While I don't recommend this for most folks, I buy a lot of "as is" stuff. It's usually almost free, and unless obviously toasted, typically easily repaired if you're a good competent repairman (or woman - I've met a few). I bring my meter and pocket 'scope and give it a quick once-over. Once in a while, I get garbage. But the money I've saved on easily repaired gear more than made up for this. I hate to say it, but many repairmen aren't very good. There isn't a lot of incentive. Repair techs often make less than McDonalds employees. Most do it because they enjoy electronics. Wives and hot chicks don't approve.
"Fixed ALL the broken stuff"? In my tech-nicolor dreams. We hope to get most of it, but 100% it's not. I only *think* I'm God. (It's 4:30am here and my IQ drops an order of magnitude after 2am. And I'm already a harmonica player.)
I'm an electronics engineer (profoundly overqualified for repair), hold an FCC GRC (General Radiotelephone Certificate, usually required by employers to work on broadcast radio and TV station equipment and other gear capable of transmitting off-frequency.) I've been seriously into electronics for ~55 years, and usually find stuff most techs wouldn't think to check because I understand how it works, know what's more likely to fail based on experience, and I'm almost obsessive compulsive about fixing it right the first time, which is why I don't work for a large corporation except when they get something urgent that they can't fix. My spare time is cheap.
And yet I miss stuff. Everyone does. We joke about "a $300 CRT giving its life to save a 10 cent fuse" (I'm dating myself, which is not nearly as perverted as it sounds), but there's a lot of truth in this. Tube gear was much more robust than solid state. You can run tubes red hot for moderate periods without serious damage. This level of overload will vaporize transistors and IC's, unless the amp has overload protection. And it'll turn tantalum capacitors into an awesome (albeit expensive) shower of foil confetti. Nerd stuff occasionally has its perq's.
For example, when a low level preamp transistor or IC blows, it frequently takes out the entire chain after it, up to the power amp, maybe the power supply, and sometimes even loudspeakers if a DC blocking cap is not used and/or the speakers are small and inefficient (i.e. acoustic suspension.). Audio gear is often DC coupled for better bass response and less phase distortion.
Recertified, refurbed, a rose by any other name would be a gzormitoff. It's probably used, or needed repair for some reason. We pay our money and take our chances. If the price is low, the warranty long, and the seller reputable, your risk is minimal - but there IS a risk involved. Understand that risk before plunking down your hard earned cash. You're wagering that the used device works properly. If you win, you get it cheap. If you lose, you may wind up with worthless junk.
A lot of you trust corporate America. And yes some large corporations are honorable. But some are not, and will give you the shaft, even if you didn't want an elevator. Often, they buy up companies with a good reputation, and run them into the ground milking them and their customer base for every cent before folding.
As an entity, Corporate America has proven a general lack of honor and trustworthiness, which was a major factor in the stock market crash. Enron robbed California courtesy of Governor Gray Davis, who outdid The Governator (who destroyed LA in Terminator 3) and destroyed the entire state of California during his term in office, and now refers to Arnold as "that little wimp". Enron got away with the money they stole.
Gasoline companies have inflated prices despite a glut in the petroleum market - yes, there is actually TOO MUCH crude oil. And all that money they're removing from our pockets via de facto price fixing will never be returned to us. Either the gas companies will keep it, or the government will pick their pockets and (of course) keep our money. Most likely both. Politics makes strange bedfellows, and we consumers/taxpayers end up with the sore backsides.
Corn is being diverted to make more profitable fuel alcohol, further jacking up food prices.
Social Insecurity (which we all paid for, and which was *supposed to be* put aside to provide for us in our golden years) is not paying cost of living increases, even though prices have risen ridiculously, and has pretty much eliminated medical for anyone who can't afford to pay for insurance, unless they make less than rent alone costs around here. Politicians "borrowed" from it, leaving now worthless IOU's. I think they should be made to pay it back out of their own pockets. Please stop laughing.
And now my pants are impinging upon a certain area I'd rather not mention in pubic..... er.... public.
I have the makings of a good blues (or country western, except my dog didn't die, 'cause I ain't got a dog) song.