December 8, 2020
The internet is an excellent resource to score deals on everything from art and clothing to used electronic equipment and furniture. In fact, it may be tempting to purchase an old security camera or used surveillance system through your local online marketplace or a national third-party retailer. If you think you’re getting a bargain on the best used security camera, however, you may want to think again. Here are a few considerations when deliberating between used security cameras and brand-new models:
When you buy used security cameras from a reseller you may not be the only one who can view the surveillance footage. It’s possible the former owner may still have access to both live and recorded video.
Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do to stop the former owner(s) from viewing your footage. You can ask them to remove themselves from accessing the camera’s feed, but there’s no guarantee they’ll abide by your request. If you’re seriously considering a used surveillance camera, check with the camera manufacturer before you purchase to determine who can access your video feed.
One of the benefits of purchasing a new security camera is a product warranty or trial period agreement. If you suddenly decide you no longer want the camera in your home or it doesn’t fit your security needs, a return period takes the equipment off your hands penalty-free. Meanwhile, a product warranty allows you to send faulty equipment back to the manufacturer for a replacement or refund.
If you purchase a used security camera system online and it suddenly stops working or you decide it doesn’t fit your home security setup, you may be out of luck — and money.
Attractive price points and professional-looking manufacturer photos may tempt you to purchase used cameras. No matter how promising those used indoor and outdoor home security cameras may seem online, they might come to your doorstep looking like they’ve seen better days. Or worse, the camera you just bought might have been cutting-edge five years ago, but compared to today’s visuals, its quality is seriously lacking.
Buying a used security camera doesn’t guarantee you’ll receive what the online seller promised. Purchasing from an anonymous online seller also makes it difficult to request a refund. The most reliable way to ensure an undamaged security camera is to buy new from a trusted company.
If a deal seems too good to pass up, here are a few tips to help you make a smart used camera purchase:
Confirm the specs. Get the original model number, the manufacturing year, and any other details of the camera.
Read reviews of both the seller and the camera model. If you’re buying a camera on a third-party site, as opposed to your local online marketplace, check out seller reviews to see what other buyers are saying. Look for reputable buyers with many five-star reviews. Be sure to also read online reviews of the used camera you intend to purchase.
Do a cost analysis. Let’s say you find a $100 refurbished security camera on eBay, but a new camera with more modern video capabilities and better backup storage will only set you back another $200. Plus, that $300 camera is brand-new, comes with a warranty, customer support, and will last you quite a few years longer than the used security camera. Which will give you the best deal for your money in the long run?
Ask for additional photos. If you’re meeting someone locally to complete your purchase, you have the benefit of inspecting the camera first-hand. That’s not the case with online purchases. Ask for photos of all angles of the camera, including any wires, the outer casing, and even a photo of the camera’s recording quality.
While it’s possible to find a great used camera online, the best way to ensure you’re getting high-quality equipment is to purchase a new home security camera. You might even be surprised at the competitive cost of a new security camera with enhanced features, better technology, and improved security measures. Brinks Home™ offers secure camera systems complete with full-service customer support, guaranteed returns, and manufacturer warranties. Browse our camera systems online, or contact a Brinks Home Senior Security Consultant to choose the right system for your home and peace of mind.
Jason Stevens is a senior writer for Brinks Home. He is a "tech guy" who enjoys sharing home security and automation tips with others.
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