Listen to the name Vitamix, and you're probably thinking of extravagant, expensive blenders. However, in 2012 Vitamix began to sell selected models at a discount.
For example, you can get a Vitamix Explorian for $ 220. This is a far cry from a brand new $ 620 Ascent 3500, the company's newest, largest and most expensive machine.
Over $ 200, however, is not pocket money. So the question is; Are these refurb mixers worth so much money? The answer depends on what you expect in return.
In this guide, we learn what these repossessed Vitamix mixers can and can not do. We also explain where these devices come from and why Vitamix says they are a solid buy.
Vitamix revitalized models and prices
Here is a brief snapshot of the latest (from August 201
Good as new?
To find out what kind of equipment Vitamix sells, I spoke with Holly Hacker, Vitamix Director of Brand and Customer Experience. According to hackers, Vitamix disapproves of the term "refurbished".
Instead, the company prefers to call its refurbom mixer "overhauled". Hackers went on to say that the misused machines are "as good as new as we can make them."
Similar to a certified used car, they undergo a 17-point quality checklist. On the list are important parts such as the blades, motor and control. Vitamix also looks for external damage such as dents, scratches or chips. If something is wrong, it will either be replaced or the device will be immediately disqualified.
Hacker explained that these mixers are rarely used in most cases. Most of the products come from returns that are generated at major retailers. It confirmed that Costco and QVC are the main sources and that the mixers have been in use for less than 2 years.
Mixers who eventually pass the exam are the ones who complete Vitamix, which will take at least 5 years. Vitamix covers every machine with a long 5-year warranty.
The only exception is the entry level Vitamix Explorian. Remanufactured versions of this model have a shorter range of three years.
A Blend Experience, Not an Appliance
Vitamix also sells Blender general products. They have names such as "Standard Overhaul Certified Programs" ($ 380) and "Next Generation Certified Outdated Programs" ($ 500).
If that sounds confusing, you're not alone. At first, I also had difficulty deciphering them.
Basically, however, they are a way for Vitamix to sell you a certain mix of "experience", not a specific model. In other words, Vitamix will not commit to reserving an exact blender model for you. What it promises to offer is a collection of blending features and controls.
Each mixer collection or "experience" is organized according to their level of sophistication. The higher the price, the more automatic blending modes and settings you expect. No matter which mixer you get, he should do the job. In fact, Vitamix says the real difference between its mixers is user-friendliness and control.
That's because most of the company's mixers rely on the same 2.2-liter PS engine and the same internal components. As a result, they all offer the same basic performance.
You can whip up all the easy tasks like smoothies, plus difficult ones like preparing hot soups or pulverizing nuts into creamy butter.
Are they worth it?
If the $ 220 Vitamix Explorian can really do such a good job as $ 620then yes, absolutely. But I suspect that's not quite the case.
Yet, it is possible that you could enjoy the level of mixing power and skills we've enjoyed at the $ 530. If the refurbished S780 manages that (or better) for $ 110 less, that's a seductive deal.