Refurbished Wacom Tablets – Are They A Good Idea?

Although Wacom are quite expensive, especially if you are looking to break into using them for the first time, but want a good quality product rather than some “new brand” you have never heard of before.

This can be a real barrier to entry for some people.  Luckily, there are a number of refurbished Wacom tablets available from Amazon that can save you up to 50% on the original price – so it is well worth considering as an option before you go an buy a brand new one.

>> Click here to jump straight to the list of refurbished Wacom products on Amazon.com (USA). <<

What does refurbished mean?

Put simply, the refurbished Wacom tablet will be one that has been returned to them for some reason, fixed up and sent back out to be sold again.  There are laws that prevent them from selling the item as new, so the only option they have is to put it back on the market as a refurb device at a lower price.  Also, it is worth bearing in mind why the device might have been returned in the first place:

  • Faulty device.
    • There might have been something physically wrong with the tablet, which was why it was returned.  This could be that the entire thing was not working when plugged into the computer, or that perhaps one of the buttons was faulty or the USB connection was loose.  Some faulty graphics tablets also experience “dead spots” where parts of the active area stop working.  This reason might also cover physical issues such as loose casing or cracks in the plastic.
  • Faulty pen.
    • Most graphics tablet pens are now made without batteries but they are still prone to failure from being dropped or damaged during shipping.
  • Damaged packaging.
    • This is not really enough to return an item from my point of view, but some people do like to have the box and packaging in good quality when it is shipped to them.
  • Missing items.
    • Most graphics tablets are shipped with cables, CDs and booklets which all have the possibility of going missing if the product has not been packaged properly.
  • User error.
    • Some people might have bought the tablet by mistake and have not been able to use it, or have not managed to get it working with their computer before it has been returned.  This can also cover where people have not followed instructions on how to set up or use their Wacom tablet.
  • Software driver issues.
    • I have spent most of my career fixing Windows PCs, so I know that getting the drivers installed can be a problem on some computers.  Rather than ask for help, some customers would rather return their Wacom graphics tablet, than let a support person fix their issue.
  • Incompatibility with software products.
    • Although Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator are the usual standard software packages for people who want to create digital artworks, there are a host of others out there that may not have been tested with the Wacom devices.  These other software products may not be able to work fully with the Wacom tablet, for example not recognising the pressure sensitivity of the pen.  This may lead the owner to return the product to become a refurbished Wacom tablet.

Why should I buy a refurbished Wacom tablet?

Put simply, the main reason is cost.  Refurbished graphics tablets will always be cheaper than their unopened and unused counterparts, simply for that reason – they are not brand, brand new!

Other than the fact that the Bamboo, Intuos or Cintiq you are looking to buy has been pre-owned and then repaired, the equipment should be considered brand new.

One big benefit of buying from this refurbished stock, is that it has been handled by Wacom themselves, not a third party repair company.  The fact that Wacom have had their hands on it, would fill me with confidence that I was buying a good product still.  Plus, they come with 12 months warranty, so you need not be worried that you are buying something that you are not going to be able to have supported if needs be.

Where can I buy them?

The best place to get this kind of stock is from Amazon.  They have a section there already that lists only refurbished Wacom products.

>> Click here to see the list of refurbished Wacom products on Amazon.com (USA). <<

If you live outside of the US and still want to bag yourself one of these cheaper Wacom devices, I suggest that you review the items below that have been extracted from your local eBay website.  Unfortunately, the factory refurb Wacom tablets are only available in the US from Amazon.

What do you think about buying refurb?

Would you consider buying a refurbished graphics tablet?

Why does this idea fill you with dread, or what benefits do you see to this idea?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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