Articles From Whole Latte Love

Sense and Cents - Refurbished Espresso Machines

Posted: 05/24/11
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Gaggia TitaniumMost of us have heard that a new car can lose up to 10% of its retail value the minute you drive it off the lot. Though the new-car smell and the allure of being the automobile's first owner does come with its own perks and advantages, increasingly value-conscious customers are flocking the used car lot in record numbers. Pre-owned shopping habits are trickling down to everything from electronics to clothing.

Here, at Whole Latte Love, we're noticing a lot of interest in refurbished machines. Just like buying a pre-owned vehicle, the decision to purchase an outlet or refurbished item comes with its own set of considerations. But, shop well and you'll reap the rewards of getting a great machine and saving much more than a couple of cents.

Birth of a Refurb
Every new espresso machine available through wholelattelove.com is backed by a hassle-free 30-day return policy. Within the first month of ownership, customers can return machines for any number of reasons, as detailed in our terms and conditions. We've had people change their minds about the type of machine they want or unpack the unit only to find it does not fit a predetermined space. One gentleman sent back a Gaggia super-automatic espresso machine because it was "too small" for his yacht! We never leave a good machine behind. When a customer returns a next-to-new machine, it is always welcomed back with open arms; thus, refurbs are born.

Machines that have major performance issues are sent straight back to the manufacturer. Likewise, products that show excessive wear-and-tear will never be resold. On the other hand, espresso machines that have a lot of life left in them and look next to new, will be discounted and have a second chance to find a good home...If they can make it past our gate keepers...

Whole Latte Love TechnicianThe Inspection
With the exception of Jura-Capresso and Cuisinart machines, which are refurbished by the manufacturer at their facilities, all outlet items refurbished by Whole Latte Love undergo a thorough inspection process in our tech shop. Our certified technicians start by checking the package to ensure that all included accessories are accounted for before doing a preliminary visual inspection of the machine. They'll look for things such as dents, large scratches, or broken components, which may significantly impact the aesthetic appearance of the machine. We do not accept the return of machines that have been customized, so you'll never get a model engraved with someone else's initials or plastered with bumper stickers.

After a machine has passed the "first impression" inspection, the real work begins. A technician will go through a detailed check list to ensure that the machine is working properly. Electrical components and wiring, monitors, Teflon lines, valves, connectors, nuts and bolts have to be accounted for and inspected. Any malfunctioning or underperforming parts will be replaced so that the machine can work like new. The boiler, solenoid valves, steam wand and controls are main points of focus for our techs. After the necessary components have been repaired or replaced, the machine gets put through the ringer before it is approved to be resold.

Passing the Tests
In order for a refurbished semi-automatic or super-automatic machine to earn the green light, it must be in perfect working condition. Our techs are responsible for complete diagnostics; they test every machine to ensure that it brews and steams at the correct temperatures, heats up within the proper time frames and dispenses hot water as needed. In the case of super-automatic machines, they'll inspect the grinder to ensure that it has been appropriately calibrated and the settings the yield the correct results. Clogs, leaks and loose parts are sure to get any machine tossed into the rejected pile.

Rancilio Silvia V3Last, but not least, every machine gets a complete cleaning and polish before it's cleared for sale. Refurbished units will also get a steep discount, of up to 50% off the original retail price, once they're posted in the Outlet section of our Website. Not too shabby, for a machine that's all but new. Best of all, when you purchase a reconditioned espresso machine with us, you'll get the benefit of a 15-day return policy. Change your mind within 15 days of the shipment date? Send the machine right back to us; no harm, no foul. Our espresso machines even come with six-month warranties for your peace of mind. Next time you're in the market for a great deal, do yourself a favor and shop out outlet section!