On Friday, I bought a "refurbished" portable air conditioner. On line.
Here's the deal. A while back, I put a window AC unit in the spare room.
To keep the foster kittens cool, doncha know. SHUT IT.
And ... well ... we had a couple of really hot days last week, and stepping into that cool, cool spare room? Was awesome. And I was feeling guilty, depriving my OWN cats of AC, while the fosters basked in cool comfort. SHUT IT AGAIN.
I thought about getting another window unit, for either my bedroom or the living room, but I hated to lose a window to the air conditioner. So I started looking into portable units. They are not, I discovered, really all that "portable", but the only window space they use is the space for the drainage vent, so ...
I started pricing them out. The cheapest model that could reasonably be expected to do the job was up around three hundred bucks, which ... no. Nope. And as it turns out, upstate New York is not exactly a hotspot for air conditioner sales, so I couldn't even FIND a local store that carried them.
Time to turn to the internet! Where doing a simple thing like pricing out an air conditioner can suck up just as much time as you want it to, which in my case turned out to be half a day.
Which is where we come to "refurbished". I kept seeing these Best Buy air conditioners that were a hundred bucks less than at the other stores. Because they were "refurbished". It turns out that when someone returns an air conditioner to Best Buy, either because it doesn't fit in their window or it doesn't work right or they're just really, really stupid, it goes back to the Best Buy warehouse, where they test it, fix anything that's wrong, and then sell it at a discount. In the case of the air conditioner, an over-thirty-percent discount. The unit still comes with a warranty, and you can still return it, but it's cheaper than buying a brand new unit.
So I bought one. Which will be shipped to my local Best Buy store in the next few days at no charge. They will call me when it gets there and I will go and pick it up and somehow I feel like there is some giant catch to this someplace, that I am reprising my role as the Village Idiot for buying a "refurbished" air conditioner, but I guess we'll find out in a few days, won't we?
Stay tuned ... and in the meantime, if anyone has any stories about (a) "refurbished" or (b) Best Buy, feel free to regale me with 'em in the comments.