffee makers that are refurbished may just be open box or like new returns, meaning the customer changed their mind about the product but there’s no issue with the machine. In this case, you can feel pretty secure in your purchase.

Something else to consider is if you’re purchasing a refurbished espresso machine, French press, commercial espresso maker, or another type of coffee maker. If you’ve got a whole latte love for cappuccinos and want a fully automatic espresso machine or prefer a simple, pure French press coffee, you’ll consider the same features:

  • A built-in water filter that helps prevent the need for frequent descaling
  • A year warranty or more for your purchase protection
  • Verification that there are no faulty parts such as a 30-day return policy
  • A hot water feature for making tea, soup, or anything else that requires heated water
  • Automatic functioning with an automatic shutoff or keep warm feature
  • A steam wand or foam wand built in for fancier drinks
  • And more

Though these aren’t all the features to consider in a refurbished coffee machine, they are some of the most important to ensure your dollar’s value when you make a purchase.


Is a Refurbished Coffee Maker Clean?

Coffee lovers may be concerned over the cleanliness of their refurbished item, especially since you have no way of knowing how the last owners took care of the machine. Used espresso machines are almost always cleaned by the reseller before being placed on the market, but if you have any concerns, you can always clean it yourself before you use it for the first time.

How to Clean a Refurbished Espresso Machine

The best way to clean a refurbished coffee maker is to descale it using a commercial descaling solution (Brands like delonghi and Keurig have their own brand of descaler), manually wash the removable parts like brewing basket and water reservoir, and give the exterior a quick wipe with a stainless steel cloth.


Pros and Cons of Buying a Refurbished Coffee Machine

There are many benefits to choosing a refurbished coffee machine, but there are also a few cons to watch out for.

Benefits of a Refubished Coffee Maker

Cost Savings.

Buying second hand saves quite a bit of money, especially on the higher-end coffee makers. A model that retails for $2800 brand new may have a price tag of only $1600 refurbished. This smaller investment is ideal for those who haven’t had a coffee machine before but want to see if they’re worth the hype. With a smaller price tag upfront but a perfectly functional machine that lasts for years, there’s no better deal that purchasing a reconditioned coffee maker.

Perfect Condition.

Refurbished or reconditioned coffee machines are ones that have been intensely tested and inspected to ensure they are in perfect working order. This means you’ll have no concerns over how well the machine will work or how long your coffee maker will last. Many of these refurbished items have been returned upon opening the box because they didn’t work, but you won’t face that risk.

Better Quality Brand and Model

By choosing a refurbished machine, you can afford a better brand or a higher-end model for the same price as a lower-quality machine. You can take advantage of the latest (within a year or two) features and technology without spending a fortune on a high-end or commercial-grade coffee maker. They also make great gifts if you want to spoil someone and stay on a budget!


Cons of a Refurbished Coffee Maker

The only thing to be aware of when buying a refurbished coffee maker is that you could end up purchasing a dud. If you aren’t careful about who you purchase from, you could choose a coffee machine that wasn’t properly maintained, wasn’t serviced or repaired by an expert on coffee makers, and that either doesn’t work or will degrade quickly.

So long as you do your due diligence when buying, you shouldn’t have any issues with your refurbished coffee maker!


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