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Smart Shopping: Refurbished bargains during COVID-19 Pandemic

(NBC News)  It wasn't long ago that refurbished or open box items got a bad rap as shoddy, second-hand products.  That's changing.

"The bar is actually much higher for for refurbishing than it is for manufacturing," says Sender Shamiss, CEO of goTRG.

The reverse-logistics company provides retailers and manufacturers a streamlined process for returned or damaged inventory. 

"We handle thousands of vendors and manufacturers and distributors," Shamiss says.

More than a million items are processed by goTRG each week.

"People think that what's bought in a store online usually ends up back on the shelf, and that's the furthest thing away from the truth," he explains.

Once returns hit the warehouse, turnaround time is pretty quick, usually within seven days.

The like-new items are then made available on the secondary market.

"We have brands like VIP Outlet,, there's wholesale brands like, but we sell a lot on Ebay, Amazon, Walmart marketplace," Shamiss says.

Buying a refurbished product can save money compared to buying it new.

"We learned consumers are price sensitive and they will take advantage of a deal if they find one," says Jake Cohen, Klaviyo's director of product.

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