Customer satisfaction has also increased, and as a result, returns have decreased...
We believe that the introduction of a benchmark grading standard within the PC and laptop refurbishment industry would be hugely beneficial. A Certified Refurbished standard would encourage all refurbishers to meet certain criteria to raise the standards within the industry as a whole.
CFA have been utilising this model for several years and have found that in doing so we have been able to increase our revenue and profit margin overall. Customer satisfaction has also increased, and as a result, returns have decreased.
CFA believes that the Certified Refurbished standard falls into three categories:
We fundamentally believe that the Certified Refurbished standard should be used by all, from the smallest shop to the largest organisation within the refurbishment industry. All stages within the standard will be offered as a service or free at their lowest point of entry.
To reach the Certified Refurbished standard you must progress to stage three. You will be unable to progress to stage two until you have reached stage one, and will not be able to progress to stage three until you have reached stage two.
Aiken tests, audits and images Windows, Apple and mobile devices.
We use Aiken Workbench V2 for our testing and auditing. There are other programs available for auditing and testing but we find that Aiken Workbench V2 is the most effective and efficient program for use by the PC and Laptop refurbishment industry. Aiken tests, audits and images Windows, Apple and mobile devices. The software has a super-quick, thorough and comprehensive testing feature that is unmatched. It is also able, via the use of an Android app, to take pictures of the specific unit being audited. Aiken Workbench V2 also has carries out ADISA level certified data wiping so that any GDPRR concerns can be erased.
Aiken Workbench V2 is available via a subscription based model (as opposed to other testing and auditing software packages, which are charged on a cost per-unit basis). The subscription for Aiken Workbench V2 is available exclusively via CFA Trading Ltd and will cost an organisation anything from free-of-charge (basic entry) to £700 (full service and customisation) at the highest level.
We believe that offering the Aiken on a free of charge basis at entry level will mean that there is no reason for any refurbisher, regardless of size and output, to not be using it as part of the commitment to the industry standard of Certified Refurbished. However, if you are an established organisation and you feel that you are already testing to the standards provided by Aiken Workbench V2 software then that will be regarded as acceptable to be deemed Certified Refurbished.
Aiken Workbench V2 – tests performed on each unit as standard:
Upgrade to latest BIOS (Done when loading windows)
Speakers – Right and Left
Keyboard (every Key pressed)
HDD – Smart Test Hours Used and bad sectors test
Mouse buttons (touchpad, but not actual touchpad)
Battery Capacity and life left (75% + is our standard pass)
Optical Drive read
Cosmetic assessment using android app to take pictures
During the auditing process Aiken V2 also provides the serial numbers for the motherboard, hard drive, memory sticks, optical drive, network and video card (where appropriate).
This is all about creating a benchmark standard for cosmetics within the laptop and PC refurbishment industry.
Aiken Workbench V2 has the ability to quickly and efficiently take pictures of any cosmetic issues with all units tested to be stored on the database and reproduced when reporting. This is done via an Android App and we have found the optimum device for this purpose is a Samsung S6 mobile phone.
To achieve a grade 1 standard the PC or laptop in question should not show any marks on the picture, even when it is zoomed in on. There should be no wear or tear evident in the pictures and no work keys or badges. Effectively, from the picture the unit should look and feel as good as new. At CFA Trading we believe that for the purposes of a Certified Refurbished grading standard, the Aiken V2 software Android app when used in conjunction with a Samsung S6 phone will create an effective benchmark for the industry.
Age does not affect functionality of the device. The vast majority of devices are ex-lease and between 2 to 8 years old. Each device will be subjected to stringent testing and refurbishment process. There will be thorough cleaning; lid, palm rest and keyboard refinishing and repairing of plastics. At CFA we use a variety of cutting edge techniques to give the very best device refurbishment and to achieve that ‘as new’ look and feel to all products. Also, with modern software and hardware improvements any unit will look and function as good as it did when it was originally purchased. All devices are top tier corporate items which are built to higher standards than usual consumer devices sold on the high street.
At CFA Trading we are so confident in the units that pass through our refurbishment process that each unit is provided with a minimum 12 month warranty to the end user. All warranties are underwritten by Lloyds of London so the end user can rest assured that their purchase will be covered for the duration of the warranty.
Certified Refurbished grading standards
New Open Boxed Refurbished
These are typically new devices that have been sent to a customer who refused or cancelled the order and sent them back. These are effectively new devices that cannot be sold as such. For example, Dell Outlet devices. These will have no signs of wear, look and perform as new, and will usually include all the original accessories.
Grade 1 - Lightly Used
This standard covers over 97% of the devices we sell; fully refurbished and impeccably clean. The device will be a great example for its age, and will have minimal signs of wear. There will be no cracks in the plastics.
There may be cosmetic wear on commonly used ports, like the network and power socket. Laptops in this grade may have minor marks on the corners of lids and hinges. This will be extremely minor but may be visible to the naked eye. However, they will not be visible if you take a picture with a digital camera.
There may be faint marks on laptop and tablet screens. These marks would be so faint that you could not take a picture of them with a digital camera. Any marks will not be visible from every angle, and will be invisible when device is in use. There will be no dead pixels, and no bruising.
With age, wear and tear does become more evident.
Buy this item if a near perfect looking laptop or PC is important. For example, if it is intended as a gift, or will be used in the front of shop.
Grade 2 - Visibly Used
As with Grade 1, these devices will be fully refurbished and be very clean, but will have obvious signs of wear and tear. There will be no cracks in the plastics. A scratch will be visible if a picture is taken on the lid.
There will be more evidence of wear on commonly used ports, like the network and power socket, and in the corners of lids and hinges in the case of laptops.
May be port covers missing but will still look like a Grade 1 everywhere else.
However, these are minor cosmetic issues, none of which affect the functionality.
There may be faint marks on laptop and tablet screens. These will be slightly visible in a picture and will be visible from most angles, but invisible when the device is turned on. There will be no dead pixels. There may be 1 or 2 slight white spots visible when displaying a white background.
With age, wear and tear does become more evident.
Any device which exhibits all the issues above is classed as Grade 3.
Buy this item if you are looking for a fully functional device at a great price, and don’t need perfect cosmetics.
Grade 3 - Heavily Used
As grades 1 and 2, these devices will be fully refurbished and be very clean. However, they will have obvious signs of wear and tear. There may be minor cracks in the non-structural plastics. There will be more evidence of wear and tear on commonly used ports, like network and power sockets, and the ports may have minor cracks in them. The may be obvious damage around the corner of lids and hinges of laptops.
There could be major cosmetic issues, but nothing that will affect the functionality of the device.
There may be marks on laptop & tablet screens. These will be visible from all angles and will be visible when device is in use. There may be dead pixels. There may be white spots which are visible when in use. With age, wear and tear does become more evident.
No Grade 3 device will have all the issues described above. Any device with more than two of these issues will be classed as Grade 4, and broken down to be used for parts.
Buy this item if you are looking for a bargain, and don’t mind what it looks like.
The last part of the standard for Certified Refurbished products. This standard will apply if selling to end users and will include how to package the goods and warranties etc. The standard will help achieve the WOW FACTOR, increase customer satisfaction and help decrease customer returns. This standard has helped CFA Trading achieve a less than 30 unit return/repairs/month against an average of 3000 units shipped per month.
Below we outline the elements we have implemented to help us achieve this phenomenal statistic.
Individually boxed properly secured packaging must be used. We use the Airpack packaging system as it is incredibly strong and is also created using PE4 plastics including the nozzle therefore fully recyclable and end user can just put in there recycling bin at home with no issues. All packaging in our opinion must be recyclable.
All of the below contributes to our very low returns rates and customer service enquiries
Instruction Manual on how to use the device. Especially useful on Apple and Chromebooks as most end-users are more familiar with Windows. Also provided is a PDF of the instruction manual on the desktop of the purchased device.
Warranty card with clear instruction on how to return the item and a telephone number for the customer to call if there are any problems.
Activation Sheet – We have created an instruction manual on how to activate Windows. This is very useful for stopping wasteful returns. A sticker is placed on the power button to ensure end users plug in laptop before turning on. This prevents the Windows image being ruined by the laptop being turned off halfway through the initial Windows updates
Screen protector – Screen protectors are provided with a reminder to activate the 1 year Bullguard antivirus and our customer service telephone number. Another simple way to create the wow factor and increase customer satisfaction.
Antivirus – we supply Bullguard Antivirus for 1 year on all our products - both Windows and Apple. CFA can provide this for £2 including a screen protector with antivirus details.
All products should come with at least a 1 year warranty. This needs to be backed up with the peace of mind that the company providing the warranty have the financial viability to cover the 12 month warranty. A one year warranty is useless if the company providing it go into liquidation at any point during the warranty period. If a refurbisher are unable to demonstrate financial viability then they must take out insurance for the year on the products to avoid dishonouring the warranty provided to end-users.
CFA Trading are able to provide refurbishers with an insurance package to cover from the 30th day of the warranty period to the 365th day of the warranty period at a cost of 3% (ex VAT) of the sale price to the end user. to provide the peace of mind to their customers by provide this insurance products from the 30th day to the 365th day for 3% (ex VAT) of the sale price. This is on the basis that the product has been through the Aiken Workbench V2 testing process. It is proposed that any company unable to demonstrate solid financial viability they can pay in to this insurance fund and any products sold are covered by the year insurance.
This can be increased to 3 years for an extra 10%. For example you are selling a Chromebook for £100 + VAT £3 would go to the fund and then after 30 days you would not need to worry about the product as it would be repaired under the insurance provided by CFA Trading. The repairs would either be carried out by CFA Trading or the seller could elect to do the repairs themselves and get paid by the fund to do so.
All companies should provide an easily accessible customer service telephone number and email address. Any customer service issues and queries should be answered within an appropriate timeframe. Evidence of the ability to provide adequate customer service enquiry turnaround times must be demonstrated to achieve the standard.
If a refurbisher is unable to provide this service themselves, then this is something that can also be provided by CFA Trading on their behalf. This will enable them to achieve the third stage of Certified Refurbished standard.
Poole BH17 7DA, UK