Certified refurbished Vitamix blenders (also referred to as certified reconditioned Vitamix blenders) are usually the best deal. Vitamix guarantees them to work as well as new machines, the price is discounted by up to 40%, and aside from the print on the box, the machines are practically indistinguishable from new.
Yet many people wonder if there is any drawback to the refurbished models and whether they are worth it. Understandably so. Even with such a large discount, refurbished Vitamix blenders are still more expensive than many standard blenders.
So, in this article, I dive into all the pros and cons of a reconditioned Vitamix blenders and what exactly you’re getting when you purchase one.
What Is Certified Refurbished Vitamix
So, what exactly is a certified refurbished Vitamix? Where do all the machines come from and why are there so many?
Certified refurbished Vitamix blenders fall into two categories – returned units (the majority) and demonstration units.
Sometimes customers buy a Vitamix machine only to realize they want a different model or a different color. There are also impulse buys where someone did not check with their spouse first about the large purchase. Considering Vitamix 30-day risk-free return policy and a free shipping return option, customers can quite easily change their mind.
The same applies to retailers. Costco – one of the major retailers that sells Vitamix blenders – has a very generous return policy. Costco members can return any product for any reason at any time, no questions asked.
As soon as the initial factory-sealed box is opened, Vitamix can no longer sell that blender as new. So, all returned units, used or unused, ultimately come back to Vitamix headquarters in Ohio where they go through the refurbishing process.
Display & Demonstration Units
Vitamix representatives do a lot of live demonstrations. Some machines are strictly for display (never actually turned on), while others are used to demonstrate the blender power and functionality (running only a small number of cycles).
All of these units are still in a perfect condition and eventually need to be sold.
Vitamix Refurbishing Process
The term “refurbished” means different things to different manufacturers. However, in the case of Vitamix, the process of reconditioning machines involves a formalized 17-step inspection. Rather than discarding the otherwise-functional machines, Vitamix formalized their reconditioning process in 2012 and today, they recondition thousands of machines each week and prepare them for resale.
The reconditioning process is applied to the base and the blade assembly only. All the other blender parts and accessories are always replaced by brand new.
Only base units with a “like new” appearance and manufactured less than 5 years ago are allowed in the reconditioning process. The base units must be without any noticeable scratches, chips, or other appearance issues to be qualified. The rubber feet must be without any visible wear otherwise they are replaced by brand new ones. The dials and switches on the control panel must be fully functional and clearly marked. Anything that doesn’t meet Vitamix high standards gets replaced with a new part.
The inspection of the base unit is finalized by a motor check using technical devices. The quality control team runs the motor at least 3 times.
Only blade with a “like new” appearance and manufactured less than 1 year ago is allowed in the reconditioning process. Any blade with wear signs, damage, or assembly rotation problem is ruled out and replaced by a brand new one. All the blades that get through the inspection process are high-temperature sanitized and fitted in a new container.
Containers & Accessories
No matter how good the condition is, all refurbished Vitamix blenders come with a brand new container, lid, plug, tamper, and cookbook.
Reconditioned Vitamix Models
The availability of reconditioned Vitamix models is based on returns and factory demos. This is the biggest drawback of reconditioned models – you essentially have to buy a model that is in stock (or hope that the model you would like will either get returned at some point or be used as a demo unit).
Vitamix doesn’t build new models to sell as reconditioned. They sell models as they become available. As such, they are limited in quantities and color selections. So, if you see a reconditioned Vitamix model you like, buy it ASAP! Supplies are limited and go out of stock pretty quick.
Below is a list of reconditioned models currently available in the US and Canada (updated on October 9th, 2020).
Reconditioned Vitamix US
|Variable Speed Dial||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Timer (Count Up)||–||–||–||✓|
|Programmable Count Down||–||–||–||–|
Reconditioned Vitamix Canada
|Variable Speed Dial||✓|
|Timer (Count Up)||–|
|Programmable Count Down||–|
If you don’t like any of the reconditioned Vitamix models listed above, Vitamix is currently running a lot of great deals on new blenders.
Are you confused by all the Vitamix models available and need help deciding which one to get? Look at the best Vitamix blenders I recommend.
Price & Warranty
Certified refurbished Vitamix blenders are typically discounted anywhere from 20% to 40%. If the reconditioned models go further on sale, you can get a Vitamix blender for even 60% off! They are the best Vitamix deal.
All reconditioned Vitamix models are backed-up by a full 5-year warranty. The only exception is reconditioned Vitamix Explorian, which comes with a 3-year warranty. An additional 3-year warranty is available at extra cost. (For a comparison, new Smart System blenders come with a 10-year warranty and new Classic System blenders come with a 7-year warranty).
The shorter warranty period doesn’t mean that refurbished blenders don’t last as long as new ones. Rather, it is the reflection of the lower selling price. Considering that it is not uncommon for a Vitamix to last 20+ years even with continuous use, the 2-year difference in warranty is negligible at best. If the shorter warranty period worries you, you can always purchase the additional warranty (which is still cheaper than buying a new machine).
Just like with any new Vitamix blender, Vitamix offers a 30-day risk-free return policy and a free shipping return option if you’re not happy with your purchase.
Is Refurbished Vitamix Blenders Worth It?
The best part about buying a reconditioned Vitamix blender is that you can get a high end unit even when you are working with a small budget. The value you get is above and beyond the premium quality you expect from a new Vitamix blender. There is no performance or visual differences between new and refurbished Vitamix.
The only “visual” difference is packaging.
Certified reconditioned Vitamix comes in a plain brown box with the Vitamix logo (as opposed to the original Vitamix box with the appliance pictured). That might make a certified reconditioned blender a little less attractive if you’re buying it as a gift. But truthfully, who wouldn’t love to get a Vitamix?