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 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.
What are the Pros and Cons of buying a refurbished Wacom?
Pros – the good
- Refurbished items are cheaper to buy, saving you money.
- They have been fully tested before being resold.
- They come with warranty or a good returns policy.
Cons – the bad
- You may not be able to buy a newer version of Wacom tablet. Older products are more likely to be sold as refurbished.
- There may be some items missing from the box such as cables or manuals.
What does refurbished or renewed mean?
Put simply, the refurbished Wacom tablet will be one that has been returned 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.
This is a list of the most common reasons a Wacom graphics tablet is resold as refurbished or renewed:
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.
Before it is resold, the graphics tablet will have all damaged or faulty parts replaced.
Most graphics tablet pens are now made without batteries but they are still prone to failure from being dropped or damaged during shipping.
The pens are replaced, tested and the products is sold again as a renewed item.
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.
The product will be tested and the packaging repaired as good as possible, ready to be sold at a cheaper price.
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.
These items are easy to replace by Wacom. Alternatively, replacement USB cables can be bought easily and drivers or manuals downloaded from the Internet.
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.
All items returned will be thoroughly tested before they are resold by Wacom.
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 art, there are a host of others out there that may not have been fully tested with the Wacom devices.
These other software products may not be able to work fully with the Wacom tablet, for example not recognizing 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!
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.
Do refurbished Wacom tablets have warranty?
Yes, if bought from Amazon these items will be covered by a 90-day return policy. 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 a refurbished Wacom?
If you are not willing to trawl the Facebook Marketplace for a bargain, there are a few options of where to buy a refurbished Wacom device.
The best place to get this kind of stock is from Amazon. They have a section there already that lists only refurbished Wacom products.
- Manufacturer refurbished with all original...
- 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity – gives you...
- Connect wirelessly with Bluetooth to your Mac (OS...
- Medium size features a compact footprint (10.4”...
- Come with all original accessories.
- 4096 levels of pressure sensitivity, gives you...
- Connect wirelessly with Bluetooth to your Mac (OS...
- Small compact size (7.87 inch x 6.3 inch) with...
- Graphics tablet to use in any software for digital...
- Connect this digital drawing tablet to your...
- Slim design and compact sized art tablet with a...
- Easy set up, for both left and right handed use....
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.
eBay is a great place to buy either a used or refurbished graphics tablet. There are some great bargains to be had.
You will also find a larger number of companies that offer older Wacom models that they have cleaned, tested and are reselling at a discount. eBay is not just people selling their old devices any more – there are resellers on there with a large volume of equipment.
Wacom Refurbished Store
You can also buy a refurbished item direct from Wacom themselves.
They have a special section of their online store that offers refurbished and (slightly) discounted items.
What do you think about buying a refurb graphics tablet?
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.