What does "factory second" mean?

Written by bridgette ashmore
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What does "factory second" mean?
(Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images)

In today's ever changing economy, shoppers are constantly on the lookout for ways to save money. In order to meet these needs, manufacturers offer many options, including refurbished and factory second products that can be obtained at a significantly reduced price.

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Definition

When an item is listed as a factory second, it typically means that it failed the quality inspection at the end of production for a cosmetic reason. There is nothing intrinsically or structurally wrong with the item, but there is a blemish on the outside that prevents it from being released to the market as brand new. It likely has undergone testing to verify it is still in sound working order, and many times the blemish is hardly visible.

Advantages

Often, consumers are able to get significant price savings on items listed as factory seconds. If you don't mind a small scratch or mar, you can find great deals on many electronics, clothes, games and even appliances.

Disadvantages

Make sure you read each company's disclaimer regarding its factory seconds. The fine print can vary from company to company and occasionally the warranty may be affected; it may be nonreturnable and there may be other strict policies that need to be adhered to.

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